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Who Killed the Electric Car

November 29th, 2006, 3:09 pm

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copyboy
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I saw it last night. Has anyone else seen it? Any opinions?

I'm still trying to weed through the propaganda (which wasn't as heavy as some other documentaries I've seen). But I'm having a very hard time understanding why all these perfectly good cars were destroyed. The simple answer is corruption, greed, money; but is there another side?

Just wanted to open up a discussion, to get more info.

I wouldn't have bought one (based on styling) why do they have to look like the FUTURE? but I had no idea this happened

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November 30th, 2006, 8:49 am

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Mr-914
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I don't know why the EV1 was crushed, in fact, I'm curious how many examples if any were saved (this might be the next Tucker in terms of collectible American cars). However, it's important to note that GM never sold any EV1s, they leased them. In my mind, that means they were unsure of the technology, probably in terms of reliability. Therefore, the plan was always to recuperate the vehicles, inspect them, learn from them and sell or lease the consumer the next EV. I don't think there was as wide a conspiracy against the car as much as the economics were against it. Let's face it, when the EV1 was killed, it was in the middle of the SUV-trend. They were already money-losing cars, and in the middle of a trend as big as the SUV, it couldn't survive from a business view.

In fact, I think GM should be admired for bringing the EV1 to market. It's still the only big automaker to bring an electric car to market, and a good one too.

November 30th, 2006, 1:20 pm

pier
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The movie was interesting to document that this vehicle existed and was successful and desirable by some.

The movie was misnamed, it was a complete GM bashing. No other vehicle manufacturer was mentioned, yet it featured many very attractive Californians pleading that they loved their electric car. Based strictly on the movie, it should have been titled "How the California Clean Air Board Killed the GM EV1".

There were a few telling moments in the movie that the producers did not follow up, conspiratorially because it didn't fit in with the premise of 'GM bad'. The older engineer-entrepreneur who could not interest GM in his new battery technology even though they were already buying his older battery technology. The other engineer, ex - of the EV1 project, who clearly stated 'outdated technology'. Instead the movie cuts to the EV1 impound graveyard in the Arizona desert with crying Californians outside the fence.

The movie did hilite that GM leased every EV1 but did not explore why. I think this would lead to the real reasons why the EV1 was recalled and destroyed. Probably, this trail leads to the insurance companies. The movie also did not explore the insane world of California political - energy policy.

I saw it last night

December 3rd, 2006, 11:14 am

HatenGasoline13
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I just watched the film last night. I had no idea any of the vehicles even were on the road! I always thought they were concept vehicles or something. As I understand it there is only one (and it has been disabled) in the Peterson Museum but I'm not sure. By the way how can a engineer complain about outdated technology when your alternative is an internal combustion engine? The outdated technology they were refering to I'm guessing which were the original Delco batteries that only got roughly 60 miles per charge but that doubled in the EV1s life span and today using Lithium-Ion batteries you can get more like 300 miles per charge and you can get an 85% recharge in 45 minutes. Like it was stated how cool would it be to wake up every day and have a full tank of gas? True that technology is stll pretty expensive but really with all the hype and research over Hydrogen wouldn't it be alot easier to just make a more efficient battery at a more economical price?Im guessing the reason the movie focused more on GM and the EV1 is maybe they were the biggest seller or they were just more popular than the Ford Th!nk, The Ranger EV, The Rav4 EV (which all were shown quite a bit in the film). In my opinion they were crushed because they really didnt want the vehicles seen in public. I mean look at all the Hybrid owners there are now. If you're in your hybrid and see a complete EV next to you wouldn't you question why in gods name they even mess around making a Hybrid at all. Oh wait thats right they still use gas. The thing I'm kind of miffed about is all the fuss over Hydrogen vehicles. According to the movie they are 1/3 LESS effecient than current EVs and they are 20-30 years away. Seems like 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. Even the Toyota engineer was very skeptical about his own creation! He even stated that the question that hurt the most was " When will this be on the road?". I think realistically the best next step would be the Plug In Hybrid that was mentioned near the end of the movie and in the bonus materials. With the plug in you run on electricity for the most part but you also have a traditional gas engine to fall back on if needs be (longer trip ect....) Just my two cents here but please relize all this is coming from somebody who is heavily into vintage hot rods and vintage Japanese and British motorcycles so it's not like I'm a tree hugging hippie wearing Birkenstocks here. I think complete EVs should be what they were intended to be an ALTERNATIVE to gasoline. But I think that the car companies just got a little scared when they saw the EV1 taking off as well as it did and then the oil companies got really freaked out when they realized they wouldn't be selling nearly as much gasoline. I could go and on but I'm going to just stop there.
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