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Scenes from Revenge of the Electric Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

The AutoblogGreen movie (we wish) sequel of sorts to Who Killed The Electric Car?, Revenge of the Electric Car, premieres tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. We just spoke with a very busy Chris Paine, the film's director, earlier today – stop harassing him for tickets, people, he's got things to do – and he gave us a little bit of the story behind crafting this story.

chris paine"I want to tell character-driven stories," Paine said. "The film is not about the reasons why you have to drive electric car because Al Gore told you to. There are 100 ways to tell a story. The last film was done as a procedural, as an essay why electric cars were – and are – a good idea and why they were killed, which is because it was a disruptive technology that threatened too many invested interests." For the new film, Paine and his team started with a wide net before getting down to the four main characters – Bob Lutz (Chevy Volt), Elon Musk (Tesla Motors), Carlos Ghosn (Nissan Leaf) and Gadget (who "represents the thousands of people who have done conversions around the world and were doing them when the car companies couldn't care less.").

"This is the trick with making a documentary," Paine said. "You pick 12 stories and hope two or three of them pan out."

Some of the stories not detailed in the final film are Iceland's quest to bring the Mitsubishi i-MiEV to the country and Shai Agassi's Better Place project.

"The average vehicle [in Iceland] is a Range Rover," Paine said. "We started filming and the president of Iceland said 'I understand what's happening. It's criminal that we've been importing gasoline cars.'" The government convinced Mitsubishi to make Iceland one of the first iMiEV markets, but then Iceland's economy imploded. "So that story just flatlined," Paine said.

"We also started following the Shai Agassi story. We went to Israel and interviewed Shimon Peres. We met with Shai's family, we looked at the infrastructure and when they deployed a charging station in Japan." Delays in Better Place getting more vehicles on the road and some of the logistical realities meant that this thread didn't make the cut. "We felt that we were closer to Tesla, so that's the story we ended up telling," Paine said. "Shai's story is in my editing suite waiting for the 12-hour television series. If I can get the budget to make those films, I will."

That's the reality here, that there's much more to the revenge of the electric car than 90 minutes can hold. "This story is never going away," Paine said. "Effectively, the cars are back in the showrooms, and that's where we can end the movie."

For more on the film, including an article written by the film's producers click past the jump (then click on "Show Press Release").





Show full PR text
For those of us who worked on the film, "Revenge of the Electric Car," our world premiere in New York City at the Tribeca Film Festival tonight is a great sign for the future- and especially auspicious that it falls on Earth Day.

Chris Paine's 2006 rabble rouser, "Who Killed the Electric Car?" surprised the public because so few people knew how many electric cars had so recently been made and then quickly destroyed by the car companies. "It's great to see such a dramatic reversal so soon and there is a lot of credit to go around, with some very inspired entrepreneurs, rising gas prices, and determined activists- including AutoBlogGreen readers- from all sides of the spectrum," says Paine.

After "Who Killed the Electric Car?" was released, car companies were inundated by emails and phone calls from electric car enthusiasts, green car advocates, and people across the world ready for real change in mobility. People were passing "that film about electric cars" to others and all kinds of activist groups and student groups were organizing screenings, and started asking an important question: Why are gas burning cars our only choice in the marketplace and why are so many of those cars so inefficient?

With so many applying pressure and the tide turning, Chris knew he had a rare opportunity to follow what could be a great reversal in the global car industry. Whether or not it would transpire, he decided to follow the developing story.

Meanwhile, soon-to-be Executive Producer Stefano Durdic was driving his new electric car around the streets of Chicago and answering a lot of questions about the car. "I felt that more people needed to learn about this amazing technology. As much as I wanted to drive my electric car to everyone's doorstep across the country, I figured a documentary was a more effective way to spread the word. I reached out to Chris and we started working together right away."

