I really like the idea of car sharing. In the US, we've got CityWheels and ZipCar. In the UK, there is WhizzGo and now Street Car. The incredibly cleverly named Street Car (seriously, I dig it) offers Londoners a fleet of nothing but Volkswagen Golfs at this point. These cars are not the bare bones models, as they're teched out with cell phone and iPod compatibility. You can even call Street Car HQ for free from the car's hands-free phone. Street Car's reservation system is similar to ZipCar's.
I haven't yet seen the new movie "Who Killed the Electric Car?" which opens next month, but I'm pretty sure I have seen the story before. The trailer for "Who Killed the Electric Car?" basically accuses GM (and other car and oil companies) of promoting cars like the Hummer instead of gasless electric vehicles because there's money to be made in oil. It's a m.o. I remember from a documentary I saw a few years ago.