The Great Race

The Global Quest for the Car of the Future

The Great Race

The Great Race recounts the story of a century-long battle between automakers for market share, profit, and technological dominance—and a race to build the car of the future.

The world’s great manufacturing juggernaut—the $2 trillion automotive industry—is in the throes of a revolution. Its future will include cars Henry Ford and Karl Benz could scarcely have imagined. They will drive themselves, won’t consume oil, and will come in radical shapes and sizes. But the path to that future is fraught. The top contenders are two traditional manufacturing giants, the United States and Japan, and a newcomer, China.

Team America has a powerful and little known weapon in its arsenal: a small group of technology buffs and regulators from California. The story of why and how these men and women could shape the future—how you move, how you work, how you live on earth—is an unexpected tale filled with unforgettable characters: a scorned chemistry professor, a South African visionary who went for broke, an ambitious Chinese expat, a quixotic Japanese nuclear engineer, and a string of billion-dollar wagers by governments and corporations.

Tillemann’s account is incisive and riveting. It explains how America bounced back in this global contest and what it will take to command the industrial future.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476773490 | 
  • January 2015

About the Author

Levi Tillemann
Photograph by Glorianna Tillemann-Dick

Levi Tillemann

Levi Tillemann is the Cal and Jeff Leonard Fellow at the New America Foundation. He previously served as Special Advisor for Policy and International Affairs at the US Department of Energy. Prior to that, Tillemann was the CEO of IRIS Engines—a company he founded with his inventor father to develop a smaller, more efficient, and more powerful combustion engine. Tillemann was also an Associate Director at IHS Energy. He has a PhD from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and speaks Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese.

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