Stefano and Chris wanted the next film to dig deeper into who and what it would take to bring these cars to market again. After months of back and forth and a promise to release no footage to anyone before 2011, the filmmakers secured access to two major car makers, GM and Nissan, and the new startup Tesla Motors. With the fresh memory of GM denying any access to Chris for his first film, it was clear that there were risks for all parties involved. The risk for the filmmakers was that they would not actually make the cars - "or worse, that we'd simply be a part of corporate PR," said Paine. And the carmakers were making themselves vulnerable to the possibility of ambush journalism. There were a few tense moments in those board rooms, testing grounds, and electric car development meetings over those three years of filming, and the cameras were able to roll on whatever was happening.

"Everyone has rolled the dice and the results speak for themselves," says Paine, "our film follows a great story and miraculously, there are once again electric cars coming to market less than five years after our last film." Behind the scenes, efforts of activists, engineers, entrepreneurs, enlightened consumers and even politicians have made what was once a longshot a very tangible reality.

On Saturday, April 23rd, Tribeca is hosting a second screening of the film that includes a panel discussion moderated by actor and EV enthusiast, David Duchovny. Panelists include Chris Paine, Pulitzer Prize winning Wall Street Journal columnist Dan Neil, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. The screening sold out within hours of tickets going on sale. "We're thrilled with the early success of our film," says Durdic, "We're happy to play a small part in kick-starting this important discussion."

The filmmakers are working with potential partners and sponsors to bring this film to market. The goal is to showcase this global story across a wide array of platforms around the world to get it in front of as many people as possible. Those interested in bringing the film to their city can request the film online here.

Editor's Note: This article was written by members of the production team behind Revenge of the Electric Car. Given the role the team's first film, Who Killed The Electric Car?, had on the green car movement, we invited them to share some information about the "sequel" with our readers. They'll be checking out the comments on this post, so tell them what you think of either film. Of course, if your only comment is "play the movie in my town," then there's a better place for that.


