Classification of Automobiles

An automobile is a vehicle that is capable of propelling itself. Since the 17th century, several attempts have been made to design and construct a practically operative automobile.
Today, automobiles play a crucial role in the social, economic and industrial growth of any country.
After the designing of Internal Combustion Engines, the Automobile industries has seen a tremendous growth.

Automobile - Lamborghini car

Classification of Automobiles:

Automobiles can be classified into several types based on many criteria. A brief classification of automobiles is listed below:

1. Based on Purpose :

  • Passenger vehicles: These vehicles carry passengers. e.g: Buses, Cars, passenger trains.
  • Goods vehicles: These vehicles carry goods from one place to another place. e.g: Goods lorry, Goods carrier.
  • Special Purpose: These vehicles include Ambulance, Fire engines, Army Vehicles.

2. Based on Load Capacity:

  • Light duty vehicle: Small motor vehicles. eg: Car, jeep, Scooter, motorcycle
  • Heavy duty vehicle:  large and bulky motor vehicles. e.g: Bus, Truck, Tractor

3. Based on fuel used:

  • Petrol engine vehicles : Automobiles powered by a petrol engine. e.g: scooters, cars, motorcycles.
  • Diesel engine vehicles : Automobiles powered by diesel engine. e.g: Trucks, Buses, Tractors.
  • Gas vehicles : Vehicles that use gas turbine as a power source. e.g: Turbine powered cars.
  • Electric vehicles : Automobiles that use electricity as a power source. e.g: Electric cars, electric buses.
  • Steam Engine vehicles : Automobiles powered by steam engine. e.g: Steamboat, steam locomotive, steam wagon.

4. Based on Drive of the vehicles:

  • Left-Hand drive : Steering wheel fitted on the left-hand side.
  • Right-Hand drive : Steering wheel fitted on the right-hand side.
  • Fluid drive : Vehicles employing torque converter, fluid flywheel or hydramatic transmission.

5. Based on number of wheels and axles:

  • Two wheeler : motorcycles, scooters
  • Three-wheelers : Tempo, auto-rickshaws
  • Four wheeler : car, Jeep, Bus, truck
  • Six-wheelers : Buses and trucks have six tires out of which four are carried on the rear wheels for additional reaction.
  • Six axle wheeler : Dodge(10 tire) vehicle

6. Based on type of transmission:

  • Automatic transmission vehicles: Automobiles that are capable of changing gear ratios automatically as they move. e.g: Automatic Transmission Cars.
  • Manual transmission vehicles: Automobiles whose gear ratios have to be changed manually.
  • Semi-automatic transmission vehicles: Vehicles that facilitate manual gear changing with a clutch pedal.

7. Based on Suspension system used:

  • Convectional – Leaf Spring
  • Independent – Coil spring, Torsion bar, Pneumatic.

Vinodh Reddy is an Editor-in-chief of ME Mechanical. He holds Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree in Mechanical Engineering from BITS-Pilani. He also writes for and EduGeneral.

All Comments

  • very good

    awinash Jan 7, 2016 11:05 pm Reply
  • addition, another you can classifying vehicle is based on position of engine
    1)Front engine
    2)Rear engine

    NKOMA, Michael John May 21, 2016 5:48 pm Reply
  • Hi frnd it’s super

    Lenin Jan 2, 2017 10:18 pm Reply

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