High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry (Hardcover)
A behind-the-scenes look at the robustly competitive race to dominate the market for electric cars, the larger-than-life moguls behind them, and the changes that are transforming the auto industry
In the 1980s, it was unimaginable that the home computer would become as common and easy to use as a toaster. Today, plug-in charging stations and smart grids seem like something still far off in the future. But by 2020, the auto industry will look very different from today's field of troubled auto giants. The combination of technological breakthroughs and charging networks driven by global warming and peak oil makes it clear that revolutionary change in the auto industry is happening right now.
In "High Voltage," Jim Motavalli captures this period of unprecedented change, documenting the evolution from internal combustion engines to electric power. Driven by the auto world's ambitious and sometimes outlandish personalities, the book chronicles the race to dominate the market, focusing on big players like Tesla and Fisker, as well as a tiny start-up and a battery supplier. Flashing forward to the changes we'll see in the coming years, "High Voltage" shows a not-so-distant future where we will live on a smart grid, our cars "fueling," that is, charging, while we shop or sleep. The ramifications of these changes will be on a grander scale than most of us ever imagined altering foreign policy, reducing trade deficits, and perhaps even ending global warming.
About the Author
JIM MOTAVALLI is the author of Forward Drive and several other books. He blogs on clean cars for the New York Times, CBS, and NPR's Car Talk, among others. He lives in Connecticut.
“Electricity has always been the best way to power an automobile. At the dawn of the last century, electric cars were the future, and 100 years later they’re the future again. For that reason, I’m sure you’ll find this book fascinating.” —Jay Leno “The electric car can satisfy over 90 percent of our transportation needs—today. Jim Motavalli's High Voltage lays it all out in a clear and concise manner, for all to see. So what are we waiting for?” —Ed Begley Jr. “Jim’s been on top of the electric car story since day 1—even calling out oil lobbyists on their clandestine anti-EV campaigns back in the 1990s. High Voltage lands us in in 2012 with a well-researched, up-to-the minute dispatch from the front line of one of the most exciting industrial revolutions of our time.” —Chris Paine, director of Who Killed the Electric Car? and Revenge of the Electric Car “With more than two decades of reporting on clean cars to his credit, Jim Motavalli understands the intricacies of the electric-vehicle scene better than just about anyone. His latest book on the subject is an enjoyable, wide-ranging tour of the 21st-century electric-car revival—essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of transportation.” —Seth Fletcher, author of Bottled Lightning and a senior editor at Popular Science
"Positively electric! Each chapter surges with high voltage. When do we see the movie?" —TOM and RAY MAGLIOZZI, NPR'S Car Talk
"Even if you aren't a car enthusiast, [Motavalli's] enthusiasm for the recent surge in electric and plug-in hybrid options on showroom floors, mixed with auto history, first-hand driving experiences and interviews with the industry's key players, makes for an entertaining read...Motavalli's behind-the-scenes perspective gives readers real insight into the possibilities offered by electric cars which clearly will no longer be relegated to a niche market." —E MAGAZINE