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  • 20 Comments
      goodoldgorr
      • 4 Years Ago
      The joke is OVER, period. Im starting a new trend, no more new gasoline (OR DIESEL) cars, small trucks, rv's, motorcycles, radio guided small hobby cars or airplanes, diesel semi-trailer trucks, motocross, snow blowers, lawn mowers, b.b.q propane apperatus, bic lighthers, kerozene airplanes, ships, coal electric stations, nuclear weapons and electric stations, etc should be bought for any reasons. The used market should suffice. I say to begin a buyers strike on any gasoline-diesel-nuclear-coal ''NEW'' machinery till they begin to sell green apparatus like the volt or leaf but at green prices. Green prices mean like a green light, a sign of moving forward. If it's not green( better price for more power without fuel cost and no pollution, period) no more guilty sponsorship of black technology, even a ford bogus or a honda unfit or a chevy cruze is big black old farted cheapo technology and must be avoided, refer to the used market to find a ride and postpone any new car buying till they sell something green at better price, keep your actual ride for another 20+ years, use it but don't overpay it. Im sick from out-dated ice technology with problematic fuels. GM'TOYOTA, etc are own and operated by big oil that own the usa since rockfeller bought it long time ago. Stop buying products from his subsidized zombie assemblies offices. Anyway a toyota, a ford or any other cars are nearly the same fart products. Stop is the fad of blogging about false new products. The leafs and volt are a little bit green but still overpriced and the leaf is incomplete because you can be struck and will be struck anywhere anytime and the gasoline generator of the volt is subpar of what a real green electrical generator should be. I call a strike on new car buying. Stop pollution and high fueling costs today.
      Marcopolo
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ben, thank you for your reply. Just three points, since I have covered much of this in my reply to EJ. I have no particular brief for any oil company. (or any corporation for that matter) You are correct, when you say BP's approach to the Gulf spill was badly managed by a CEO who lacked both political and PR skills. The Obama Administration also poorly handled the spill in a cowardly fashion. No credit to any of the participants including the media. In fact the Blade Electron is subject to crash testing etc, since it's regarded as a totally separate model by the ADR's. In Victoria you could not convert a new car to EV and register it without providing ESC. Major manufacturers enlist outside design studio's and levels of 'badge engineering, to reduce costs. Would you say Great Wall, or Proton, (who own lotus) are not manufacturers? On definition, I see we must agree to disagree, but Blades Licence, means that Blade is recognised any where on the planet and a fully fledged Auto-manufacturer. (VIN numbers etc) . But. if you would rather wait to purchase an imported product from a large multinational corporation, rather than encourage the local product, that is your right as a consumer. No one should criticise how you spend your money, especially as it sounds that the PIEV Prius or Volt would be a more suitable vehicle for your needs. Where I think you are in error is that you assume that the major automaker in the Eighties and early Nineties were queueing up to eagerly produce EV's. In fact nothing could be further form the truth! The EV1 , Ford and Toyota, EV experiments were responses to a political event in California. The vehicles produced had some adherents, among EV enthusiast's, but not enough to make these vehicles financially viable. Even today, Tesla relies on the sale of it's EV credits to finance its expansion. If you took away the Govt. subsidies in the US,UK and Europe, EV sales would struggle. I have been an advocate for EV's, and non fossil fuel energy, for more than twenty years. But, it's not any conspiracy that has held back EV technology, its simply cost and consumer convenience. Even today gas prices are largely determined by govt. taxation. It's easy to demonise an oil company, or any company with a conspiracy theory to explain the difficulties of turning a great concept into a viable commercial reality. It's painful to lose money. Like those who invested in Vectrix, or all the other EV dreamers, the marketplace reality is hard, unfair and sometimes inexplicable. Toyota, Nissan/Renault, Ford,GM, Mitsubishi etc are able to subsidise EV development because of profitable sales of ICE units, and huge government grants and incentive loans. Such conditions didn't exist twenty years ago. No conspiracy, maybe in hindsight, poor judgement and lack of vision, but neither sinister or malevolent.
        Ben Crockett
