Movie Review: Who Killed the Electric Car? (2005)

Documentary written and directed by Chris Paine

BW’s Note: The following review is not intended to vouch for all the claims made in this documentary movie, though I do find many of  the arguments and statements of fact compelling or at least reasonable.

electric_carWho Killed the Electric Car? is a clever, heart-wrenching post-mortem of the GM electric car by first-time director Chris Paine.  The film, made for a budget of one million dollars, premiered in January 2006 at the Sundance Film Festival and has been gathering viewer-advocates ever since.

In the 1990s, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) imposed a requirement that auto manufacturers include a small percentage of “zero emission” vehicles to sell cars there.

In response, General Motors built the EV1.  The initial release in 1997 had a range of 55-75 miles.  The second generation of EV1s released in the 2000 model year were equipped with advanced batteries for a range of 75-150 miles.

The air-conditioned EV1s had equal or better acceleration and cruising speeds than their internal-combustion-engine counterparts. The list of EV1 advanced features reads like a Green auto-enthusiast’s wet dream: including regenerative braking, traction control, and an air drag coefficient of 0.19. Continue reading