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Who Killed the Electric Car? Directed by Chris Paine
Who Killed the Electric Car?

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It was among the fastest, most efficient production cars ever built. It ran on electricity, produced no emissions and catapulted American technology to the forefront of the automotive industry. The lucky few who drove it never wanted to give it up. So why did General Motors crush its fleet of EV-1 electric vehicles in the Arizona desert?
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Director Chris Paine Talks about Who Killed the Electric Car?

When Who Killed the Electric Car premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (on the same weekend as An Inconvenient Truth), we wondered whether movie goers were ready for a new kind of 'action film'. Fortunately people jumped onboard and this seems even more true today.

We put this DVD together after the release of the film to include a dozen short scenes we couldn't quite fit into our story. My favorite is one with Stan and Iris Ovshinsky who developed the revolutionary battery technology that powered GM's electric car (and today's Prius). These two brilliant octogenarians took our small camera crew on a Willy Wonka style tour of their inventions including the world's largest thin film solar cell factory. As we stood under a football field size machine in Troy Michigan, I blustered "Is solar power back?" Stan exclaimed " What?! Solar never went away... What was back was backward thinking!" And as his machine cranked out miles of solar cells above us, we knew he was right.

I'm especially glad that the optimistic last scene of Who Killed the Electric Car has proven that we weren't just wishful thinkers when we finished our edit. The clips feature the first glimpse of the ultra fast Tesla electric sports prototype as well the Zenn neighborhood electric vehicle. Both cars are starting to roll off production lines today. And while the State of California (and some car companies) are still gambling on hydrogen fuel cells, plug-in cars are proving to be more environmentally efficient and popular. Early adopters deserve a lot of the credit. Oil companies and the internal combustion engine monopoly may have "killed" thousands of electric cars (EVs) in the 1990s, but EVs are coming back. (Stay tuned for next film...)

I hope you'll find our documentary takes you on a wild ride out of the 20th century and into the 21st.

Who Killed the Electric Car? chronicles the life and mysterious death of the EV-1; examining the cultural and economic ripple effects caused by its conception and how they reverberated through the halls of government and big business.  Director Chris Paine presents the history of the EV-1 electric car in a riveting and suspenseful murder mystery style, with all suspects--the government, oil companies, the auto industry--under scrutiny.  A must see for any hybrid enthusiast!

Stills from the Film


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