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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An overly optimistic look at plug-in electric vehicles
Comprehensive, updated, well-written, and overoptimistic. A truly call to arms for Americans to embrace electric vehicles (EVs) asap. Mr. Billmaier covers everything you need to know about battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and by the last third of the book he actually begins to repeat the arguments ad nauseam. There is no...
Published on October 20, 2010 by Emc2

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars review
Regurgitation of the stuff that has been banded about in almost every media outlet for a very long time... add it to a video and it'll make a very boring film...
Published 6 months ago by A. Meyer


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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An overly optimistic look at plug-in electric vehicles, October 20, 2010
By 
Emc2 (Tropical Ecotopia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge (Hardcover)
Comprehensive, updated, well-written, and overoptimistic. A truly call to arms for Americans to embrace electric vehicles (EVs) asap. Mr. Billmaier covers everything you need to know about battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and by the last third of the book he actually begins to repeat the arguments ad nauseam. There is no question Jolt! is the legitimate heir of Sherry Boschert's Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that will Recharge America , but without the conspiracy theories.

Throughout the book Mr. Billmaier timidly presents EVs as a significant step towards climate change mitigation, and even though Chapter 5 is devoted to the subject ("Emissions Overload"), he cleverly recommends the skeptics and those "just sick of hearing about climate change" to skip this chapter. Why? Because the key argument of the book is the urgency of achieving energy independence, the need for Americans to kick their addiction to oil. Following this approach, the author not only makes a very good case for the cause he is advocating but also palatable for Americans of all political creeds.

I highly recommend Jolt! as a crash course introduction for those who have missed the rationale and developments behind the upcoming wave of plug-in electric vehicles. Nevertheless, for a more balanced down to earth discussion of the subject, I do recommend Plug-In Electric Vehicles: What Role for Washington? and Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability. There are indeed real barriers to the adoption of BEVs and PHEs which Mr. Billmaier decided to minimize or plainly overlook (and that explains the four stars instead of five).

Finally regarding other oversimplifications, omissions, and general biases in favor of electric cars, I will just mention a few more to illustrate:

* He says that China has more than 10 million electric vehicles on the roads today, but to the best of my knowledge what China indeed has is more than 120 million electric bikes, and manufacturing more than 20 million a year. The only commercial electric car is the not so successful BYD F3DM, and fleet testing of the all-electric BYD e6.

* Regarding the BYD F3DM, indeed it was launched in the Chinese market in December 2008, but this plug-in hybrid sold less than 100 units during its first year in the market. Despite its apparent low price of $22K by U.S. standards (effectively beating the Prius, Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf), Mr. Billmaier omits to mention that its gasoline sibling sells in China for just $9K, and despite of the government subsidies put in place in 2010, the F3DM plug-in price still costs $6k more than the best selling gasoline-powered F3 model (not to mention that there has been reports of battery unreliability).

* About his cooked numbers to show that electric cars make economic sense today, well, just read the short essay Going Green with Electric Cars - Energy Policy or Just Sexy?. This e-book not only shows that electric cars are an expensive investment that makes economic sense only in the states where you get a $5,000 rebate in top of the $7,500 federal tax credit, but the book also shows the real prices of the clean energy sources that would make electric cars really green (full lifecycle not just tailpipe emissions).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't wait to buy my first electric car, December 7, 2010
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This review is from: JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge (Hardcover)
I loved this book. Being a golfer and having a preference for electric golf carts over the one's propelled by gasoline, I've dreamed about owning an electric vehicle thinking they'd be much nicer to drive. The book suggests that it's true. More importantly, I've believed for a few years now that electric vehicles are the "Big Audacious Goal" for transforming our energy sector and the automotive industry. It's refreshing to read a factual, well documented and well researched book that confirms this.

Jolt! is an easy read and helps to dispel some myths. For example, one myth I've heard is that cars weigh what they weigh and the laws of physics tell us that it takes the same amount of energy to push them down the road. It's true that a battery system the size of a gasoline tank holding 20 gallons of gasoline has a fraction of the energy density of the 20 gallons. On the other hand, Mr. Billmaier dispels this myth in Chapter 6. He shows us that the efficiency of EVs and the system for delivering electricity to the battery for use in powering the vehicle flips the comparison dramatically on its head.

