Last updated 9/21/2019
I'm not sure if this is the appropriate Sub-forum for this, but Reference Documents didn't really seem to be the right place. Mods, please feel free to move if there's a more appropriate sub-forum. This may be a good choice to make a sticky, just to give newbies some ideas.
This list primarily consists of those books I have read and found the most interesting, useful and/or thought-provoking on the subject (whether or not I agree with the author's conclusions); inevitably, it reflects my biases. In general, I prefer books where the author presents me with the objective data and arguments on all
sides of an issue without sticking a finger on the scale, and lets me reach my own conclusions. If the author feels they have to express their own opinion in a particular instance, they clearly label it as such. But, the author will have to convince me by the quality of their evidence and the strength of their argument, not the passion with which they express it. An excellent example of this approach is in David Mackay's book, listed below. Mackay sums up this approach as 'Numbers not adjectives'.
Other readers will have different biases, so I'd like for anyone who has books they recommend to post them along with a short review, and I will consolidate them into this list. Recommended books in the list where the publication date is followed by a name/MNL ID in bold
inside square brackets [ ] have been recommended by that MNL member; all others are by me (GRA).
Electric Vehicle History
"Taking Charge: The Electric Automobile in America"; Schiffer, Michael B.; 1994. A popular account of the early days of electric vehicles around the start of the 20th Century.
"The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History"; Kirsch, David; 2000. An academic treatment (originally a PhD. dissertation) of the above, but also includes info on EV developments and use in Europe, commercial use of EV taxis, trucks, streetcars, contemporary cost comparisons between EV, gas and horse commercial vehicles, details of electric utilities boosting or ignoring EVs, etc. Fans of battery exchange ala 'A Better Place' will be interested to learn that mechanized battery exchange was first used by NYC electric taxicabs in 1897. Occasionally a bit slow-going, but well worth it.
"The Electric Vehicle: Technology and Expectations in the Automobile Age"; Mom, Gijs; 2004. Similar to Kirsch, but with greater coverage of early European developments, especially the use of EVs for commercial (taxi/bus/truck) and government use (fire/street sweeper/garbage trucks etc.). Like Kirsch, it's written by an academic so can drag a bit at times, and translation from the original Dutch results in occasionally awkward syntax, but lots of great info here for those with patience.
"Forward Drive: The Race to Build 'Clean' Cars for the Future"; Motavalli, Jim; 2001 [Rec. by TEG
, reviewed by GRA
]. Somewhat outdated now as it mainly concentrates on the AFV fad of the late '90s, fuel cells (see "Bottled Lightning" below for a more recent book covering much the same areas, but with the emphasis on lithium batteries). Note that such fads come and go: in the early to mid '90s it was BEVs, then fuel cells, then hybrids and ethanol, and now we're back to BEVs. Contains much the same kind of rosy predictions for imminent performance and cost improvements from developers/manufacturers of fuel cells (such as Ballard, then riding high) that battery companies are making now, usually shortly before they declare bankruptcy. Still, it provides a useful overview of the CARB battles with the automakers, AFV development up to the late 90s, etc., and Motavalli has a reasonable amount of skepticism as he interviews the various movers and shakers.
"High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug In the Auto Industry"; Motavalli, Jim; 2011. Follow on to the above, and very recent history. Indeed, long-time MNL members have experienced, discussed and in some cases influenced the events in the book, and many of the vehicles described are just reaching the market. Can be read with Fletcher's book below, but Motavalli, a frequent contributor to PluginCars.com, puts more emphasis on the individual cars and companies. See how well his predictions as of 2011 of which companies and cars were likely to sink or swim panned out.
EV Engineering and Development
"The Car that Could: The Inside Story of GM's Revolutionary Electric Vehicle"; Shnayerson, Michael; 1996. Details the development and corporate politics behind the EV1. Highly valuable for anyone who wants to know what it takes to bring a car to market and the many interacting factors that go into it, or who wonders "how difficult can it be to do this or add that?" This book will probably answer the question.
