Vijay Vaitheeswaran, energy reporter for The Economist, is fast becoming one of the faces of the climate change conversation and new energy technology. He recently appeared in Leonardo DiCaprio's new documentary, The 11th Hour, and, with colleague Iain Carson, Economist industry editor, has just co-authored ZOOM: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future.
You may be surprised to learn that after years of engineering training at MIT and energy reporting, Vaitheeswaran doesn't want you to give up your car. He's not in the business of trying to make America fall out of love with the automobile, and believes that a world without cars would be "a dim, joyless place with much-diminished freedom, mobility, and prosperity." ZOOM is a comprehensive look at the auto and oil industries' destructive marriage, and the book insists that cars are the solution, not the problem.
Plenty stopped by The Economist's New York offices to talk to Vaitheeswaran about the "parable of the prius," a gasoline tax that won't deplete Americans' wallets, and what cars of the future might look like.