Who Killed the Electric Car?
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IN 1996, ELECTRIC CARS BEGAN TO APPEAR ON RAODS ALL OVERCALIFORNIA. THEY WERE QUIET FAST, PRODUCED NO EXHAUST & RAN WITHOUT GASOLINE. 10 YEARS LATER, THESE FUTURISTIC CARS WEREALMOT ENTIRELY GONE. WHAT HAPPENED? WHY SHOULD WE BE HAUNTED BY THE GHOST OF THE ELECTRIC CAR?
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The movie mainly tells the story of the EV1 which GM leased in the mid-90s till they took them all back and crushed almost all of them. The people who had them were passionate.about them. GM refused to let people buy out their leases. One survives in an auto museum.
But the movie covers electric car history and interviews a BUNCH of people involved in one way or another. It also predicts the coming of the Tesla and speculates on why GM ended their electric car program back then (now back with the Volt and Bolt models).
In the 11 years since the movie was released electric vehicles have reemerged as a viable automotive option. Not perfect yet, but getting better, I am looking forward to where it will be in 10 years when I am ready for my next car. Maybe I'll go 100% electric on my next car!
I had no idea that there was a good electric car developed in the early 2000's. According to the film, the EV1 was developed by GM and leased in limited quantities in order to meet air standards and requirements set by the state of California (CARB) . However, auto industry lobbyists were soon successful in convincing the board to drop the requirements that certain percentages of cars sold be electric vehicles.
Once that requirement was canceled, as the EV1s came off lease, GM collected them and crushed them over the protests of many owners that wanted to purchase and keep their electric cars.
I can't help but wonder where EV technology would be today if the EV1 had been kept in production 10 years ago (and how much smog could have been kept from our skies).
Thankfully Tesla Motors came along and has been able to produce an amazing car that is a pure EV, forcing other car companies to compete. However, far too few people understand the technology and differences between EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids, and too many people incorrectly believe that these vehicles are too limited for their needs.
As the film says, those guilty for the developmental delay (killing) of the electric vehicle include consumers, as well as auto companies, politics, and oil companies. I sincerely hope that 10 years from now, the majority (if not all) of new cars coming off the assembly line are pure EVs.
After watching this, I then watched Revenge Of The Electric Car and that made me feel a little bit better.
One of the great things about this film is that since it was made, the EV movement has turned around and now there are mainstream EVs available from at least six major OEMs (not including the rockstar Tesla), so the story didn't have such a sad ending after all. I think it would be a disservice not to say that this film had something to do with the revolution.
Incidentally, if you are considering making the switch to EV, I highly recommend watching the film FUEL (Josh Tickell) as well.
I was not aware that people were using electric cars as there regular means of transportation in the 1990s. That fact and many other facts were real eyeopeners for me. After watching the movie, I'm convinced that electric cars will be the wave of the future. The demands of the public will cause automobile manufacturers to build electric cars and not destroy them. The general public will not accept having to spend their money on oil related products and expensive maintenance when they can have more efficient, clean, and almost maintenance free automobiles.
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