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Copyright 2018 by Nicolaus Baumbach. All Rights Reserved

What is a vehicle?
A vehicle (from Latin: vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include, but aren’t limited to: motor vehicles (motorcycles, cars, trucks, buses), watercraft (ships, boats), amphibious vehicles (screw-propelled vehicle, hovercraft), aircraft (airplanes, helicopters) and spacecraft.

Land vehicles are classified broadly by what is used to apply steering and drive forces against the ground: wheeled, tracked, railed or skied. ISO 3833-1977 is the standard, also internationally used in legislation, for road vehicles types, terms and definitions.

It is essential that a vehicle have a source of energy to drive it. Energy can be extracted from external sources, as in the cases of a sailboat, a solar-powered car, or an electric streetcar that uses overhead lines. Energy can also be stored, provided it can be converted on demand and the storing medium's energy density and power density are sufficient to meet the vehicle's needs.


Used by

Human power



Electric Cars, Electric Scooters

Solar energy

Helios, a solar-powered aircraft

Nuclear power

Large Ships and Submarines,  Experimental nuclear-powered aircraft, the Tupolev Tu-119 and the Convair X-6


Experimental Gyrobuses

Wind energy

Sailboats and Land Yachts

Gravitational potential energy

Gliders, skis, bobsleds and numerous other vehicles that go down hill