Who Killed the Electric Car?

Director: Chris Paine

Although most of the focus on documentary filmmaking in 2006 revolved around Al Gore’s triumphantly horrifying cautionary tale on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, another environmentally conscious film was released to less fanfare. An official selection at both the Sundance and Tribecca Film Festival, writer/director Chris Paine’s fascinating study of the emergence in the 1990’s of electric cars (notably the EV-1s created by General Motors) and their abrupt disappearance and removal from California highways is a ever-so-timely must see. Analyzing all sources from consumer misinformation to government and oil companies protecting their own interests, Who Killed the Electric Car is an intelligent, entertaining yet upsetting mysteries that should appeal to environmentally aware citizens along with those simply interested in automobiles. The tagline for the film, which addresses the question posed in the title reads, “A lack of consumer confidence… or conspiracy,” and we are captivated by the numerous film clips and interviews from former EV-1 and other electric car drivers, politicians, automobile manufacturers and insiders. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the film also includes such famous figures as Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Ed Begley Jr. and Ralph Nader. A great companion piece to An Inconvenient Truth, the film raises many queries regarding the future of electric hybrid cars as well as the truth about the shortcomings and obstacles standing in our way in regards to fuel cell technology. In fact, the film is so packed with information that it may even warrant a second viewing to better grasp all of the information presented.