Reciprocating piston engines are by far the most common power source for land and water vehicles, including automobiles, motorcycles, ships and to a lesser extent, locomotives (some are electrical but most use Diesel engines45). Rotary engines of the Wankel design are used in some automobiles, aircraft and motorcycles.
Where very high power-to-weight ratios are required, internal combustion engines appear in the form of combustion turbines or Wankel engines. Powered aircraft typically uses an ICE which may be a reciprocating engine. Airplanes can instead use jet engines and helicopters can instead employ turboshafts; both of which are types of turbines. In addition to providing propulsion, airliners may employ a separate ICE as an auxiliary power unit. Wankel engines are fitted to many unmanned aerial vehicles.
Big Diesel generator used for backup power
Combined cycle power plant
ICEs drive some of the large electric generators that power electrical grids. They are found in the form of combustion turbines in combined cycle power plants with a typical electrical output in the range of 100 MW to 1 GW. The high temperature exhaust is used to boil and superheat water to run a steam turbine. Thus, the efficiency is higher because more energy is extracted from the fuel than what could be extracted by the combustion turbine alone. In combined cycle power plants efficiencies in the range of 50% to 60% are typical. In a smaller scale Diesel generators are used for backup power and for providing electrical power to areas not connected to an electric grid.
Small engines (usually 2?stroke gasoline engines) are a common power source for lawnmowers, string trimmers, chain saws, leafblowers, pressure washers, snowmobiles, jet skis, outboard motors, mopeds, and motorcycles.
Car - etymology
The word "car" is believed to originate from the Latin word carrus or carrum ("wheeled vehicle"), or the Middle English word carre (meaning cart, from Old North French). In turn, these originated from the Gaulish word karros (a Gallic chariot). The Gaulish language was a branch of the Brythoic language which also used the word Karr; the Brythonig language evolved into Welsh (and Gaelic) where 'Car llusg' (a drag cart or sledge) and 'car rhyfel' (war chariot) still survive.1112 It originally referred to any wheeled horse-drawn vehicle, such as a cart, carriage, or wagon.1314 "Motor car" is attested from 1895, and is the usual formal name for cars in British English.3 "Autocar" is a variant that is also attested from 1895, but that is now considered archaic. It literally means "self-propelled car".15 The term "horseless carriage" was used by some to refer to the first cars at the time that they were being built, and is attested from 1895.16
The word "automobile" is a classical compound derived from the Ancient Greek word autós (?????), meaning "self", and the Latin word mobilis, meaning "movable". It entered the English language from French, and was first adopted by the Automobile Club of Great Britain in 1897.17 Over time, the word "automobile" fell out of favour in Britain, and was replaced by "motor car". It remains a chiefly North American usage.18 An abbreviated form, "auto", was formerly a common way to refer to cars in English, but is now considered old-fashioned. The word is still used in some compound formations in American English, like "auto industry" and "auto mechanic".
Car - about history
The first working steam-powered vehicle was designed?and most likely built?by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China around 1672. It was a 65-cm-long scale-model toy for the Chinese Emperor that was unable to carry a driver or a passenger.72122 It is not known if Verbiest's model was ever built.22
Cugnot's 1771 fardier ? vapeur, as preserved at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris
Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is widely credited with building the first full-scale, self-propelled mechanical vehicle or car in about 1769; he created a steam-powered tricycle.23 He also constructed two steam tractors for the French Army, one of which is preserved in the French National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts.24 His inventions were, however, handicapped by problems with water supply and maintaining steam pressure.24 In 1801, Richard Trevithick built and demonstrated his Puffing Devil road locomotive, believed by many to be the first demonstration of a steam-powered road vehicle. It was unable to maintain sufficient steam pressure for long periods, and was of little practical use.
The development of external combustion engines is detailed as part of the history of the car, but often treated separately from the development of true cars. A variety of steam-powered road vehicles were used during the first part of the 19th century, including steam cars, steam buses, phaetons, and steam rollers. Sentiment against them led to the Locomotive Acts of 1865.