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Age of the Cars



By: Bowen Wang


Cars have changed from old rickety pickup trucks to shiny new Tesla’s in just a couple of centuries. The first car developed in 1885 by Carl Benz was vastly different from the modern vehicles we see on the road today. From the first old automobiles in the 1880s to brand new convertibles and new Ferraris in the 2000s, lots of different aspects of these vehicles have changed, like the speed and look of the cars. But some parts of the cars have also stayed the same, like the gas that is released into the air every time a driver starts a car.


Harmful gas is released into the atmosphere almost every time that a driver starts a car, which can contribute to global warming. Vehicle pollutants harm our health and contain greenhouse gasses that cause climate change, pollution, and global warming. In addition, vehicles emit carbon dioxide, the most commonly human-caused greenhouse gas which can cause climate change. In the old days, there was not much electricity. Therefore, all cars ran on gasoline, releasing various gasses into the air. Even though there are electric cars today, many drivers still prefer cars that run on gasoline because there are very few charging stations for electric cars. So, overall, both older cars and newer cars have both been very harmful to the planet.


A significant difference between modern cars and old cars is that modern cars look much more appealing than cars in the old days. The major features of the first two-seater vehicle, which was completed in 1885, were the compact high-speed single-cylinder four-stroke engine installed horizontally at the rear, the tubular steel frame, the differential and three wire-spoked wheels. In contrast, modern cars can have doors that open like wings, like the doors on a Tesla Model X, and have protective airbags that can protect people unlike the first car. There is air conditioning and sunroofs that open. Drivers can warm and cool their seats and even listen to their favorite songs on the radio when they feel the breeze coming in through the window. The chairs can recline back so modern humans can sleep in the car. In essence, the appearance of cars has utterly changed.


Lastly, the speed of cars has drastically improved. The first car could only reach 9 miles/hour. Now, there are many cars that can go up to 763 miles/hour, but most cars that people drive today can reach around 120 miles/hour. That is a very big change -- almost 84 times faster than the first car. The more advanced regular cars can go up to 200 mph. Many modern cars look slow only because there is a speed limit that restrains them. From speeds of 9 miles/hour to speeds of 763 miles/hour, there has been a significant change in just a few hundred years.


From the 1880s to the 2000s, lots of differentiating aspects have changed about cars – including their look and speed. Some aspects have also stayed the same, like the gas that is released into the air when humans drive. Help the world fight against gasoline and make the world better.

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