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        @Marcopolo You are right Blade Electric Vehicles (Blade) in substance does have elements of a major automaker, in terms of as you said series production numbers and crash testing - I see these though of more legislative restriction hurdles - legislation around roadworthiness etc is strict in Australia, much stricter than many if not all states of the US. To give an example of how strict the roadworthiness laws on new cars are, I read that Simon Hackett (from Internode) was unable to road register his original LHD Tesla Roadster that he purchased - as a result he bought a RHD Tesla Roadster as well, while on the other hand people can import say an old 1967 Ford Mustang from the US and drive it on the road in LHD format. Perhaps then, Ross Blade may not have had to take the route he did to in title become a Vehicle Manufacturer had the legislation not been as strict and the way it is - he instead could have continued to convert petrol model Hyundai Getz's in the same fashion as he initially did. I admit the line can be blurred, but I see the difference of a true Vehicle Manufacturer is one which has the following characteristics, owns (or at least leases under licence) the designs of the vehicle and at least had a hand in its design and secondly, there is assembly of the vehicle involved - both examples of the vehicle manufacturers you gave have these characteristics while Blade does not. But as you said - it would be better if we agree to disagree on this one. With regard to Blade being a local product - this is only really part true. As of course the Hyundai Getz roller is from South Korea - but according to the companies website 80% of the drive-train will be from local content - the profits should however stay in Australia which is of course good. Arguable though, purchasing a vehicle from Ford, Holden or Toyota supports local jobs and industry - however risk is profits can be sent back overseas to multi-national owners. This however is an inherent problem with Australia and our car industry on which it was built being on US subsidiaries of Ford & GM back in the early 1900s. I actually, want to purchase a 100% battery EV not a hybrid - but I want one with some range as I do live in a regional area and it needs to be highway capable. So Blade Electron Gen 2 may fit the bill. With regard to the majors dropping EVs back in the late 90's early 2000's I agree, there were other factors at play - as the movie also explains. The CAFE mandate was the main force for automakers to make EV's post the release of EV1. EV's are no doubt a loss leader - my beef is that some automakers don't appear to take the same approach to EV R&D and they would ICE R&D - perhaps the EV R&D should be amortised over all the companies products then perhaps the EV product will show as "profitable" to stakeholders. Thankfully, automakers are starting to take EVs seriously. Good to hear your a long term EV supporter, friend.
      Ben Crockett
      • 4 Years Ago
      @Marcopolo The original film does make you objectively think: what would Chevron want or need with an NiMH patent?
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 4 Years Ago
      while the significance of who killed the electric car is absolute, it seems pretty clear that this one has no teeth and that it should have since the war is far from over. I haven't yet seen it but I fear no tough questions are asked in it. is Lutz confronted with his global warming ignorance? with the real motivation behind the Volt announcement. and the lack of other REEV models from GM in the many years since. or the severe and dishonest reluctance of most of the big car makers of the world, dragging their feet now 5 years after the revolution began. does it even mention peak oil and the impending disaster from that since the automakers are holding back and we are too late.. it doesn't seem to be anywhere near good enough
      Marcopolo
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ben, Sorry there appears to be no reply facility to your question, [quote]The original film does make you objectively think: what would Chevron want or need with an NiMH patent?[/quote] The simple answer is that Chevron made a decision, along with most of the oil companies during the original oil crisis to strategically buy a series of corporations and technologies as part of a diversification policy. Large corporations are very much like political parties, with different factions jockeying for power. Take BP, during Lord Brownes time, BP became the world 's largest funder of alternate energy research. It donated some of this research into the public domain, and commercialised a good deal of research with biodiesel and Solar. With Lord Browne departure, alternate energy was neglected, and the emphasis returned to maximising shareholder return. This was the same with Chevron and Exxon, Chevron in particular, became obsessed with its lengthy battle to buy Texaco, Chevron hold 11 patents on NiMH battery technology, purchased largely as an aid to launching a battery company who shares would be valuable enough to swap in a take over bid of a major battery manufacturer. This event never transpired, and with the change in Chevron fortunes after the successfully acquisition of Texaco, the old NiMH patents became valueless, with the advent of newer battery technology. Not sinister, just mundane! The battery technology purchased was neither very advanced nor EV orientated, Chevron was seeking to control a replacement for the large industrial batteries used in oil exploration and production. Chevron had no interest in the success of EV's. No one in the seventies and eighties thought that EV's had a future on a commercial scale. Even now, the success of EV's is still dependant on the development of a better system of energy storage. (this is happening) Here's the question you must ask yourself. You live in Australia, where the very first, 4 door, full production hatchback is manufactured, (even used factory certified upgrades for sale) and for the last 4 years has been available for retail sale. Why haven't you bought one? Remember this is not the 1980's, with impractical little vehicles, struggling with US 110 volt power, but 2011 in Australia with 240 volt. ? Chevron doesn't prevent you! Ross Blade could say that it's hypocrites like you that make it hard to be a small EV manufacturer. (He would be wrong) but you could understand his point of view.! This is not intended as a personal criticism, just an example to establish some balance and wider understanding to your passion. Not everyone is the enemy.
