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Who killed the electric car?


Who killed the electric car? Here is your absolute information and facts for this 2006 documentary film that reflects the electric cars in real life has been killed cruelly in the early 1990s. Do you know that what happened to the electric car and over hundreds of them was killed and crushed? The story started in January 1990 when GM (General Motors) chairman Roger Smith introduced an electric concept car at Los Angeles Auto Show. The electric car named “GM EV1” was then produced and leased in some of the states in the U.S. from 1996 to 1999 and became the first mass-produced electric cars from a famous automaker or auto manufacturer.

The movie is basically tried to introduce the life of an electric car in the U.S and specifically the GM EV1. It shows how this car was having limited budget and commercialization and how it was killed in the end of the day. The movie explores the role of automaker, petrol industry, U.S government, electric technology, batteries lifetime, consumers and among others that related to this electric vehicle car.

The movie did not go on to cinema and only released on DVD on 14 November, 2006. The film talks about electric cars history, the invention, expansion as well as its commercialization. Over 800 units of EV1 was lease mainly in Southern California and majority of lessees’ feedback with positive reaction. Well, the life of EV1 does not go that smooth as GM is unable to make profit from the car and over US$1 billion of production cost has been spent over 4 years. The EV1 was forced to discontinue in 2002 and all the EV1 on road were repossessed. That is one of the reasons why there are quite a number of repossessed cars for sale in the U.S. However, EV1 did not become any repo cars for sale and most of it was killed or crushed and live in junk yard. There are only some were delivered to the Universities for education purpose as well as to museums collect as one of the history cars.


The film also details how CARB (California Air Resources Board) push the mandate after suits from automobile manufactures, the oil industry, and the previous U.S president George W. Bush administration. The film points out Bush’s chief influences. Ironically, these influences are all former executives and board members of oil and auto companies. It films out who killed the electric car indirectly. One of the best answers for this question is someone pulled the plug killed the electric car. Most of the killers were the people who make money from automobile and oil industry. It also shows some of the main reasons why these people worked to kill off the electric car.

Why they kill electric cars?

  • Oil companies anxious of losing trillion dollars in potential profit from their fuel monopoly market over the coming years.
  • Auto maker afraid of losing over the next six months profit of GM’s EV production.
  • GM spokesman explained the low demand was due to low range of travel per charge. The actual story is most of the consumers uninformed an electric car was available, or being informed that they could no longer get one.

General Motors EV1

  • A total number of 1,117 units were produced from 1996 to 1999. 660 Generation I units for 1997 model year and 457 Generation II units for 1999 model year.
  • It is a 2-seat, 2-door coupe car.
  • Featured aluminum frame, dent-resistant plastic body panels.
  • Surprisingly it gives 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 9 seconds and top speed of 80 mph (129 km/h).
  • The electric range gives 55 miles (89 km) to 75 miles (121 km) per charge which is quite acceptable for town use.

Electric car been killed

The dead of EV1 remains contentious where the interest groups were saying the car been killed because of oil industry conspiring not to keep any electric cars on the road. This is almost similar to Electric Car Mendomotive case.

Quite a big part of the film shows how GM’s make their efforts to make obvious report to California government that there was no demand for the car. With this reason they will have to repossess the car and dispose them. Aren’t the car are not suppose to be killed even though no demand for it? Selling these cars to some of the countries in Asia with very limited petrol can anytime help the economy and environment of the country.

However, there are still a lot of electric car conversion kit available for sale in the market to help people who interested to convert their car to electric-powered.

On the other hand, the film also explores a big group of people who support the electric cars and green environment trying to fight for the electric cars but sadly at last they still fail to keep it from survive. The end of the film shows a deactivated EV1 car #99 was found in the garage of Petersen Automotive Museum. The film also mentioned the upcoming next film “Revenge of the Electric Car” at the end of the film. Isn’t it sensation for a documentary film like “Who killed the electric car”?


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