There are so many examples like this in the book dealing with other important and relevant topics such as trends in battery costs, range anxiety, recharging infrastructure, emissions data, the "Watt Bucket" that stabilizes grid capacity and the driver experience. Mr. Billmaier, as he does in Chapter 6, deals boldly and head on with each topic and usually flips the common perception by 180 degrees. The FAQ section at the end of the book is a quick way to gain full appreciation for this.

The ultimate point of Mr. Billmaier's book is to stress the importance of EVs for US national security and economic interests. We import 5 billion barrels of oil annually which leads to $500 billion at $100 per barrel going outside the US economy. "Jolt!" is a valuable book that brings significant clarity to a vision which contemplates redirecting that flow of dollars back into the US "electriconomy".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crisp,Clear, Objective Data about USA essential Electric Economy, October 10, 2010
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This review is from: JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge (Hardcover)
This book contains the clearest statement of the facts of what the US's continued dependence on others for our energy is doing to our economy, our politics and our environment. I don't just mean our continued investment as a nation in blood and treasure to prop and waste declining oil reserves. Economy is defense in so many ways and this books shows it.

Billmaier lays out what the current lack of will and direction from many of our political leaders of both parties is doing to our defense and future economic security. This book is not for Greens, Reds or Blues but for all of us interested in our country's future. The data he's collected comes from the all sides of the political and biz spectrum and is sobering. The amount of our taxes that are going to waste and worse the opportunity cost that is being lost due to short term vision is both staggering and depressing.
Maybe he's found some to unite the Red and Blue parts of our country at last, at least I hope so.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read about the electric car and its benefits for the U.S., October 6, 2010
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This review is from: JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge (Hardcover)
This book did a great job in showing how the electric car is vital to the U.S. from an economical, environmental, and national security standpoint. It was interesting to see how electric cars, and the coming "electroconomy," will create an industry boom that will dwarf the computer and energy markets. I would defintely say this book is a must read to anyone intersted in the current crisis' our country faces, and what our generation, and the coming generations, can do to turn things around.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Persuasive arguments for better US energy policies, December 22, 2011
This review is from: JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge (Hardcover)
Here is an outline of what you can find in this book:

Foreword: Robert Cumberford, of Automobile magazine, explains how analysis of his personal one-year driving log persuaded him that an electric car with limited driving range can still be satisfactory for 90% of driving needs.

Introduction: The author tells how a conversation with colleagues in Silicon Valley led to two years of study about how electric vehicles can contribute to energy independence and a prosperous new "electriconomy".

Part I: Driving the EV Highway

1) Sputnik Redux: Calls for a national drive toward electric transportation comparable to the space race.
2) National Insecurity: US oil consumption is way out of proportion to our share of world reserves.
3) Gas Costs What? True cost of maintaining our oil-based economy is more than we can afford.
4) Running on Empty: Discovery of new sources of oil cannot meet projected world demand.
5) Emissions Overload: Electric cars themselves produce zero emissions.
6) Electrons vs. Molecules: The Economic Smackdown: Electric cars cost less to run and maintain than gas cars.
7) Trading the Oil Barrel for the Watt Bucket: Existing electrical grid can easily provide overnight charging for millions of electric cars.
8) Zero to Sixty: The EV as the Economic Turbocharger: US must lead in electric vehicle technology or it will fall behind China in economic development.
9) So Who Wants to Buy a Texaco Station? Jobs in clean energy will increase as use of oil for transportation declines.

Part II: Out in Front

10) Life in the Fast Lane: Bob Lutz,a global warming skeptic, is a strong proponent for the General Motors Volt, which he describes as an electric vehicle with a 40-mile range, with a generator to extend the range when needed.
11) Success is a Team Sport: Mike Tinskey, of Ford, and David Cole, of the Center for Automotive Research, see battery techology as a promising field for US manufacturing.
12) Smart Money: Ray Lane, who oversees EV investments at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, believes that national security issues justify government subsidies to promote clean energy technology, which has tremendous potential for economic growth.
13) The Electric Fuel Tank: Bart Riley and David Vieau, of A123 Systems, a leading battery development company, believe that US innovation can lower costs of lithium batteries and ultracapacitors, but political support may be needed to stay ahead of China.
14) Plugged In: Richard Lowenthal, of ChargePoint Network, sees the need for public charging stations for drivers of electric cars without a home garage.
15) Charge America: David Crane, of NRG Energy, Inc., plans to install Level II and Level III charging stations in the Houston area to provide fast charges for drivers without a garage housing a Level I charger for use overnight.
16) The Smarter Grid: Charlie Allcock, of Portland General Electric, is confident that electric utilities can respond to customer demands for charging electric vehicles at home and at public charging stations.
17) National Energy: Steven Chu, US Secretary of Energy, sees the transition to electricity for our personal transportation as inevitable.
18) Houston, We Have a Solution: Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston, sees her city as a a good place to show the public how the all-electric Nissan LEAF can improve air quality.
19) China's Charge: Wang Chuan-Fu, of BTD Auto, has a joint venture with Daimler AG to develop all-electric cars for China, and has significant government support.

