Toyota exec defends GM in case of who killed the electric car
Paine freely admits the movie lets Toyota off the hook, mainly because GM was a much higher profile target. There are other reasons, as well, including the fact that GM had invested much more money in developing the EV1 from the ground up, whereas Toyota merely converted its standard RAV4. For its part, GM makes itself such a willing target, too. In one instance, the filmmakers captured protestors being hosed outside of GM offices when the sprinkler system turned on. GM claims it was on a timer, but Paine disaggrees. Toyota, meanwhile, greeted protestors outside its offices with bottled water and keychains.
The story here, however, is that GM's main market rival is coming to its defense on the matter, and supporting the General's assertion that there was no market demand for EVs at the time, and that's what ultimately killed the electric car. In essence, Toyota has stepped up as a character witness for GM in the case. Does it sway Paine and his supporters? Not so much. EV advocates still claim neither company properly marketed the vehicles, and in Toyota's case, the hyped-up Prius hybrid was clearly the company's priority over the RAV4-EV.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
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