And are good for the rest of us.
Who Killed the Electric Car? tells the story of the EV-1, GM’s electric car introduced in 1990, which was built to fufill the state of California’s Zero Emissions Mandate, which required every car company to make a car that had zero emissions.I’m not going to go into how it was made or the specs, but needless to say, the people who were able to lease the car loved it. Smooth quiet ride, quiet, speedy engine. You hear them talking about the car like it was their child. One of my friends who I saw the movie with was snickering during those scenes, but I saw the feelings as totally understandable. People can get attached to inanimate objects.
The movie then goes on to show how oil companies, car companies and the state of california worked to get rid of electric cars.
- Electric engine = no gas. No gas means less money for oil companies
- Electric engines = no internal combustion engine, which means less money for car companies
- Selling an electric car as “clean” means admitting your other cars are “dirty”
- Electric cars have little maintenance issues
So what did car companies do? They make really crappy ads where the car is tiny and talk about what the electric car is missing – spark plugs, gas powered engine, etc. Oil companies pushed for a new hydrogen fuel cell that they would provide at filling stations.
I saw the documentary Who Killed The Electric Car? last night and it was definitely eye-opening. Like many other people, I thought that electric cars were inconvenient and had limited range. I thought surely that if electric cars had not hit the market yet, it was because of some flaws in the technology and design.
I thought wrong.
The point is here, the reason why electric cars aren’t on the road aren’t because they are bad, it is because they are too good. We need to get electric cars back on the roads more than ever. And people are trying. I remember seeing a link for “hacked Prius gets 100+ mpg” and it was talked about in the movie. That Prius had a partial electric charge.
Some people might say that electric cars are just as polluting as gas cars because electricity comes from buring coal. But if we start switching to wind or solar power, then the pollution goes away. Using gas cars means even with 100 mpg, every 100 miles releases 19 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Electric cars are the future.
Wikipedia Entry for EV-1
AutoChannel.com Movie Review
GM Blogs – a google sponsored link