        Ben Crockett
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Whoa there. My comment about NiHM and Chevron was simply an open question not an opinion. Whether the Chevron purchase of the NiHM patents was strategic or sinister the result was still the same, at the time it slowed EV development when NiHM was the best they had. It would be similar (not quite the same effect IMO given the many variations of battery tech now) if someone was able to purchase all the current Li-ion patents today it could again have the potential to again slow production / development of EVs. I wouldn't though confuse with what could be a form of "green washing" with balance though. To illustrate, Adolf Hitler also built the Autobahn and designed and brought the "People's Car" - the VW Beetle to German citizens, but history does not judge Hitler overall as "good". I am well aware that I may appear as a hypocrite, but it needs to be considered in context as you are correct I am an Australian citizen and you are probably also aware that we unfortunately are limited with choice in this country for plug-in EV's. There are currently no affordable production series EV's backed by a major automaker, which is available for purchase - not till the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt, or the Mitsubishi i-Miev becomes available for sale (not just lease as it is at the moment) nor is of course Tesla's Model S available yet - the latter which I am very very interested in. For the record, Blade Electric Vehicles is a not a EV manufacturer they are a converters. The Blade Electron is actually a converted Hyundai Getz. In the attached link in the video Ross Blade explains it himself around 1.58. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/12/blade-electric.html Not that I want to bag out Ross Blade's product it is very good thing that he is doing - and while I have considered long his Blade Electron, its size (in the Hyundai Getz shell) and range and price at this point don't suit me for a warrant purchase when I know major autos have EV's coming to our country over the next couple of years - which is exactly when my current Ford Focus comes off lease. Also for me, I have a fairly long and highway speed journey to work each day, which unfortunately would likely push the limits of the current Blade Electron. In saying that the 'coming soon' Blade Electron Gen 3 looks more up to what my requirements are, it looks to be based on the bigger Mazda 2 platform and a boost in range to 220 klm or 160 klm highway. Further, in saying all this I have made the personal commitment to seek to purchase an EV in the near future once they are available. I have made the commitment as Plug-in-America would put "My next car - No Plug? No Deal!" So on balance given my location and requirements for an EV, it is fairly harsh to assume I am a hypocrite. I see my viewpoint as one which is wide, it is just in my opinion that I admit, that I don't see the major oil companies as overall a "good" corporate citizen as many don't.
          Marcopolo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Ben Crockett
          If you notice, I did not call you a hypocrite. But you are quite wrong when you refer to Blade Electric vehicles as 'conversions' .Although Blade began business as a converting ICE vehicles to EV, Blade has subsequently become a fully licenced and accredited Vehicle Manufacturer, holding the same status as GM, Ford or Toyota. (Websites get out of date!). Would you call Tesla a Lotus conversion? The link with Hyundai, provides a network of over 150 service facilities across a huge and sparsely populated continent. The Gen 3 is based on a new Hyundai not yet available in Australia. Just being an oil company, and oil as a product, is not inherently bad or evil. It's a high risk, high profit, high loss business, which has paid for, and made possible, almost, all human technology and advancement in the last 100 years. The purchase of an individual battery supplier, didn't 'retard' EV development. That is simply erroneous. Twenty years later and with very much superior batteries there is still only a limited market for EV's. The battery patents purchased by Chevron have mythically grown in importance, but in truth even in the late 70's and 80's, better technologies existed. NiMH is simply not a suitable technology for an EV. No conspiracy theories, just mundane human behaviour! Less dramatic, but more credible.
          Ben Crockett
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Ben Crockett