"Electric and Hybrid Vehicles: Design Fundamentals" 2nd ed.; Husain, Dr. Iqbal; 2010. Designed as an interdisciplinary college textbook for electrical and mechanical engineering students who are working on EVs, this is not light reading for anyone who finds equations beyond A+B=C difficult and/or a cure for insomnia. For those remaining (you know who you are), enjoy.
"Electric Bicycles: A Guide to Design and Use"; by Manchin, William C.; Similar to albeit less formal than the above, but covers some of the same ground in less complete fashion, as befits the simpler subject.
"Bottled Energy: Electrical Engineering and the Evolution of Chemical Energy"; Schallenberg, Richard H.; 1982. Details the early development and use of storage batteries, primarily concentrating on lead-acid but with short sections on NiFe and NiCd. Has a fair amount of technical information, but enough text to be useful to the non-technical reader.
"Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars and the New Lithium Economy"; Fletcher, Seth; 2011. Non-technical treatment of the subject, details much of the development history of the Tesla Roadster, Volt and Leaf as well as the history of lithium battery development, the sources and extraction of same, and future developments.
"The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World"; Levine, Steve; 2015. Levine followed and broke the story of Envia and GM, and this book is mostly an expansion of that article which he wrote for "Quartz". He was granted access to Argonne National Labs for a considerable period of time, and the book details the development of NMC chemistry by Michael Thackeray at Argonne and others, as well as the Envia debacle and related issues. This book is a good follow on to Seth Fletcher's 'Bottled Lightning", above. Inevitably, it covers much of the same ground for the early development of Lithium batteries, and Stan Whittingham and John Goodenough are prominent in both books. A patent lawsuit has just been filed by BASF and Argonne accusing another industrial group of violating the Argonne NMC patent, so this book couldn't be more timely.
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
"Annual Evaluation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment and Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development"; California Air Resources Board; 2014. Has details of current and planned stations, where they're located and why, projections of FCEV sales out to 2020, projected H2 demand, station coverage and capacities, operating requirements, etc. http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/ab ... ne2014.pdf
Also see "The Hydrogen Transition" report listed below.
"2015 Annual Evaluation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment and Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development"; California Air Resources Board; 2015. As above, one year later. http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/ab ... t_2015.pdf
"2016 Annual Evaluation of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment and Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development"; California Air Resources Board; 2016. As above, one year later. http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/ab ... t_2016.pdf
"2017 Annual Evaluation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment and Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development"; California Air Resources Board; 2017. As above, one year later. https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/a ... t_2017.pdf
"2018 Annual Evaluation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment & Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development"; California Air Resources Board; 2018. As above, one year later. https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/a ... ovdelivery
"2019 Annual Evaluation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment &Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development"; California Air Resources Board; 2019. As bove, one year later. https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/fi ... _Final.pdf
"Dispersion of permeated hydrogen in residential garages and assessment of explosion hazard for small leaks"; Saffers, J-B., Makarov, D., and Molkov, V.; 2010. Report of controlled test which essentially shows that there is no way for H2 from a leaking auto fuel tank to build up to either flammable or explosive concentrations in a typical home garage, even under highly favorable (realistically impossible) conditions. https://www.engineering.leeds.ac.uk/cpd ... 1030am.pdf
"Feasibility of the SF-BREEZE: a Zero-Emission, Hydrogen Fuel Cell, High-Speed Passenger Ferry"; Pratt, Joseph W., and Klebanoff, Leonard E.; 9/2016. A detailed Sandia Labs assessment of the technical issues and design tradeoffs of the ship, assorted H2 fuel storage methods, and fueling infrastructure, showing costings, gravimetric and volumetric energy densities of various types of power plant including a BEV and diesel, GHG and other emissions. Downloadable pdf via the link at the end of this article: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2016/10 ... andia.html
"Fuel Cell Technical Team Roadmap"; U.S. Drive; 2013. Details DoE fuel cell stack performance and cost goals for 2020, as well as the state of the art ca. June 2013. http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014 ... ne2013.pdf
"Hydrogen Fueling Stations Infrastructure"; Qin, Nan et al; 2014. Discusses different means of making H2, different types of transport, storage, dispensing, codes and standards, cost estimates, etc. http://evtc.fsec.ucf.edu/reports/EVTC-RR-02-14.pdf
"The Hydrogen Transition"; Ogden, Joan; Yang, Christopher; Nicholas, Michael; Fulton, Lew; 2014.
