The Evolution of Vehicles: How Cars Have Changed Since the Turn of the Century

In 1769, the first steam-powered automobile was invented by Nicholas-Joesph Cugnot. Several other iterations of the car were designed after that, including the revolutionary internal combustion engine in 1823. Fast forward to 1908, and the first Ford Model T rolled off the newly invented assembly line, changing the future of the world as we know it.

Yet we are now in 2020, and cars have evolved since the year 2000. We now have 8 seater cars, electric cars, hybrid cars and more. Let’s look at the evolution of vehicles and how cars have changed since the turn of the century.


SUVs Are More Popular

While the sedan was the car of choice for families last century, this has now changed to the SUV. Modern families need more cabin room and storage space compared to twenty years ago, and car design has changed to reflect this. While there is still a market for sedans and hatches, the SUV is leading the pack in popularity. 

Increased Fuel Economy and Engine Output

Recent innovations in automobile manufacturing have seen a reduction in fuel consumption coupled with an increase in engine output. This means that your vehicle is more powerful while travelling farther while burning less fuel. As fuel is one of the most expensive ongoing costs associated with vehicle ownership (next to insurance and maintenance), this is good news for car owners around the world. 

The GFC Has Lasting Impacts

The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008 had severe repercussions for the automotive industry, the ripples of which are still being felt today. The majority of modern manufacturers saw a drastic cut in their sales, as people saved more and spent less.

The Emergence of China as a Major Player

Since 2009, China is now the largest car manufacturer on the planet, with production far surpassing traditional leaders like the U.S, Japan and Europe. 

Hybrid and Electric Cars are More Popular

While the first hybrid car appeared in 1900, the last century has been dominated by fossil fuel-powered vehicles. This is now changing with hybrid engines becoming more popular for various reasons. 

Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, and hybrid cars output fewer emissions due to the hybrid electric-fuel engine. This means people feel good about driving them. 

Hybrid cars are also cheaper to run due to their superb fuel efficiency, saving their owners substantial amounts of money.

All-electric cars are also becoming increasingly popular, although their price-tag is still steep. For those that can afford them, they combine eco-friendly car-ownership with cheap running costs.

Rear View Cameras

Now a standard feature in most cars, rearview cameras weren’t introduced until around 2002. These are life-saving devices because drivers can now spot small children and pets who might wander behind the vehicle, averting disaster. They also make parking and leaving a parking spot much easier and safer for everyone.

Summing Up

Much has changed in car manufacturing since the year 2000. SUVs are among the most popular family cars on the market. Modern vehicles have increased fuel economy combined with better engine output. We are still feeling the impacts of the GFC, over ten years on. China has emerged as a leading manufacturer of new vehicles, while hybrid and electric cars are gaining popularity. Finally, rearview cameras are now stock-standard in modern vehicles, keeping people safe. 

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