A Complicated Automobile History: When Was the First Car Invented?

When was the first car invented? The automobile history is actually quite complicated. Check this article to find out more.

If you wonder when was the first car invented, well, the automobile has somehow a rather complicated history. A year number cannot really answer the question as history has shown that it is divided into three different eras of inventions—steam, electric, and gasoline-powered automobiles. So, who exactly invented the first car is a very subjective matter.

Long History of the Automobile

Long History of the Automobile
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To begin it with, it would probably be Karl Benz, the one whom we all have to give credit to regarding the first invented car. The German inventor created and patented a “real” gasoline-powered automobile with three wheels called “Motorwagen” for the first time between 1885 and 1886.

In addition to that, Karl Benz also patented parts of his automobile machine, such as gear shifters, throttle system, water radiator, spark plugs, and carburetor. He also had entrepreneurship skills that resulted in him founding an automobile company called Daimler Group that remains exist until today. However, before him, there had been several other inventors who had begun the inventions of the automobile.

In the early 1500s, an Italian artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci designed a mechanized cart despite the fact that the design had never been built while he still lived. Nevertheless, there is a replica of his designs shown at his last home, which has been a museum known as Chateau Clos Lucé.

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About two centuries later, an inventor from France, Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot created a steam-powered cart in 1769. Designed to transport big guns for war purposes, the cart could move at the speed of 3.2km/hour and had to make a stop in each 20-minute trip to form a new spume of steam.

Gasoline-Powered Cars (Internal Combustion Engine)

Gasoline-Powered Cars (Internal Combustion Engine)
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It is widely known that Karl Benz, an independent German inventor, introduced the first automobile with an internal combustion engine (driven with gasoline power) somewhere in 1885, in Mannheim, Germany.

Soon after that, he patented his car on 29 January 1886 and started to produce more in 1888. The production specifically started after Karl’s wife, Bertha Benz, successfully drove the car in a long-distance round trip of Mannheim-Pforzheim (about 88.2 km today). Since 2008, German people have been commemorating the historical event with Bertha Benz Memorial Route.

Furthermore, in 1889, Wilhem Maybach and Gottlieb Daimler modified Benz’s automobile with a more modern exterior in Stuttgart, Germany. They are also known for their first invention of motorcycle in 1886 despite the fact that in Italy, four years earlier, Enrico Bernardi had patented a 122cc one-cylinder petrol-powered tricycle that could be the predecessor of motorcycle.

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Electric Cars

Electric Cars
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Back in the mid 19th century, Henry Ford built the first modified electric car, known as Model T, although he was not really mentioned as the first inventor of electric cars. Two inventors from Scotland and America, Robert Anderson and Thomas Davenport were somehow credited for developing the first electric car in the 1830s. Then, in 1865, a French physicist, Gaston Plante invented the first rechargeable batteries for electric cars.

Since 2012 until today, plug-in electric vehicles called Tesla Model S have been widely used and awarded the best-selling electric car and the car of the century in 2015.

So, when was the first car invented? That really depends on your opinions, then. All that matters more is we have to thank all of the inventors who had contributed their best to the automotive world so that we can enjoy driving advanced cars today.

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