Future Drive Future Drive
Electric Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation


Daniel Sperling
Format: Soft Cover
Length: 191 pages
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 155963328X
Copyright: 1995

In Future Drive, Daniel Sperling addresses the adverse energy and environmental consequences of increased travel, and analyzes current initiatives to suggest strategies for creating a more environmentally benign system of transportation. Groundbreaking proposals are constructed around the idea of electric propulsion as the key to a sustainable transportation and energy system. Other essential elements include the ideas that:

  • Improving technology holds more promise than large-scale behavior modification.
  • Technology initiatives must be matched with regulatory and policy initiatives.
  • Government intervention should be flexible and incentive-based, but should also embrace selective technology-forcing measures.
  • More diversity and experimentation is needed with regard to vehicles and energy technologies.

Sperling evaluates past and current attempts to influence drivers and vehicle use, and articulates a clear and compelling vision of the future. He formulates a coherent and specific set of principles, strategies, and policies for redirecting the United States and other countries onto a new sustainable pathway.


“If this country is ever going to have clean air we will have to substantially reinvent the car and rethink the role of cars in our society. Dan Sperling has launched us down that road. His vision, which is far-reaching but realistic, should be the starting point of a national debate.”
-- Hal Harvey, Executive Director, Energy Foundation

“No matter what side of the alternative fuel issue you are on, you should find this volume worthwhile. Every interested analyst in the alternative fuels debate should study this book.”
-- Tony Finizza, Chief Economist, Arco

“More sustainable transportation systems will not come from heavy-handed regulation or from tinkering at the edges of our current motor vehicles technologies, but from the kinds of market incentives, flexible regulatory approaches, and new technologies for emergent markets described by Future Drive.”
-- Fred Krupp, Executive Director, Environmental Defense Fund

“Future Drive presents a thoughtful and timely discussion of the future of electric vehicles. Sperling clearly illuminates the environmental and energy benefits that EVs will provide and offers a perspective that can help frame public policy dialogue on electric transportation.”
-- John E. Bryson, Chairman of the Board, Southern California Edison

About the Author

Daniel Sperling is director of the Institute of Transportation Studies and professor of civil engineering and environmental studies at the University of California, Davis.

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