BMW smoking exhaust
History of Automotive industry
The automotive industry began in the 1890s with hundreds of manufacturers that pioneered the horseless carriage. For many decades, the United States led the world in total automobile production. In 1929 before the Great Depression, the world had 32,028,500 automobiles in use, and the U.S. automobile industry produced over 90% of them. At that time the U.S. had one car per 4.87 persons.3 After World War II, the U.S. produced about 75 percent of world's auto production. In 1980, the U.S. was overtaken by Japan and became world's leader again in 1994. In 2006, Japan narrowly passed the U.S. in production and held this rank until 2009, when China took the top spot with 13.8 million units. With 19.3 million units manufactured in 2012, China almost doubled the U.S. production, with 10.3 million units, while Japan was in third place with 9.9 million units.4 From 1970 (140 models) over 1998 (260 models) to 2012 (684 models), the number of automobile models in the U.S. has grown exponentially.5
About Alternatives to car use
Established alternatives for some aspects of car use include public transit such as buses, trolleybuses, trains, subways, tramways light rail, cycling, and walking. Car-share arrangements and carpooling are also increasingly popular, in the US and Europe.75 For example, in the US, some car-sharing services have experienced double-digit growth in revenue and membership growth between 2006 and 2007. Services like car sharing offering a residents to "share" a vehicle rather than own a car in already congested neighborhoods.76 Bike-share systems have been tried in some European cities, including Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Similar programs have been experimented with in a number of US Cities.77 Additional individual modes of transport, such as personal rapid transit could serve as an alternative to cars if they prove to be socially accepted.
Car - fuel technologies
Most cars in use today are propelled by an internal combustion engine, fueled by deflagration of gasoline or diesel. Both fuels are known to cause air pollution and are also blamed for contributing to climate change and global warming.4 Rapidly increasing oil prices, concerns about oil dependence, tightening environmental laws and restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions are propelling work on alternative power systems for cars. Efforts to improve or replace existing technologies include the development of hybrid vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles. Vehicles using alternative fuels such as ethanol flexible-fuel vehicles and natural gas vehicles are also gaining popularity in some countries. Cars for racing or speed records have sometimes employed jet or rocket engines, but these are impractical for common use.
Oil consumption in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been abundantly pushed by car growth; the 1985?2003 oil glut even fuelled the sales of low-economy vehicles in OECD countries. The BRIC countries are adding to this consumption; in December 2009 China was briefly the largest car market.35