          @Marcopolo The word "hypocrite" may not have been expressly made, but I read it as more implied by reference - but I will take your word that you didn't intent to call me a hypocrite. I wouldn't go as far to call Blade Electric Vehicles as Vehicle Manufacturers - they have a production licence to produce their product - in title they may be an accredited Vehicle Manufacturer but look at the substance not the form. All the Blade Electric Vehicles products to date and proposed, are 'conversions' of existing petrol models produced by 'another' auto manufacturer being Hyundai. Blade Electric Vehicles would have had no hand in the design, crash testing, road testing, manufacture, marketing etc of the original petrol model Hyundai Getz. The Blade Electron shares the same body panels as the petrol model and is the same for most part just minus the petrol components replaced with EV components - this is consistent with a typical EV conversion. If I took a petrol Hyundai Getz to them they would give me back a Blade Electron - which would look the same as any other Blade Electron I could have bought of them directly. This is quite the opposite to Tesla who started with the Lotus chassis for the Roadster and built their own car over it with EV components developed in house. Blade Electric Vehicles and Tesla are apples and oranges in comparison. You are right, just being an oil company is not necessary inherently bad or evil - this is measured by words & actions. Of course with oil production there is plenty of good and bad that goes with it. The good, oil for gas transportation (though I like to see our dependence on it for this purpose reduce) and many other products that we currently require. The bad, negative environmental factors. I think the "good" or "bad" on which a company is measured is to what path they pursue in the order to obtain and protect their profits. Further, the fact that we need / rely on the product or service a corporation does not automatically make the corporation that supplies it a "good" corporate citizen. The recent handling of BP over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, gives insight to how to BP acts as a corporation, for which it can be measured. I think most people agree that the oil spill was not handled well and many comments made by the CEO were insensitive. The reason I think, the purchase of the NiHM patents did retard EV development at the time, is because of the fact that the auto majors were all using NiHM and it was integral as without NiHM they couldn't get the range / performance / cost they needed to market EV's at the time. Further, it is not necessary totally relevant that NiHM is / was 100% suitable for an EV, just as current Li-ion with only 100 mile range battery packs maybe viewed by some as not suitable - more the fact that EV development from the majors for the most part went in dormancy for last 20 years as a result of discontinued production of EVs.
        EJ
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        "old NiMH patents became valueless, with the advent of newer battery technology." "The battery technology purchased was neither very advanced nor EV orientated" Ah yes, the 'valueless' technology that shattered the Department of Energy's performance targets The 'valueless' technology that no shortage of battery companies that wanted to buy. The one that Ovshinsky himself would have bought it back if given the chance. The fact that so many companies in so many industries licensed NiMH as replacement packs (and continue to use them to this day), alone show how ridiculous your statements are. You're also completing ignoring any of the commercial available street legal Solectria EVs, all of which were getting 200+ mile ranges on those non 'EV orientated' batteries, (you know the ones that finally made the EV1 have an acceptable range). The only reason Solectria exited the EV business is because those 'valueless' NiMH patents prevented them from continuing to use the battery technology that made their cars so successful. The nice thing about your post is that it's so ridiculous it makes your agenda even more clear. And here I thought only those craggy old conspiracy theorists suspended facts and reason.
          Marcopolo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @EJ
          EJ, I'm sure you think what you say makes sense! But let's analysis your argument. On the one hand you claim that the purchase of 'one' type of NiHD battery patent by Chevron retarded the ability of EV's to advance and Chevron blocks NiHD to this day, then claim "[quote] so many companies in so many industries licensed NiMH as replacement packs (and continue to use them to this day)[/quote]' You can't have it both ways! (Actually Chevron didn't buy the battery technology, Chevron bought Texaco, who owned Ovonics.) Chevron believed large automotive battery production of it's NiHD patents was not going to eventuate, and it's patents would be superseded by lithium, therefore the technology was valueless in that context . to recover investment, Chevron sold Licences. Solectria owners (a Geo Metro conversion) may claim obtaining 200 + mile ranges. But, the manufacturer, Solectria, claimed only 50 miles, at 45mph, in real driving conditions. Solectria advertised price for a 2-Seat, Auto Trans FORCE, 70 mile range, was $28,280.00 and a 2-Seat, Auto-Trans NICAD FORCE GT, 100 - 120 mile range $59,350.00. (Only the NiCAD could be considered any thing but a NEV. ) Although Stanford R. Ovshinsky, (his doctorates are honorary) is an