Part III: The Road Forward

20) Free Gas: Roger Brent uses a five-kilowatt photovoltaic on his California rooftop to power his home and his Tesla Roadster.
21) Back to the Future: A brief review of how previous generations of electric vehicles lost in competition with gas-fueled cars during the era of cheap oil.
22) Energize Your Motors: Predicts rapid growth in market share for electric cars in the near future with the adoption of appropriate policies leading to energy independence.
23) Electric Overdrive: More predictions of lower battery costs leading to electric vehicles winning in features and costs when compared to cars with internal combustion engines.
24) A Tale of Two Cars: Comparison of two "composite" cars, the "Foyonda" based on traditional gas-powered models (Ford Focus/Toyota Camry/Honda Accord) versus the "Volteacus" based on plug-in electrics (General Motors Volt/Nissan LEAF/Ford Focus). [First paragraph names top-selling US models in 2009 as Camry, Accord, and Fusion, so I'm wondering if the Ford model in the gas-powered group should have been Fusion, not Focus.]
25) Now What? Presents an action program for adoption of policies leading to US energy independence and leadership in clean energy technology.

Addendum

Roadblocks and Speed Bumps (Frequently Asked Questions): 11 pages with 23 questions and answers.
Websites for More Information: 3 pages listing web addresses under 5 headings.
Glossary of Terms: 3 pages defining 19 terms and abreviations.

Acknowledgments (single page)

There is no index, leading me to rate the book with four stars rather than five.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars review, March 3, 2014
Regurgitation of the stuff that has been banded about in almost every media outlet for a very long time... add it to a video and it'll make a very boring film...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced and Informative, November 14, 2011
By 
JP (Hendersonville, Tennessee) - See all my reviews
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This is the best presentation of facts and predictions regarding electric vehicles I have read. I especially like a series of chapters where the author presents the views of other industry insiders and commentators such as Bob Lutz and adds his commentary to them. Incorporating others predictions and opinions helped to balance the book and is something I found refreshing. Often authors repeat the same mantra throughout a book, good to see arguments from different perspectives.

The author was a little too complementary of current EV's such as the LEAF and volt, he over states their performance and characteristics. I did find the authors governmental background very illuminating when talking about energy policies and direction.

An essential read, for both the EV evangelist and skeptic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge, April 17, 2011
By 
mark yormark (Renton, WA, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge (Hardcover)
First, let me say I am a builder of an electric car, (C6 Corvette EV). I am obviously prejudice in my positive outlook for the future of the electric car.
Before reading the book I doubted the prognostication of industry analysts about the slow growth of future electric vehicle sales. Mr James Billmaier explains in real terms a much better outlook for EV sales.
Soon, (without any government incentives), the electric vehicle will be a much lesser cost to operate per mile than the Internal Combustion Engine vehicle even at today's cost per gallon of fuel. Price per mile traveled will only improve for EV's as the economy of scale will lessen the price. The largest part of the cost for the EV's is the battery pack. There is battery technology right now that claims their Lithium-ion batteries will be one third the cost of today's batteries. [...]
And it will only get better with time.
It was a great read!
JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening look at what the Electric Car can do for the US., October 5, 2010
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This review is from: JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge (Hardcover)
If you think Jolt is just a book about electric cars being the next thing, think again. Jolt not only gives a great look into the electric car industry but provides a solution for how the United States can establish energy independence from foreign oil as well as points to ways that the electric car revolution can fundamentally turn the US economy around. A very timely book and an easy, enjoyable read that I'd recommend to everyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for the well organized book, December 17, 2013
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This review is from: JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge (Hardcover)
The author has an interesting view of EV's future. Must read. Really well and logical method organized. Keep up the good work.
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JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge
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