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Why steam cars failed to catch on

September 30, 2020 1:33 pm

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Popular opinion is that the petrol driven motor car was an inevitability. This is not strictly true. Since conception and construction by Beniz the motorised automobile has been powered by a variety of other sources. In the beginning there was no reason to suspect that oil would provide the fuel source and there were even attempts to make hybrids using electric and fuel to some considerable success. One of the most important developments was the use of coal in making the car steam powered.

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Steam power and the use of coal was king in the 1800’s. It powered everything in industry, it heated homes and was the backbone of the economy.  The flow of coal was a vital resource and it powered the main source of transport, the railways and the traction engine, there was no reason why the car should not be as well.

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In the end the use of coal to power cars soon proved to be impractical. Imagine if you needed to go to the shops or had to take someone somewhere in an emergency. You would have had to get the car up to steam and that could take ages. MOT’s would have required a boiler check much like the ones from this Boiler Servicing Cheltenham based company.

 

The other impact would have ben to the environment. We already know that years and years of exhaust fumes from petrol cars has damaged the atmosphere and our health but if we were all using steam then the cost to global warming.

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