** The Great Race by Levi Tilleman

The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future tells the story of the development of electric cars, a story that brings together car manufacturers, of course, but, perhaps more prominently, the California Air Resource Board and the Japanese and Chinese governments, along with a series of cameo appearances by Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Hummer, a forgotten Toyota export called Toyopet (really!), and a solar vehicle race from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia.

The last vehicle appearance in the book is the Google self-driving car, which cruises my neighborhood daily. (When it becomes commercialized, I will be able to ride it very safely since it must know every cup de sac around here…)

If you thought that cars were designed by engineers, it’s time to read about the political pressures on the car designers.


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