Describes where we currently are, what steps will be needed to make the transition, projections of costs to do so, H2 and FCEV prices and cost curves, comparisons with other AFV technology costs and timelines, how much money various states, countries and regions are spending to support the development of FCEVs and H2 infrastructure etc. http://steps.ucdavis.edu/files/08-13-20 ... 9.2014.pdf
Also see the CARB "Annual Evaluation" reports listed above.
Energy, Environment, Economics and Marketing
"Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air"; Mackay, David J.C.; 2009. Essential and terrific, so listed first rather than alphabetically! Also available to read or download for free online at https://www.withouthotair.com
"Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric Vehicles"; Hawkins, Troy R.; Singh, Bhawna; Majeau-Bettez, Guillaume; Hammer Strøhman, Anders; 4 Oct. 2012 in Journal of Industrial Ecology. Looks at all forms of pollution, not just NMOCs and GHGs. Lots of links to other studies, too. Online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 532.x/full
"Consumer Views on Plug-in Electric Vehicles – National Benchmark Report"; Singer, Mark; 1/2016. NREL survey of vehicle purchasing behaviors, PEV awareness, PEV acceptance and barriers to same, Just what it says, for the U.S. Online at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/uploads/publ ... chmark.pdf
"Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers", 2nd ed.; Moore, Geoffrey; 1999. Absolutely essential to understand the hurdles that high-tech like EVs have to overcome, to 'cross the sales chasm' between early adopters and typical consumers. The 2nd edition uses the EV1 as an example of such on page 1.
"Driving Emissions to Zero: Are the Benefits of California's Zero Emission Vehicle Program Worth the Costs?"; Dixon, Lloyd et al (RAND); 2002. Details the costs of the ZEV program versus other methods of achieving CARB targets. A bit old, but has lots of useful info on pollution sources in the South Coast AQMD, development cost curves for various EV components etc. Available as hard copy, or to read free online or as a free download at http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1578.html
"Electric Vehicle Integration into Modern Power Networks"; Garcia-Valle, Rodrigo, and Pecas Lopes, Joao, ed.; 2013. This is a collection of articles by various, mostly European authors on different aspects of the subject. Articles range from the fairly non-technical to ones filled with formulas. The fact that English is a second language for many of the authors means some of the articles have awkward syntax, a minor irritation. Beyond the needs of the average owner, but there's some good descriptions of the differences between current Li-ion battery chemistries, what kinds of communications will be necessary for Smart charging, different types of infrastructure needs, forecast demand curves for 5 different EU countries with various levels of EV penetration as of 2030, etc., if you're curious about this sort of thing.
"Electric Vehicles: Socio-economic Prospects and Technological Challenges"; Cowan, Robin and Hulten, Stefan, ed.; 2000. A collection of articles from authors in various countries detailing historical and contemporary issues surrounding EV introduction. One chapter is an early version of a chapter from David Kirsch's book (see above).
"Electric Vehicles: Technology, Policy and Commercial Development"; Serra, Joao Vitor Fernandez; 2012. Written by an EV enthusiast so less objective than it could be, but provides a good overview of the various issues involved in EVs.
"Energy Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate"; Smil, Vaclav, 2010. Trying to list just one or two books by Smil has been impossible for me, and although this one is most on point, his "Energy Transitions: History, Requirements, Prospects", also 2010, overlaps somewhat in subject matter while taking a longer view, and much that is in one is in the other. Read in conjunction with Mackay (above).
"Jolt! The Impending Dominance of the Electric Car, And Why America Must Take Charge"; James Billmaier; 2010 [Rec. by LevenKay
]. Review here: http://www.futurist.com/2011/05/11/the- ... ctric-car/
"Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century"; Mitchell, William J; Borroni-Bird, Christopher E.; and Burns, Lawrence D.; 2010. Describes how urban cars can be transformed by a combination of four ideas: transforming the DNA (i.e. design principles) of autos, via electric drive and wireless communications; The Mobility Internet, data sharing between vehicles, parking spaces, roads etc. to minimize congestion and travel time; integration of EVs with a Smart, clean grid; real-time controls for urban mobility and energy systems, i.e. dynamic pricing for electricity, roads, parking, and shared vehicles. Burns was VP of R&D at GM from 1998-2009, Borroni-Bird was Director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts, also at GM; Mitchell is a professor at MIT, and head of the Smart Cities Group there.
