portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary oregon & cascadia

corporate dominance | energy & nuclear

Go see "Who Killed The Electric Car?"

New documentary details the efforts of the Oil Industry, Auto Industry and Bush Administration to destroy the initial success of electric cars in California, that stemmed from the California Legislature's 1990 mandate that by 1998, automakers sell 2% of total sales in California that are electric. Efforts to overturn the law went into high gear following the "election" of Bush, as the Executive Branch unconstitutionally joined a lawsuit against the State of California.
I don't want to spoil this documentary, but I do want to list some high points to motivate Oregon progressives to go see it, because this kind of courageous, independent, documentary film-making is extremely important and needs to be supported. As the saying goes, "vote with your wallet."

The film proves that General Motor's EV1, Honda's electric car, electric powered Toyota Rav-4's, and similar vehicles that were powered by a bank of Nickle Hydrate batterys had over come early technical difficulties and were capable of reaching top speeds of 70 mph at a range of 300 miles per day with zero emissions.

Following the passage of the law, which was in response to health problems like 1 out of 4 children in LA having respiratory problems at the peak of LA's smog problems in the 80s, a number of "consumer choice" groups formed to protest electric vehicles. These groups were all tied to big oil funding.

It shows how the auto industry, led by General Motors and DaimlerChrysler (parent company of the labor-unfriendly and Portland-based Freightliner Trucks) filed a suit against the State of California to repeal the electric car law that was lawfully passed by its representative government.

The film presents the facts showing how hydrogen fuel cell technology is not a viable alternative fuel within the next 20 years, yet the successfull electric vehicle experiment has been effectively buried in history, thanks to auto industry efforts to make sure that all vehicles were recalled (even if the owner wanted to keep his/hers) and sent to be crushed or shredded for scrap metal.

This is an excellent documentary and deserves good attendance from the progressive community in Portland. Thanks for reading my post.



PS - It is particularly interesting in light of this movie that researchers of "joe cell" technology, which uses a metal and electrically charged cylinder that is filled with water to generate electricity, have withdrawn their research under threats against their lives. For more information, check out:  http://www.rense.com/general72/oinvent.htm

You could just google on "joe cell" and you will see what I'm talking about. If there's any savvy, engineering type progressive reading this who might know a lot more about Joe Cells than me, please comment.
somebody should have stolen one 24.Jul.2006 23:09

st

Haven't seen the film, but have seen the director interviewed, clips of the film, reviews of it. All are encouraging, regarding potential availability of a superior alternative. A lot of naievete goes along with the notion that battery powered cars would be an easy replacement for intern combust cars. For example, who really has explored the logistics and hazards of manufacture of batteries and disposal of them when exhausted, on a massive scale equivalent to that represented by intern combust powered cars?

Still, it's hard not to be contemptuous towards GM for being so selfish by not just discontinuing the leasing program for the EV-1, but also recalling and destroying them so that nobody else could expand on their technology. One of the suggested reasons they did recall and destroy, after all, was that there was no money in it for them. It would seem possible that they could have at least licensed out reproduction of the car, all, or in part, by another manufacturer or research organization.

This Movie Rocks! 26.Jul.2006 14:58

jbk

Yeah check out this movie, I thought it was great. Near the end of the movie they also touch on plug in hybred cars which are prius that have been modified to get 100+ mpg - these kits and pro installed retrofits should be available to anyone with a 2004-2006 prius within the next 6-12 months. Very cool stuff - just google priusplus or plug in hybred for more info, or here's one link:

 http://www.eaa-phev.org/wiki/Plug-In_Hybrids