The European Union has announced plans to prohibit the sale of combustion engines, which generate power by burning fuel, by 2035. This move signals a significant shift in the automotive industry and the end of an era for one of humanity’s most groundbreaking inventions, the internal combustion engine.

 

Since the dawn of the human age, people have always been trying to find and create new and better ways of transport. We have come a long way, from the first ever horse and carriage to the first ever motorcycle, and, of course, the first ever aircraft. But notably, it’s the automobile that revolutionized private transport. I have always been captivated by cars, right from my childhood. My passion for them started with model cars and only grew stronger when I discovered Fast and the Furious, Disney Cars, and, of course, the original Top Gear.

 

 

Internal combustionengines have come a long way. From early engines producing just over one horsepower to some modern engines managing over 1000 hp. The first automobile, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, was powered by a Benz 954 cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine. Many newer models were launched by Carl Benz, including the one that was used by Bertha Benz, Carl’s wife, for the first long-distance trip by an automobile. Little did they know that this was the beginning of something extraordinary.

 

As the world of automobiles evolved, and as technology became more advanced, people yearned for speed and power. There is a lot more to IC engines than meets the eye. People all over the world have dedicated their lives to coming up with ways to improve these engines. All in all, it is estimated that over 100,000 patents created the modern automobile and motorcycle.

 

Some say, “What’s the big deal? They’re just a means of transport after all”. However, the legacy that these engines have left behind suggests otherwise. The naturally aspirated Italian V12s, the Porsche flat sixes, the American muscle V8s, the MazdaWankel rotaries, the iconic Toyota 2JZ-GTE, and many more have truly captured the hearts of car enthusiasts alike.

 

 

The car scene around the world is truly diverse. You can find car enthusiasts in every corner, but they all have something unique in their approach to cars. No matter your passion, whether it’s pushing the limits on the track, crafting unique customizations, or preserving automotive history, there’s a place for you here. The motoring world has seen many cultures rapidly growing with time, be it the “Boy Racers” in the UK, “Lowriders” in the US, or the “Stance Cars” and “Kaido Racers” in Japan.

 

The work that we put into our vehicles is what makes them so satisfying. If we were to shuffle timelines and come to autonomous vehicles 100 years ago, we wouldn’t be so fascinated by cars and bikes today.

 

 

Today, the world of automobiles is undergoing a fundamental change. A transition from internal combustion engines to battery-powered electric vehicles. This is not being received well by the car community. I won’t get into the dispute over whether EVs have higher lifetime emissions than traditional ICEs, but a significant portion of the car community is unwilling to accept EVs. A car enthusiast arguing against the use of EVs will most likely reason with something along the lines of “They don’t make cool noises, spit flames, or give you goosebumps like the Group B and Le Mans monsters”.

 

The End of An Era

It is inevitable though to stop EVs. They are the future, whether we like it or not. Of course, some car makers are still working on making ICEs more efficient. Porsche is working on their synthetic eFuel, which works with existing IC engines and promises net zero emissions. Toyota, on the other hand, has been coming up with hybrids and hydrogen-powered engines. But many countries have pledged zero-emissions goals and the end of internal combustion engines is imminent.

 

Just like steam engines and IC engines replaced horseback riding, EVs will replace ICEs. Whether people wish to admit it or not, it is the unfortunate fate of ICEs. In a few decades, you won’t find an internal combustion engine vehicle outside a museum or collection. As much as I hate it, it’s a fact.

 

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