"$20 per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline will Change our Lives for the Better"; Steiner, Christopher; 2009. Readable forecast of how U.S. (and by extension, world) society will change as the price of gas climbs. The first chapter is titled "$6/gallon", and each subsequent chapter increments by $2 to show possible effects of the increase to $8, $10, $12, etc. up to $20. Short-term forecasts in the book are sometimes spot-on or have occurred ahead of time (such as the consolidation of the 6 legacy U.S. airlines), others laughable ($7/gal. forecast by one analyst in the summer of 2010). So, enjoy it but don't take it as holy writ, as unforeseen disruptions (such as the huge increase in world natural gas reserves due to fracking, starting just after the book's publication) can always throw forecasts off.
Beyond the Car: New Urbanism, Smart Growth, Complete Streets, Walking/Biking/Public Transit etc.
"Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States"; Jackson, Kenneth T; 1985. An academic history of how and why we became suburbanized and car-dependent. This is a general overview, and there are many histories that look at specific cities or regions, such as "Streetcar Suburbs: The Process of Growth in Boston, 1870-1900"; by Sam Bass Warner, Jr.; 1978; and "Los Angeles and the Automobile: The Making of the Modern City" by Scott L. Bottles; 1991, just to name two. See the next entry for attempts to reverse this trend.
"Effective Speeds: Car Costs are Slowing us Down"; Tranter, Paul J; 2004. Quantifies the total cost in time of owning and using various forms of transport. "Effective speed can be calculated using the formula: “Speed = distance divided by time”, where distance is the total kilometres traveled, and time is the total time devoted to the mode of transport (including the time spent at work to earn the money to pay all the costs created by the particular mode of transport)." This includes the cost to purchase
as well as operation, maintenance, insurance etc. costs. The results may surprise you. http://archive.oxha.org/knowledge/publi ... speeds.pdf
"Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design"; Montgomery, Charles; 2013. Although the term isn't used until quite late in the book, this book essentially explains and gives examples of 'New Urbanism' as it has been applied in various cities around the world. For a graphic from the book showing the stationary and moving space needs of various forms of transportation, see http://varanine.tumblr.com/post/9205687 ... on-spacing
For a definition of New Urbanism, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Urbanism
Also see the next entry.
"How to Live Well without owning a Car: save money, breathe easier, and get more mileage out of life"; Balish, Chris; 2006. If you're considering an EV, you may also be willing/able to go one step further. This book will give you the info to decide if you're a candidate to go car-ownerless (or cut down the number of cars in your family if you have more than one). Main critical requirement; can you reliably get to work by some means other than driving a single-occupant vehicle? If not, are you willing and able to move or change jobs so that you can? Also see the immediately preceding entry.
"Online TDM Encyclopedia"; Victoria Transport Policy Institute; 2015-; "What is the Online TDM Encyclopedia? The Online TDM Encyclopedia is the world’s most comprehensive information resource concerning innovative transportation management strategies. It describes dozens of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies and contains information on TDM planning, evaluation and implementation. It has thousands of hyperlinks that provide instant access to more detailed information, including case studies and reference documents. The Encyclopedia has an international perspective, with ideas and examples from all over the world, including both developed and developing countries. The Encyclopedia is created and maintained by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute (VTPI), an independent research organization located in Victoria, British Columbia." http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm12.htm
"Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution"; Sadik-Khan, Janette, and Solomonow, Seth; 2015. Written by the former (2007-2013) transportation commissioner of New York City under Michael Bloomberg and her PR person in that post, the book details the steps taken over that period to redesign New York City's streets to better serve pedestrians, bike riders and transit users while also improving traffic flow and safety. A real-world 'Complete Streets' how-to manual for reclaiming asphalt from cars, adding public plazas (including closing Broadway between Times and Herald Squares to cars), bike and bus lanes, bike share, pedestrian safety improvements, etc. it also details the pushbacks and often over-the-top claims of opponents of various aspects of the moves, and how that affected the plans. She also describes similar efforts in other cities around the world, both those that she borrowed ideas from, and others where she's consulted since leaving her post. Sadik-Khan says she had a sign over her desk during her tenure that read "To plan is human, to implement, divine," and she managed to implement more change to the physical fabric of NYC in a shorter period of time than anyone since Robert Moses.