incredibly brilliant scientist in the true American inventor mould, he also spent considerable time advocating hydrogen as a more efficient replacement for fossil fuels in transport.. Oh, and a couple more inconsistent facts that you fail to mention. Chevron formed a 50/50, joint venture with Energy Conversion Devices (owned in part by Stanford R. Ovshinsky). This JVC became Corbassy's, later acquired by Samsung-Bosch. It's Corbassy that refuses to sell small orders of large automotive batteries. This is a condition imposed on Chevron(Corbassy) by the Hong Kong/Singapore conglomerate Gold Peak Batteries Ltd when Gold Peak purchased the licencing rights to large automotive NiHD Batteries. Gold Peak was the original battery supplier (and shareholder) of Vectrix Corp. Gold Peak is the current owner of Vectrix. Chevron, on legal advice, pulled the funding for an order from Daimler for the supply of Hybrid batteries as the complications involved with the various licencing arrangements, in including the GM Saturn, would prove too complicated and costly to untangle. Interesting to note is that despite Chevron being so dreadfully sinister and evil, in 2001, Stanford R. Ovshinsky turned to Chevron to help ECD to acquire a 19% interest in the lithium battery producer, Rare Earth Ovonic Inner Mongolia, (Chevron owns 50%). My point is that all these corporate manoeuvring are often not as Machiavellian as the sensationalist conspiracy theorists would have you believe. (Most corporate execs, are like politicians, just not that bright!) . Of course, anyone trying to present a rational and factual analysis of a conspiracy theory, must be accused of having an 'agenda', or be in league with 'dark forces' .
      Marcopolo
      • 4 Years Ago
      Aw c'mon, no matter how much you want something to be true, when reason and facts have to be suspended to give credence to any story, it becomes a conspiracy theory. Most events have rational, if mundane explanations. The idea that technology of national interest, can be bought up by an oil company and denied even the government from manufacture, sounds exciting and very Machiavellian. In fact any technology of significant public interest, granted a patent and that patent manufactured, the patent can be legally withdrawn. The fact that the PRC (and others) would simply ignore the patent and produce/develop the technology, is also never considered. Nope, a good conspiracy theory must always rest upon 'secret information' and evil actions by 'vested interests'. Every conspiracy theory needs an evildoer to be exciting. We invent conspiracy theories rather than face, complicated but mundane, truths. In this way we create urban myths which give credence to more urban myths and distortions until something becomes 'common knowledge' . Afterwards, no one can recall the original erroneous basis. All I ask, is that all sides to an issue be rationally examined, then a conclusion reached, rather than starting with a conclusion, and fitting only facts which suit, while rejecting everything to the contrary. Who killed the electric car? It's a commercially uneconomic little vehicle, with very little appeal, built in response to a peculiar political policy, later reversed. GM discontinued the vehicle and acting on legal advice from GM's overly cautious lawyers (endorsed by the two government agencies), recalled the cars and crushed 'em. True, but not exciting! Most of the GM executive thought the idea of an electric car uneconomic after the fuel crisis passed. Giant and ageing corporations, can be like that, very bureaucratic. Not evil plotters, just conservative hidebound, accountant style, executives confused by changing times, and badly shaken by the legal nightmares created by Nader-style class actions. Regrettable, but not sinister or conspiratorial. Not so at Ford, where Jac Nasser's legal team followed his instructions to assess which would be more costly, paying out legal claims for negligent death claims for defective vehicles, (after blocking with expensive litigation) or fixing the defects.( I should make it clear, that no member of the Ford family took part in this cynically disgraceful conduct) The next person to be wailing, "conspiracy' will be Shai Aggassi. Never mind the idea of battery swapping has mortal defects in both the business and logistical planning. When 'Better Place' , fails, as it will, these young and very inexperienced supporters and employees will cry "conspiracy'! Show me hard evidence and I applaud the filmmaker or journalist, but conjecture and speculation, bolstered by bias and prejudice, with a dash of sensationalism, should remain in the pages of the National Enquirer
      electronx16
      • 4 Years Ago
      Define 'conspiracy".....I especially love the way GM started "promoting" the EV 1 when CARB demanded GM to prove there was no demand for it as they claimed. That resulted in this all time classic EV commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wodTinlvlB8 I don't know about conspiracy but does this really strike you as a serious effort to promote a product or just a clever trick to scare people away? Hint: - The thunderstorm: appeals to feelings of danger and unease/primal fear - the reference to domestic appliances: this product is neither sexy nor cool - the way the EV 1 is only fully shown from it's least advantageous angle: from behind - The creepy voice saying "the electric car is here". Oh no! Run for the hills! Conspiracies aside, I guess that if big corporations really don't want something they have plenty of tricks to make it go away.....
