Automobiles, also known as automobiles or motor vehicles, are the means by which people travel to and from work, school, social events, and other destinations. Most automobiles use a combustion engine to create the energy needed to drive them. This power is transferred to the wheels through a transmission. Those wheels can then be used to move the vehicle forward, backward, and in different directions. The most common fuel for automobiles is gasoline, although electric and hybrid cars are becoming increasingly popular.

PROS OF OWNING A CAR: Having your own car gives you the freedom to go where and when you want. You can get to work, shop for groceries, and visit friends without worrying about transportation schedules or routes. Additionally, if you have family and friends who don’t own cars, you can give them rides when they need it. CONS OF OWNING A CAR: Automobiles are a major contributor to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Since most run on gasoline, they release carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounts for 27 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the country. You can limit your contribution to this problem by driving an efficient car and keeping it properly maintained.

The automobile was a driving force in twentieth-century America and the foundation of a new consumer society. It ranked first in value of production and employed one out of six Americans. It was the chief customer of the steel and petroleum industries, and it influenced the technology of other industrial enterprises. Its demand for materials pushed other technologies into rapid progress. The automobile has also shaped the culture of North American life.

CONS OF OWNING A CAR: Although it gives you the ability to move more freely than you could before, having a car does come with some disadvantages. Many cities have limited parking and narrow streets that make it difficult to navigate, and traffic jams can be a real hassle. Additionally, driving a car can be expensive. It is important to weigh these pros and cons before deciding whether to purchase a vehicle.


The modern automobile was developed in Germany and France toward the end of the nineteenth century by such men as Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz, and Nicolaus Otto. The Benz Patent-Motorwagen of 1886, which had four-cylinders and fifteen horsepower, is widely considered the world’s first modern motorcar. The Ford Motor Company greatly outpaced its competitors by reconciling state-of-the-art design with moderate price. It introduced large-scale, assembly-line manufacturing to the industry. This method of mass production allowed buyers to “move up” to higher-priced models with the same basic components as cheaper ones. Alfred P. Sloan established the practice of selling cars in several grades within a single brand name, and Chevrolet, for example, shared mechanical parts with Pontiac and Oldsmobile.