Toyota VP steps up to defend GM record on electric cars
Do you remember the old saying about statistics? Tell me which side of the argument you're on and I'll give you the statistics to prove you're right. Well the same thing applies to documentary movies. Film makers generally have a story they're trying to tell, and they select the footage they need to tell that narrative. Earlier in 2006 the film "Who Killed the Electric Car?" really slammed General Motors and their role in the demise of the EV1 electric car.
In an article today by Detroit Free Press columnist Mark Phelan, Toyota steps up to the plate and defends General Motors actions. Toyota also had an electric car program in California, as did Ford, Chrysler, Honda and others. All of them pulled their EVs from the market, but only GM was featured in the film. Toyota sold an EV based on the RAV4, that was heavily subsidized and made available for the same price as the Prius. The market had an opportunity to select an EV but the Prius is still with us today, and the RAV4 EV isn't. Toyota was interviewed extensively for the film, but according to Toyota VP Ernest Bastien, all of that footage was cut from the film and "It was not balanced at all." Clearly what Toyota had to say did not conform to the director's narrative.
Bastien says that both Toyota and GM heavily promoted their respective electric vehicles. The problem is that not enough customers wanted them. As GM has said, customer's don't want to plan their life around the next battery charge. Director Chris Paine acknowledges that he used the footage he wanted to tell the story he wanted. He focused on GM because it didn't handle the PR around canceling the program as well as Toyota did. Go check out Mark Phelan's article at the Read link
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
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