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Encyclopedically about car
A car is a wheeled, self-powered motor vehicle used for transportation and a product of the automotive industry. Most definitions of the term specify that cars are designed to run primarily on roads, to have seating for one to eight people, to typically have four wheels with tyres, and to be constructed principally for the transport of people rather than goods. The year 1886 is regarded as the birth year of the modern car. In that year, German inventor Karl Benz built the Benz Patent-Motorwagen. Cars did not become widely available until the early 20th century. One of the first cars that was accessible to the masses was the 1908 Model T, an American car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Cars were rapidly adopted in the United States of America, where they replaced animal-drawn carriages and carts, but took much longer to be accepted in Western Europe and other parts of the world.
Gasoline "???s?li?n", also known as petrol "?p?tr?l" outside North America, is a transparent, petroleum-derived liquid that is used primarily as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives.
On average, a 42-gallon barrel of crude oil (159 L) yields about 19 US gallons (72 L) of gasoline when processed in an oil refinery, though this can and does vary based on the crude oil source's assay.
The characteristic of a particular gasoline blend to resist igniting too early (which causes knocking and reduces efficiency in reciprocating engines) is measured by its octane rating. Gasoline is produced in several grades of octane rating. Tetraethyllead and other lead compounds are no longer used in most areas to regulate and increase octane-rating, but many other additives are put into gasoline to improve its chemical stability, control corrosiveness and provide fuel system 'cleaning,' and determine performance characteristics under intended use. Sometimes, gasoline also contains ethanol as an alternative fuel, for economic or environmental reasons.
Gasoline in the USA
From 1998 to 2004, the price of gasoline fluctuated between $1 and $2 USD per U.S. gallon. After 2004, the price increased until the average gas price reached a high of $4.11 per U.S. gallon in mid-2008, but receded to approximately $2.60 per U.S. gallon by September 2009. More recently, the U.S. experienced an upswing in gas prices through 2011, and by 1 March 2012, the national average was $3.74 per gallon.
In the United States, most consumer goods bear pre-tax prices, but gasoline prices are posted with taxes included. Taxes are added by federal, state, and local governments. As of 2009, the federal tax is 18.4? per gallon for gasoline and 24.4? per gallon for diesel (excluding red diesel). Among states, the highest gasoline tax rates, including the federal taxes as of 2005, are New York (62.9?/gal), Hawaii (60.1?/gal), and California (60?/gal). However, many states' taxes are a percentage and thus vary in amount depending on the cost of the gasoline.
About 9% of all gasoline sold in the US in May 2009 was premium grade, according to the Energy Information Administration. Consumer Reports magazine says, "If (your owner?s manual) says to use regular fuel, do so?there?s no advantage to a higher grade." The Associated Press said premium gas?which is a higher octane and costs more per gallon than regular unleaded?should be used only if the manufacturer says it is "required". Cars with turbocharged engines and high compression ratios often specify premium gas because higher octane fuels reduce the incidence of "knock", or fuel pre-detonation. The price of gas varies during the summer and winter months.