‘Who Killed the Electric Car?’ – the movie.

This came out in 2006. It talks about big business, the oil & car industries and how they have sort to push off the road the electric car. This is a classic case of government needing to use stronger legislative and tax regimes to influence the direction of technological choice for the betterment of our environment.

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9 Responses to ‘Who Killed the Electric Car?’ – the movie.

  1. ioman01 says:

    I saw this movie last year, and count it among the most important films I saw in 2006. It is quite thought-provoking. I liked how it showed that there is plenty of blame to go around for the car’s demise, and not just the oil & car industries. BTW, did you see my Temas Blog post on FIAT’s plans for an electric car (and truck and bus and tractor) for MERCOSUR? Most interesting to me about their idea is having a network of chargers in rural areas powered by methane from biodigestors processing ag wastes…

  2. earthpal says:

    Thanks Matt. I can’t remember hearing about this documentary but it’s interesting and encouraging to know that these docu-drama’s are having an impact. (Maybe we have much to thank Michael Moore for).

    I will have a look out for the movie although (tut) I still haven’t got round to watching Black Gold yet.

  3. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    From an environmental point of view in the US, it really doesn’t matter much, since most of the power on our electric grid comes from coal plants. Of course, until they make some major improvements in battery technology, electric cars are, when considered from production to the end of their useful life, more polluting than internal combustion powered vehicles. I did, however, see something the other day about a new high performance capacitor technology, that may, and we can only hope, perform better than the best battery produced today, with very little harmful chemicals used in either production or operation, and which will have a longer usable life. Oh, and at least one America car company, Ford if memory serves, is making a push to introduce some new hybrid/plug-in models. I think they smell profit in California.

    the Grit

  4. matt says:

    Hi Keith

    Good to hear from you again. I’ll certainly check out your Fiat post; do you have a direct link to it? Fiat has been having a much needed resurgence lately.

    Hi earthpal

    It’s good to see Sony backing this docu-film but I really can’t remember hearing of it either on its release. Trouble is I’ve never got into downloading films.

    Hi Grit

    I believe Pete posted something about new American technology for a bus. The efforts are now being made to improve transport technologies and yes it’s great to see the money can be made in doing so.

    Keep up to date here; http://www.greencarsite.co.uk/index.htm

  5. ioman01 says:

    Matt, the direct link is A MERCOSUR Car Run on Biogas and Electricity?. I didn’t include it before because I wasn’t sure what your policy is regarding links in comments, and don’t want to be considered a spammer.

    One of the interesting things to me is that their partner in this project is Itaipu, the hydroelectric power generator. Evidently farms in MERCOSUR are huge power consumers, and the idea is to get them to generate their own power onsite and free up load to be used elsewhere. Of course, it may not hurt them either if there’s a fleet of vehicles that occassionally need to tap the Itaipu-fed electric grid! 😉

  6. matt says:

    A very ambitious project by the looks of it. Seems to me car companies are now having to think differently to stay ahead and mass production of clean emissions vehicles is a major area of the (hopefully near) future.

  7. Pete Smith says:

    This has echoes of the ‘Great American Streetcar Scandal’ in the 1930s and 1940s. General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil and Phillips Petroleum formed a cartel to acquire and dismantle US streetcar/light rail companies and replace them with buses. The ultimate goal was to stimulate demand for private cars at the expense of public transport.

  8. matt says:

    Yes, when I first heard of this historical destruction of the US tramways system I couldn’t quite believe such cynicism could prevail but, that was back in my more hopeful days when I believed the world surely couldn’t be so evil.

    Now such CEOs of such companies should be hauled out the back and shot.

  9. Pete Smith says:

    To be honest, it depends on what kind of spin you want to put on it. Yes, GM were indicted for criminal conspiracy in 1949, and were fined $5000. It’s also argued that the streetcar was already in decline by the 1920s, and GM et al were only manoeuvering to exploit that position. As in many issues, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

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