      Marcopolo
      • 4 Years Ago
      Unlike Ben, and many others, I found the original film, a poorly researched, very biased, retelling of an old conspiracy theory. I see very little reason to believe the new film will be different. This film maker is not renowned for objectivity, although that would be OK, if he admitted to being a propagandist. Instead he claims to be a fair-minded reporter. The presentation of assumptions, anecdotal evidence, and distortions as evidence and facts, serves no other purpose than sensationalism. The truth is the truth, no matter whether it accords with philosophic preferences. Still in fairness, I will see the film before prejudging.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        you probably can't claim superior comprehension when you couldn't even comprehend that the porsche article was in error when claiming 20% weight reduction.. and of course you are also wrong about who killed the electric car. of course there were conspiracies. they don't have to be elegant or elaborate to be conspiracies. indeed the participants were quite incompetent. as deep throat said in watergate (also conspiracies), they are not very bright guys and things got out of hand. this world has conspiracies you couldn't handle. car makers and their oil buddies smashing a few electric cars is hardly mindblowing.
        EJ
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        "when reason and facts have to be suspended to give credence to any story, it becomes a conspiracy theory." Then explain without suspending reason nor facts, why GM would sell the NiMH patent to an oil company for significantly less than it was worth. And after you're done with that, explain without suspending reason nor facts, why that oil company still to this day refuses to license NiMH batteries for automotive use. Why you're postulating a reasoned explanation for this, remember the fact that Solectria had street legal cars available to the public using NiMH that regularly demonstrated 200 mile ranges, and was crushing the competition in Tour De Sol with 375 mile ranges.
          Marcopolo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @EJ
          [quote]Then explain without suspending reason nor facts, why GM would sell the NiMH patent to an oil company for significantly less than it was worth. And after you're done with that, explain without suspending reason nor facts, why that oil company still to this day refuses to license NiMH batteries for automotive use[/quote] GM sold a (to GM) commercially redundant technology to the highest bidder. The whole conspiracy theory falls apart since the only protection of a technology is its patent. The US (and any) Patent Office can withdraw patent protection for dormant patent that are deemed in the public interest. In addition, the PRC (and others) would simply copy and improve on the technology then market it. What retribution could the patent holder achieve? Damages for a product never produced? Injunctive relief, not possible unless the patent holder could prove that production was about to commence? The PRC would simply ignore such actions anyway! In reality, one mass manufactured EV did try to come to market with NiMH technology, Vectrix . Equipped with more than $800 million of shareholder funds ,Vectrix went belly up in three years having sold only 1600 units! Just because a Vehicle receives praise in the 'green' or 'g-whiz' sections of the media, doesn't mean it can become a viable commercial success. Conspiracy theorists make much of the crushing of the EV1, yet this was not done clandestinely, nor illegally, in fact GM was advised to carry out this action by, in hindsight, overly cautious lawyers, and two relevant US government departments. Not sinister or evil, just the actions of conservative corporation executives badly shaken by the new Nader -style class action litigation. Hysterical ranters like Gorr and DF, do the EV cause great disservice. In truth , Ev's are struggling to gain market acceptance even today. For the last twenty years I have operated a business based on EV applications. But, outside of a narrow range of specialist uses, up until very recently the advantage of ICE vehicles has been so obvious, and EV technology so underdeveloped that that no opportunity has existed for EV's to commercially compete in the general arena. Most EV ranters on forums like this, neither own , nor invest in EV technology, yet they rant on as 'experts' telling other what they should or should not do.
        electronx16
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I think you will like the sequel. Not too much independent and critical thinking in it from what i gather, so little chance of further exposure of vested interests protecting their turf or "conspiracy theory" like you call it.
      Ben Crockett
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am looking forward to catching the DVD release of the film. I enjoyed the first movie was a real eye-opener for me. Between the first film and the performance of the Tesla Roadster, sparked what is now for me a solid interest in EV's and all the benefits they bring.
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