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Who Killed the Electric Car?
General Motors created an all-electric car, called the EV1. It was a revolutionary modern car, requiring no gas, no oil changes, no mufflers, and rare brake maintenance. But the fanfare...  View more >

Starring David Freeman, Chelsea Sexton, J. Karen Thomas...  View more >

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Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Aug 14, 2006
More enlightening than \"An Inconvenient Truth\".
Jan 5, 2007
After watching this documentary, I came away with a similar feeling after watching "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room." You see all the facts laid out in front of you, and you wonder how they got away with what they did?

Director Chris Paine does a very good job of laying out the story behind a very practical electric-only vehicle produced by a major auto manufacturer (GM), only to kill it through a series of steps seemingly intended to make sure that the car was not successful. I remember hearing about the EV1, but I was surprised to learn that its demise did not happen very long ago. For whatever reason, I placed it back in the mid-90's, but these cars were still in owners' hands until GM repossessed them (er, ended their leases with no option of purchase) just a few years ago.

The movie also takes a few whacks at the California Air Resources Board for being too wimpy under pressure, auto manufacturers for conspiring against a vehicle that was "too good" and pushing the promise of hydrogen fuel cells instead, oil companies for wanting to protect their golden goose, and consumers for being duped into thinking that only gas-powered vehicles would ever suffice.

I liked this movie, and it made me wish that some company somewhere would have the guts to produce a true electric vehicle, and that the government would have the guts to stop paying only lip service to alternative energy and start cranking down on the fuel efficiency ratings.

As I was mentioning to my friend after watching it, why did my 1989 Oldsmobile Calais, which had a suitably powerful Quad4 engine, get 25MPG on average and 35MPG during highway trips, and a brand new vehicle of similar size 18 years later can't seem to exceed those same numbers?

I think it is only when America's obsession with horsepower figures and sheer bulk reaches a climax and starts to swing the other way, will automakers begin to make vehicles that truly get better gas mileage. Or better yet, get no gas mileage at all, because they're not using gas, and in the case of electric vehicles, no emissions either. I have a Mustang, but it's not a commuter car for me. Save the high performance for the fun applications, and give me a commuter car that's safe and that doesn't cause my country to go to war to protect the oil to fill its engine and that won't cause my kids to have health problems because of the air they're breathing.

Did this documentary work? You bet. Will my angst subside a little after some time? Probably. Am I upset at GM for killing a good product? Oh yeah.

I highly recommend seeing this movie, it will leave you with plenty to think about.

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