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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Who Killed The Electric Car?

Tonight we saw our fifth 2006 SIFF film, a documentary titled Who Killed The Electric Car?.

The film examines what happened to electric cars such as the GM's EV1 which were hailed in the mid-to-late 90's as the car of the future but which were then quietly taken off the market and eventually phased out altogether in 2004. Director Chris Paine (who was on hand for Q&A following the film) digs into why this seemingly viable technology received such a limited consumer response, and what factors may have lead to its demise. Amongst the possible culprits: a car industry uninterested in making a lower profit vehicle, an oil industry lobbying hard to maintain its stronghold, the lobby-pressured California Air Resource Board, the unsupportive U.S. Government, and undemanding American consumers. Included in the film are interviews with Phyllis Diller, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks (a clip from The Tonight Show), Ralph Nader, and Ed Begley Jr.

I found the film to be an entertaining and informative look into a topic that I had pretty limited knowledge of heading in. It raises some really interesting questions about the state of alternative fuel options and how we can drive real improvements in these technologies moving forward. The film definitely has a pro-electric car bias to it, but all in all it does a reasonable job of at least giving some insight on other view points about why the electric car market never took off (a must for any decent documentary). Definitely recommended.

More detailed reviews available here...


Blogger Jill said...

You forgot to mention that Mel Gibson is crazy.

4:08 PM

Blogger Jamie said...

Mel Gibson is crazy.

12:37 AM


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