Automobiles are vehicles with wheels, and they usually have four. They are used mainly for passenger transportation, with a number of seats and a seat belt. Cars have evolved through technological advancements, safety legislation, air pollution, and more. The definition of an automobile is very technical, and the term can be misunderstood.
There are two main types of motorcycles. Street motorcycles are designed for riding on paved roads, and are often capable of speeds of up to 100 mph. They are equipped with smooth tires and tread patterns, and are typically powered by a 125-cc (7.6 cu in) or more engine. However, electric street motorcycles are becoming more common. These motorcycles can achieve very high fuel economy equivalents.
Another category is motor scooters, which are a type of vehicle separate from motorcycles. Motor scooters have small engines ranging from 50 to 850 cubic centimeters. Their engines are usually attached to a swingarm and travel with suspension. Most motor scooters have automatic clutches and gear shifters.
Historically, motorcycles were self-propelled machines, but the modern day automobile is a much more complex system. Modern cars have a multitude of subsystems, and are made from thousands of component parts. Automotive manufacturers work to develop efficient systems and designs that will save on fuel costs and emissions.
In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first regulated motorcycle hydrocarbon emissions in 1980. Motorcycles are limited to 1.4 grams of hydrocarbons and nitric oxides per mile traveled. This is a reduction from the 5.0 grams of hydrocarbons and nitric dioxide that were required in 2010.
The European Union imposed stricter limits on hydrocarbons, and in 2004 a new motorcycle’s emissions were limited to 0.3 grams of hydrocarbons and nitric gases per km. Additional emission reductions through 2020 are 0.1 grams of hydrocarbons and nitric oxygen per km.
In the United Kingdom, the EPA has a similar set of regulations. In 2010 motorcycles were confined to 0.8 grams of hydrocarbons and nitric gas per km. A further reduction through 2020 is 0.1 grams of hydrocarbons and a nitric oxide.
When you think of the automotive industry, you probably imagine sleek icons of streamlining, chrome, and elegant design. These elements have transformed many car elements, from the instrument panels to the headlamps and grilles.
Vehicle ownership is growing rapidly. About 175,000 vehicles were sold in 1999, and another 175,000 were projected for 2000. In the aftermath of the Asian economic crisis, sales were bolstered by government subsidies, low interest rates, and pent-up demand.
Today, there are 70 million new passenger cars manufactured each year. More than half of them come from foreign manufacturers. Automakers are also introducing new designs more frequently. The industry is also evolving to include hybrids, fuel cells, and petroleum-electric hybrids.
One of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world, Harley-Davidson, is entering the electric street motorcycle market. Several other brands are developing vehicles with zero emissions. Many motorcycles have sidecars and other accessories that enhance their performance and comfort.