Who Killed The Electric Car? Review

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In 1996, General Motors launched the EV1 — America’s first modern electric car. They were economical, environmentally sound, and beloved by their owners (Mel Gibson and Tom Hanks among them). A decade later, they were gone — recalled and destroyed. Chris


They had world-beating technology and a market ready for the product. But, as ever, the US chose not to take a risk and lead the world in an eco-friendly direction. Now, continuing that wonderful tradition of kicking Big Oil as often and as hard as possible, this documentary points a finger at all those responsible for one of the more significant carbon-black marks against America.

There’s a strange lack of anger here for a doc that assumes a considerable degree of support for concerns such as carbon reduction and emission standards. Even in the narration of Martin ‘wish-he-really-was-President’ Sheen, there’s a curious absence of passion. Factually, though, it’s impressive, lining up a wealth of material from insiders and celebrity supporters of the cars. Examining each ‘suspect’ in the manner of a jury trial, it does at least have the courage to pass judgement on those it finally deems responsible. Unfortunately, it can’t nullify the feeling of a Pyrrhic victory, exposing the myriad interest groups that saw the EV1’s supporters steamrollered in the first place.

A story that deserves to be heard, but like the EV1, it’s a quiet achievement that should have been much louder.