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Who Killed the Electric Car?

  PG HD Closed Captioning

Chris Paine

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Plot Summary

In 1996, electric cars began to appear on roads all over California. They were quiet and fast, produced no exhaust and ran without gasoline. Ten years later, these futuristic cars were almost entirely gone. What happened? Why should we be haunted by the ghost of the electric car?

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

88%
  • Reviews Counted: 104
  • Fresh: 92
  • Rotten: 12
  • Average Rating: 7.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: It's liable to get people hopping mad, whether or not they buy Paine's overarching conspiracy theory. – Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Chris Paine's documentary about General Motors' development and withdrawal of the innovative, environment-friendly EV1 automobile is bound to reverberate with anyone who's fallen in love with a product only to see it irrevocably yanked from the market. – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: It posits a necessary question in these days of ever-burgeoning oil prices and ever-shrinking supply, and it offers distressing insights into the corporate American mindset. – Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: A documentary as efficient and zippy as its subject. – Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Good movie, but leaves out important facts

This is a good movie for anyone not overly familiar with the current status of electric and electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles. They highlight the GM EV1 as an example of a successful, affordable electric vehicle and then ask a series of questions to determine why the car was killed using an entertaining court of law format. The producers of this documentary advocate government regulation to compel large automobile manufacturers to produce electric vehicles in high volumes, citing the California Zero Emissions regulations as an example. They claim that electric vehicle technology is ready for mass production and that there is a market for these vehicles. Unfortunately, they leave out some key facts regarding the costs associated with electric vehicles and the subsidies that are required to make these vehicles affordable. This is also the case with gas-electric hybrids. Had the producers covered the cost and engineering challenges associated with these types of vehicles, there case for regulation would have been weakened. But, by leaving that information out, the documentary takes on the characteristics of a propaganda piece. The argument that people should rise up and demand regulations to achieve their desires sounds good at first, but taken to its logical consequences is absurd. However, I agree with the producers more moderate recommendations that people change their behaviors and that they support the small but growing electric car industry led by companies like Zenn. Of course, these cars are nothing like the EV1 due to the lack of subsidies, but they represent the current state of affordable electric vehicles.

Compelling and maddening

In a nutshell, GM develops a terrific electric vehicle. It's owners (well, drivers since you couldn't *buy* one of the cars) have an undying loyalty to the car. By most measures, it's a smash hit. But then a group of forces kills the project. The leased cars are turned back in, and I won't spoil anything by revealing what happens, but it's simply nuts. Watch the film, control your blood pressure, then do something constructive. And encourage your friends to do the same.

This Movie ROCKS!

This movie finally brought to my attention the story of electric cars. I recommend this movie to anybody who cares even a little bit about the environment. True the nickel metal hydride batteries sucked the ev1 but the car was awesome. It was one of the most areodynamic cars ever made. This story more pertains to now instead of when the movie came out. The movie shows that even when the technology is sufficient to meet the needs of most people, corruption, corporate, and governmental, stubbornness get in the way of change. This car could of started a trend in the car market where probally now, if the ev1 wasn't crushed, we would be able to buy super fast 300 mile per charge electric cars instead of hybrids which only go about 1 mile per charge. This movie looks at how the world could of been now if the ev1 was crushed. If you like this movie, Chris Paine is making a sequel called Who Saved the Electric Car? after the Tesla roadster and the Chevy Volt were introduced.

Who Killed the Electric Car?
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2006

Customer Ratings