Design, Greenspace, film June 20, 2011 By Jordan Sayle

ec 3 The Electric Car Takes Chargefiller29 The Electric Car Takes Charge     “If big trends continue, and they seem to be doing that just now, the electric car would do very well,” says Paine, mentioning as factors everything from oil prices to the increase of environmental challenges, to improvements in technology, to demands for change from the public.
     GM recently introduced the Chevy Volt, which relies significantly on a lithium-ion battery, and Nissan has its fully electric Leaf, both of which feature prominently in the documentary. In addition, the film also follows the rollout of the sleek electric sports car developed by the independent Silicon Valley startup Tesla and the DIY approach of backyard converters like Los Angeles’s Greg “Gadget” Abbott, a minor character in “Who Killed the Electric Car?” Collectively, these enterprises make clear that progress is taking place on a number of fronts. The potential success of these vehicles at a time of four-dollar gasoline and turmoil in oil-exporting regions could herald the first major shift away from gasoline since the internal combustion engine originally supplanted the electric battery a century ago.
     There is, of course, the risk that the film declares victory a bit prematurely. With the state of the economy being what it is today, there’s a pretty good chance that this tale of revenge could instead end up being another one of missed opportunities. After all, how many people currently feeling pain at the pump over four dollars for a gallon of gas will jump at the chance to pay ten thousand times as much for a base model Volt? The film recognizes this economic challenge and presents the crash of 2008 as a major setback for the auto industry and for electric vehicles in particular. But as Paine frames it, taking a wide-angle view, the Great Recession is only a minor bump along the open road toward the inevitable clean energy future.

1 2 3 4