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JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America Must Take Charge Hardcover – October 1, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Billmaier has devoted his professional life to predicting how emerging technologies will impact our lives in the future. To his credit, he has been astonishingly accurate.

He is a founding partner of Charge Northwest, an electric vehicle infrastructure advisory and software integration company. Most recently, Billmaier served as chairman and  CEO of Melodeo, Inc., the leading cloud-based media platform company, which was acquired in June 2010 by Hewlett-Packard. A 30-year technology veteran and inventor, he holds more than 80 granted and pending patents.

Billmaier has served as chairman and CEO of three companies, including Asymetrix, which he led to a successful IPO in 1998, and Digeo, Inc., which he started with Microsoft  legend, Paul Allen. While CEO of Digeo, Billmaier became the only entrepreneur to win back-to-back EMMY awards for technical achievement. Prior to moving to the Pacific  Northwest, Billmaier was vice president and general manager of Sun Microsystems’ Networking Software Division, where he led the development and marketing teams behind  Sun’s first Internet offerings. Billmaier has made a lifelong career out of studying American ingenuity and innovation. All that he has learned about technology’s effect on our lives and society informs this important and timely book.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Advantage Media Group (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159932220X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599322209
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,689,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Emc2 VINE VOICE on October 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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.
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