The Great Race

The Global Quest for the Car of the Future

The Great Race

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

The world’s great manufacturing juggernaut—the $3 trillion automotive industry—is in the throes of a revolution. Its future will include cars Henry Ford and Karl Benz could scarcely imagine. 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 US 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 ex-pat, a quixotic Japanese nuclear engineer, and a string of billion-dollar wagers by governments and corporations.

“To explain the scramble for the next-generation auto—and the roles played in that race by governments, auto makers, venture capitalists, environmentalists, and private inventors—comes Levi Tillemann’s The Great Race…Mr. Tillemann seems ideally cast to guide us through the big ideas percolating in the world’s far-flung workshops and labs” (The Wall Street Journal). His account is incisive and riveting, explaining how America bounced back in this global contest and what it will take to command the industrial future.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476773506 | 
  • January 2016
List Price $16.00
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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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