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ZOOM: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future
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ZOOM: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  24 reviews
ZOOM takes listeners inside the global race to build the car of the future, as pioneers in Japan, India, China, and the USA tackle the challenge of creating automobiles that will run on cleaner energy sources.

The authors write: "Oil is the problem. Cars are the solution." We are living in the midst of a Great Awakening in which environmentalists, entrepreneurs, and politi
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Twelve
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Dec 10, 2021 rated it liked it
This was difficult to get through. I did enjoy it but it felt very rushed to start.
Nov 09, 2007 rated it liked it
I had mixed feelings on this book. The future of energy is obviously a topic that I'm really interested in. And, as the authors both write for the Economist, I figured it would be well written, knowledgeable and informative. It was informative and fairly knowledgeable, but surprisingly poorly written. I think the main problem stemmed from the fact that it was written by two authors. The reason I say this is that the authors had an irritating tendency to repeat themselves (or, more likely, each o ...more
Nov 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a good book on the future of fuel for our cars -- electricity, ethanol, gas, natural gas, etc. I was fascinated with the history of why we came addicted to oil, including when Franklin D Roosevelt went to Saudi Arabia to promise we will defend them if they promise to alway give us oil (at the end of WWII). I was amazed that Saudi Arabia can produce oil for less than $2/barrel. So when prices get to high and alternative fuels start looking good, they can drop prices.

I learned that hydroge
Nov 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars-books
Well, I really interested in 'future energy' and this book is absolutely in my shopping list. (I hope I can buy, or get it soon).. Looks like it's contain a 'pro-and-contra' stuffs, really fascinating and challenging to read.

finally, I have bought this book at Kinokuniya, 209.000 IDR, worth the price, yes. I'll write some review about this book later, after I finish reading it.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
The subtitle of "The race to power the car of the future" is overcooked: this is a book largely about the oil, and largely about oil in the US economy.

Like when you go to a comedy gig or concert and they announce the 'support act' - everyone groans - you ache for the first half of the book - history about oil and the US car industry - to be over, so that you can hear about thoughts on the future. It's frustrating.

Overall, it's well researched and there are some interesting sections, but it's bee
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Oil and money. That's what drives the world. This was interesting even though written in 2007. Big companies don't care at all about climate change and doing what is best for the Earth. This book is a bit disjointed and not a page turner yet it was revealing to read about the car companies , the motivations and interrelationships between countries. I feel certain after reading this that there is no hope for a just world when great science and ideas are available yet ignored because they would d ...more
Jun 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Some thoughts on Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future.

This 2007 book is written by two correspondents for The Economist, and provides a US-centric view of the geopolitical and economic forces that link Big Oil and Big Auto, and of the potential for a hydrogen economy to resolve the environmental issues surrounding the burning of fossil fuels. The first six chapters provide a (rather disjointed) overview of the history of cars and oil companies, and the efforts that these industrie
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: professional
Some thoughts on Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future.

This 2007 book is written by two correspondents for The Economist, and provides a US-centric view of the geopolitical and economic forces that link Big Oil and Big Auto, and of the potential for a hydrogen economy to resolve the environmental issues surrounding the burning of fossil fuels. The first six chapters provide a (rather disjointed) overview of the history of cars and oil companies, and the efforts that these industrie
Mar 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Why you want to run your cars on something other than oil

Authors Iain Carson and Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran depict “Big Oil” and “Big Auto” as the engines behind much of the world’s climate problem. Rather than condemn both, they look ahead and describe how China or the U.S., with the help of major car manufacturers, could lead the way to an oil-free future. They understand that personal transportation is too beneficial to dismiss out of hand, but that it must change. They acknowledge that the worl
I was hoping that this book would be an insight into all that is happening in alternative fuels and into what we can expect from automobiles in the near and distant future... instead it was mostly a history of the American Automobile and Oil industry... It was worth my reading considering my interests and desire for knowledge in these areas, however, it was fairly redundant and basically regurgitating of facts and economic figures. If you really care about cars and alt. fuels this might be worth ...more
Jun 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this read. The authors, who are writers for The Economist, generate a great overview of the history of the oil and automobile industry... and their interdependecy.

They appear to not have a particular axe to grind. And they let us know why were are where we are in terms of dependence on oil. They give good insight into the option going forward as oil and gas have reached hisorical highs and the fact that we may just have reach peak oil production.

They certainly reinforce long
Dec 20, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Listened to the abridged audio version of this and really enjoyed it. The book offers a balanced look at the history behind our addiction to oil, some glimpses of amazing new technology and an optimistic(!) yet cautionary conclusion and call to arms. It is narrated by one of the authors, Vijay Vaitheeswaran, and I enjoyed his presentation. Plus, I met Vijay a couple of years ago when he was on campus for a faculty event and I had my picture taken with him - how cool is that? :) ...more
Tin Wee
Dec 05, 2011 rated it liked it
This book gives a good history of how the oil and automobile industry first developed almost in sync in the US, and later how the oil industry started its decline when the US became a net importer. The car industry however continued its progress until the Japanese companies entered the picture. Leaner, innovative, and less hobbled by unions, the Japanese have more or less dominated the global car industry. Going ahead. the book argues that the production of green cars will move the world away fr ...more
Alison Prendergast
May 07, 2008 marked it as to-read
The authors of this book have written for the Economist for a long time. I saw the book on a table and picked it up, and then let a friend borrow it (a friend who, I'm sure, will never read it **sigh**). I just heard one of the authors on the NewsHour and he was really interesting. For example, he talked about how there "is no real scarcity of oil." fascinating. enlightening. tell me more Mr. Vaitheeswaran.
Here's the interview:
Dec 12, 2007 rated it liked it
There are many new ways to think about the way cars will eventually change. Oil (gasoline) and the market that is shaping or driving (no pun intended) the development of personal transportation is really open to many paths. Really sheds some light on different aspects of the problem and how different countries, corporations and energy producers are dealing with it.
Jun 04, 2010 rated it liked it
I read this book within the month, and I already barely remember it. What does that tell you? (Hopefully it doesn't tell you that I'm dumb and have no long-term memory. Wait, that IS it.... Crap!) ...more
Umit Batmaz
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A good work about the automotive industry and its future depending on the energy dilemma. I have got many interesting and amazing informations about the new techniques and developments from his studies.
Oct 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this as a Bot as well as read it in book form. Found it to be interesting,insightful and covered a wide range of developing transportation technology.

This is an area I know little that it gave me a nice background in this area.
Dec 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I particularly loved the suggestions for creating a society that relies on alternative energy solutions especially for automobiles.
Aug 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I thought that I would find this subject matter interesting, but I confess I didn't make it all the way through this book. I bet I'd love it as a documentary! ...more
Sara Phelps
Very interesting and informative, though it felt like a textbook at times.
Apr 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very informative book on oil, and the ties between the auto and oil industries and what is next for powering cars.
Christopher Mcdermott
Good book if now a little outdated.

Good overview but much has changed in the energy sphere that would have some effect on the conclusions from this book.
Jeremy Stephens
Feb 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-of-2011
yep. it was about oil.yep. pretty boring. i learned a bit about the history of the auto industry which is the only reason this didn't get a lower rating. yep
Mike Frazier
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Dec 03, 2020
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May 21, 2012
Mikael Larsson
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Feb 19, 2014
David Lee
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Nov 04, 2016
Kyle Duncan
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Mar 31, 2012
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