Automobiles are wheeled and powered vehicles of various designs that have become hugely popular around the world for personal transportation, leisure, and status. Huge numbers of automobiles have been produced in the century since their first appearance, and they have had enormous effects on urban and suburban lifestyles, distribution of goods and services, the demand for oil and the global political system, and also on the environment. As large tracts of ground are placed under road tarmac, thousands of people are killed or injured yearly, and large amounts of gases are burned in the engines and released.

Automobiles are generally powered by petroleum or similar products derived from oil, which is burned under controlled conditions in an engine chamber, which then drives cranks that turn the ...

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