The history of the automobile begins as early as 1769, with the creation of steam engine automobiles capable of human transport.
The history of the automobile begins as early as 1769, with the creation of steam engine automobiles capable of human transport. In 1806, the first cars powered by an internal combustion engine running on fuel gas appeared, which led to the introduction in 1885 of the ubiquitous modern gasoline- or petrol-fueled internal combustion engine. Cars powered by electric power briefly appeared at the turn of the 20th century, but largely disappeared from use until the turn of the 21st century. The need to reduce the amount of air pollution generated by transportation has raised new interest in electric and hybrid vehicles. The early history of the automobile can be divided into a number of eras, based on the prevalent method of automotive propulsion during that time. Later periods were defined by trends in exterior styling, and size and utility preferences.