"Transportation and the New Generation: Why Young People Are Driving Less and What It Means for Transportation Policy"; Davis, Benjamin and Dutzik, Tony; 2012. Study describing how U.S. Generation Y's attitudes towards driving and auto ownership differ from other demographics. http://www.uspirg.org/sites/pirg/files/ ... 0vUS_0.pdf
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"Walk Score"; https://www.walkscore.com/
. Rates addresses in terms of walkability, i.e. time/distance to shops, services, schools, parks etc., and calculates commute times via foot, bike, bus, transit and car. Not perfect but often tweaked to improve it, and now widely used in real estate listings. My home address has a walkability score of 88 out of 100 ("Very Walkable"), although a short half block away it would rate a 98 ("Walker's Paradise"). What's yours? Also has Android and IOS apps. Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walk_Score
"U.S. Parking Policies: An Overview of Management Strategies"; Weinberger, Rachel; Kaeny, John; Rufo, Matthew; 2010. Describes and recommends sustainable parking policies to reduce congestion and pollution while reducing housing costs and making infill redevelopment of older buildings possible, with examples from U.S. communities which have implemented some or all of them, and the effects. Published by and available online from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy: https://www.itdp.org/u-s-parking-polici ... trategies/
For those who can't get enough of this sort of thing, there's a longer report detailing European examples, at https://www.itdp.org/europes-parking-u- ... egulation/
And if you want to go back to the ur-text that influenced these, look no further than
"The High Cost of Free Parking"; Shoup, Donald C.; 2005, updated 2011. I've read it, but trust me, unless you're a transportation planner who needs all the facts, figures and cost calculations justifying the policies, you don't need to. The ideas it contains are expressed in both of the above reports.
"Creating the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact"; Smil, Vaclav; 2005. For anyone interested in the history of technological development and its impact on society. To a very great extent, our modern world was created during the period this book covers. Fans of James Burke's PBS series' "Connections" and "The Day the Universe Changed" will probably enjoy this too, although as a book written by an academic as opposed to a TV series hosted by a technology popularizer, it lacks the entertainment 'razz-ma-tazz' of the shows.
"Transforming the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations and Their Consequences"; Smil, Vaclav; 2006. Follow-on to the above, covering 1915 to the present.
"Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says about Us)"; Vanderbilt, Tom; 2008. Rather than write my own synopsis, here's an excerpt from the book's home page: "Would you be surprised that road rage can be good for society? Or that most crashes happen on sunny, dry days? That our minds can trick us into thinking the next lane is moving faster? Or that you can gauge a nation’s driving behavior by its levels of corruption? These are only a few of the remarkable dynamics that Tom Vanderbilt explores in this fascinating tour through the mysteries of the road." Great stuff, and very accessible. http://tomvanderbilt.com/traffic/the-book/
"Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives"; Black, Edwin; 2006 [Rec. by Tony Williams
]. http://www.amazon.com/Internal-Combusti ... 0312359071
"The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East"; Cooper, Andrew Scott; 2012 [Rec. and review by sub3marathonman
]. "The Oil Kings" explains the secret agreements between the U.S. government, specifically then-President Nixon and then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and Iran and Saudi Arabia in the 1970's. These policies have contributed to the greatest transfer of wealth from one country (the U.S. of course) to others in world history, and the book helps people realize how the U.S. arrived at the position, some would say predicament, it is in now. Definitely interesting reading, and I usually like reading only WWII books. I got it from my local library, but it is available online too." Available in print and e-book formats @ https://www.amazon.com/Oil-Kings-Arabia ... 1439155186
& https://www.amazon.com/Oil-Kings-Arabia ... B004G8QSD0