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Forward Drive: The Race to Build Clean Cars for the Future

Overview

Alternative-fuel cars from major automakers are entering the U.S. market — promising far better performance and range than the disappointing electric vehicles of past decades — "clean" cars are no longer being relegated to side-show status; they're about to take center stage.

Forward Drive presents the fascinating story of the race to build the cars of the future — ones that can help to address the problems (including global warming, ...
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Overview

Alternative-fuel cars from major automakers are entering the U.S. market — promising far better performance and range than the disappointing electric vehicles of past decades — "clean" cars are no longer being relegated to side-show status; they're about to take center stage.

Forward Drive presents the fascinating story of the race to build the cars of the future — ones that can help to address the problems (including global warming, fossil-fuel depletion, and urban sprawl) that have accompanied the rise and spread of traditional gas-powered cars. The book traces the history of automobile development, including early attempts to create practical electric vehicles, and it explores new technologies for clean cars, especially hybrid (gas/electric) drives and hydrogen-based fuel cells.

In his research, author Jim Motavalli conducted extensive interviews with fuel-cell makers, energy researchers, and key auto-industry figures at GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, and Honda, giving us a clear picture of how U.S. and foreign automakers are getting serious about clean cars. With his passion for cars and his knowledge of their history and workings, he presents an insightful, informative, and highly readable book about revolutionary cars on the immediate horizon.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite Motavalli's position as editor of E: The Environmental Magazine, this is not a polemic describing the horrors of gasoline-powered cars. To be sure, Motavalli is firmly in favor of moving toward more fuel-efficient, less-polluting autos, but he is pragmatic enough to realize that such a change is not going to occur at the snap of some environmentalist's fingers. In his cogently written, well-researched account, Motavalli argues that market forces are ushering the U.S. into a clean-car era. Improvements in technology involving batteries and fuel cells, along with global warming, dwindling oil reserves and government mandates such as that of California's Air Resources Board, which calls for 10% of an automaker's fleet to be zero-emission by 2003, are all merging to create a market for electronic cars. But the most important factor driving increased domestic research into non-internal combustion engines (hybrid cars that combine gasoline with alternative power sources as well as hydrogen-propelled cars) is the fear that Detroit could be blindsided by the introduction of clean cars by foreign manufacturers, which American car makers believe could do the same damage to their market share as Toyota and Honda did when they began selling fuel-efficient autos a few decades ago. While Motavalli addresses environmental issues, his straightforward account is more likely to appeal to car enthusiasts who want the inside track on the status of electronic vehicles. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578050727
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books
  • Publication date: 6/26/2001
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,224,059
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Motavalli, editor of E: The Environmental Magazine, is also the author of Breaking Gridlock: Moving Toward Transportation That Works. He has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Salon, and many other publications. He lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Pulling the Plug: A Brief History of Alternative Motion 3
Ch. 2 A Dizzying Ride: Internal Combustion's Rapid Rise and Coming Decline 18
Ch. 3 Engines of Ingenuity: New Technologies for the Clean Car 51
Ch. 4 Road Warriors and Early Adopters: Living with a Battery-Powered EV 78
Ch. 5 U-Turn: The Big Three Get Serious About Green Cars 109
Ch. 6 The Global Green Car: Germany and Japan on the Fast Track 152
Ch. 7 Thinking About Tomorrow: Visionaries, Pessimists, and Investors at the Crossroads 175
Ch. 8 Jump-Starting the EV: Federal Funding for Alternative Fuel 199
Ch. 9 Clearing the Air: Clean Cars and Sustainable Transportation in the Twenty-First Century 221
Afterword 238
People Interviewed 248
Notes 253
Select Bibliography 268
Index 270
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