Industrial-Sized Deals Shop all Back to School Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums $5 Off Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Shop Popular Services pivdl pivdl pivdl  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation STEM Toys & Games

Who Killed the Electric Car? 2006 PG CC

(413) IMDb 7.7/10
Watch Trailer

A documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future.

Starring:
Martin Sheen, Reverend Gadget
Runtime:
1 hour, 33 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

By placing your order, you agree to our Terms of Use. Sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Additional taxes may apply.

Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Chris Paine
Starring Martin Sheen, Reverend Gadget
Supporting actors Dave Barthmuss, Ed Begley Jr., Jim Boyd, Alec N. Brooks, Alan Cocconi, John R. Dabels, Phyllis Diller, Colette Divine, Tom Everhart, David Freeman, Frank Gaffney, Mel Gibson, Greg Hanssen, Peter Horton, Leslie Kendall, Doug Korthof, Alan C. Lloyd, Alan S. Lowenthal
Studio Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

203 of 215 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Tucker on July 19, 2006
A great film about another sorry episode in the history of America's automobile and energy industry. Set as a "Who-Done-It", the film chronicles how short sighted automakers (especially GM) develop great electric cars in response to the California ZEV mandate only to do everything in their power - from suing the state, making ridiculous ads, creating a red-tape filled lease application process - to kill them. Consumers buy bigger and bigger vehicles (whether they need them or not). Government officials and staffers bow to the pressure of intense lobbying, and conflicts of interest. The sad fate of most of the EVs produced during the late '90s to 2002 is revealed.

GM, especially, comes off as incredibly vindictive. What automaker ever tracked down every car of any model and crushed them (not the Corvair, Edsel, etc.)? Even after loyal drivers pleaded to keep them, offering to buy the last remaining EV1s with junk titles at lease buyout prices, GM went out of its way to ensure that the EV1 was history.

The passion of GM's EV specialist Chelsea Sexton for the EV1 makes her the star of the movie. One can only imagine what the engineers who designed the EV1 felt when their babies were being crushed.

But the movie ends on a hopeful note. We may never see the EV1 again, but vehicles using electric drive systems, either as full EVs (which are coming from several start-up companies) or plug-in hybrids, must inevitably roam the roads. The upward trend in gasoline prices, the effects of global warming, the inherent efficiency of electric drive trains, the continued improvement of battery technology, and the upcoming reevaluation of the ZEV Mandate guarantee it.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
139 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Adam M. Kennedy on July 16, 2006
This documentary provides a fascinating look at how big corporations can get away with murder. The electric cars were quite popular a decade ago but are now non-existent, this explains why. There were less breakdowns in the electric car and of course no gasoline. The result was that GM could not have people driving around in reliable transportation, where would they make money on repairs? The other factor is oil companies, with no legitimate competitor they could do whatever they wanted and have. Strange that the owners (or leasees since they were not for sale) were not allowed to keep their cars after the California law was repealed. Check it out.
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By C. Jones on July 19, 2006
Well, all you sceptics out there--see it and weep! Yes, there was an incredibly cool, sexy two seater ZEV on the road and no, you didn't get to drive it...but I did. For three years I had the fun (and so did everybody I gave a ride to). Also, with a Time of Usage meter installed on my house, I charged at night (still do) at a lower rate--PLUS, get this, I have a 16 panel solar array on my roof which not only lowers my bill, but means my (gasp!) Toyota RAV4 EV license IM SOLAR is not lying. Clean, clean, clean! See this movie and get those auto makers to give you some more options! Way to go, Chris Paine et al.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Philip R. Karn Jr. on October 28, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I drove the EV1 for five years, so some might say I am not exactly objective on this subject. Be that as it may, this movie utterly demolishes GM's lame propaganda that nobody wants to drive an EV. GM fully *intended* the EV1 to fail; while it may have cost a billion dollars to develop, that was small potatoes compared to the value (to GM) of destroying California's zero-emission mandate and keeping it from spreading to other states.

Despite extreme scarcity, highly restrictive lease terms and nearly non-existent advertising, the EV1 became an unexpected success. The unbridled enthusiasm of its drivers, splendidly depicted in this movie, so embarassed GM that they eventually recalled and destroyed every EV1 with a vindictiveness that stunned even those of us who thought we harbored no illusions about GM's motives.

The EV1 may be dead, a victim of corporate greed and short-sightedness. But no one who has ever thought seriously about the subject can doubt that the EV will return; the only open question is *when*. Hopefully this movie will remain as an inspiration, and help make that day sooner rather than later.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Chris Y. on July 24, 2006
Verified Purchase
Chris Paine does an awesome job telling the story of the modern electric vehicle. This tale should please everybody: It's a love story -- I laughed, I cried. It's a who-done-it mystery. It's about a car that was a real kick in the pants to drive.

Oh, there are a few that won't like it -- they don't like the fact that it didn't use any fossil fuels.

EVs may not be for everybody -- but the ones that were created *SHOULD* have been allowed to be driven and not taken back forcably and then crushed.

GM wonders why it's going bankrupt and Toyota is making money hand-over fist? Toyota didn't allow a market setting product to wither on the vine -- it supported the Prius' slow start and now it's reaping the benefits from that investment. GM could have had that with the massive lead it had in EVs.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "Rocky Raccoon" VINE VOICE on March 24, 2008
Format: DVD
After looking forward to this informative documentary, I have to admit I first started to roll my eyes. It starts with a funeral scene for the electric car. Now both political sides of me came together and found the ensuing scene loathesome. The conservative in me saw this as simplistic propaganda, and the liberal in me who loves alternative energy wanted to scream that this was fodder for conservative commentators who would pounce at any opportunity to squelch all designs for windmills, solar, and electric fuels. But they quickly redeem themselves. After the insipid funeral scene they turn the documentary into a substantative Whodunit that investigates all the suspects and thoroughly scopes the scene of the crime.

The clues come from the evidence which doesn't add up when so many people were happy with their electric cars. While some of them are articulate celebrities (from Tom Hanks to Mel Gibson) there are many pedestrian people who are just as passionate and down-to-earth about their devotion to the alternatively fueled vehicle. It really comes down to understanding that the automobile industry benefits from a car's shorter longeivity, and the documented demand for more electric cars doesn't square with corporate testimony. Admirably, all counter arguments are given their proper space even as the car's mileage has improved for each recharging. (How many people drive more than 150 miles round trip on an average given day?)

Given the issues at stake: A war that has some energy import, domestic security, high profits for oil companies during leaner times, and a constant need for an improving environment, the case is stacked against the corporations. But, I must say, I haven't given away the entire day in court.
Read more ›
21 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again