Charging Ahead

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Oxford University Press, Oct 29, 1998 - Technology & Engineering - 240 pages
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Charging Ahead is a classic tale of perseverance against daunting odds in the pursuit of a personal dream--and an environmental revolution. You'd have to be a fool to market a consumer electric car, let alone challenge the big three auto makers with a little start up company. But MIT graduate James Worden, with his girlfriend and a handful of audacious engineers, did both and he's well on his way to success. In this marvelous narrative, business writer Joe Sherman vividly describes how Worden and his team built the world's most advanced EV (electric vehicle), the Sunrise. Combining insightful biography with the best of science and business writing, Sherman captures not only Worden's own gripping story, but also the technical challenge of designing an electric car in an age of anxiety over the environment. He depicts Worden's fascination with EVs from childhood (he built his award winning first electric car in high school), tracing it through his monomaniacal career at MIT, where he organized a student team that built EVs for races worldwide, to the founding of Solectria, a company committed to building a consumer electric car. Sherman shows how, despite all the obstacles, Solectria eventually lined up such strategic partners as the Pentagon on its way to producing the Sunrise a lightweight, all-composite, high tech commuter car. The Sunrise would triumph over rivals from the Big Three in the 7th American Tour de Sol, and later travel from Boston to New York on a single battery charge. Charging Ahead is an engaging story of James Worden's struggle to succeed with idealism, energy, and technological superiority against seemingly impossible odds.

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CHARGING AHEAD: An Electric Car that Goes the Distance

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A fitfully interesting case study of the collision of alternative technology, big business, and government. Automotive business writer Sherman (In The Rings of Saturn, 1993) here turns to the ... Read full review

Charging ahead

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Business is business, and the people in the car business will tell you that electric cars don't sell. Sherman (In the Rings of Saturn, LJ 10/15/93) chronicles the Solectria Corporation's efforts to ... Read full review


1 The Freewheeling James Worden Wins Another Race
Rebirth of a Dormant Industry
3 James Testifies on the Promise of Clean Cars
4 An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
A GoofyLooking Aluminum Thing
6 Racing SolarElectric Cars at MIT
This Marvelously Tattered Canopy
The First World Solar Challenge
13 No ZeroEmission Vehicle Mandate Is a Stake In the Heart
14 The Sunrise Project and Its Partners
Twelfth International Electric Vehicle Symposium
16 Sunrise Almost Stalls Then Rolls Finally Races
The Seventh NESEA American Tour de Sol
18 Crippling the CleanCar Mandate
19 Getting Sunrise into the Mainstream

The Founding of Solectria Corporation
10 Forces Gathering Behind Cleaner Cars and Air
Solectrias First Years in Business
The Ozone Transport Tale

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About the author (1998)

Joe Sherman is the author of In the Rings of Saturn(OUP). A freelance journalist, he lives in Vermont.

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