The Electric Car Conspiracy That Never Was

James Woudhuysen's take on Chris Payne's documentary, 'Who Killed the Electric Car?'

Published: 03-Jan-2008

It's almost two years since the debut of Chris Paine's documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? The movie has been a success in US theatres and often comprises one half of a double bill with Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. But what the success of the movie tells us is more alarming than any conspiracy it purports to unveil: a disdain for engineering, for technological innovation, and most of all a disdain for us, the consumers.

It's the story of General Motors' ill-fated EV1 electric car.

A hundred years ago, Who Killed? observes, General Motors bought up trolley car firms just to close this source of competition down. Today, it suggests, a covert alliance of Big Oil, Big Auto and corrupt regulators, both in California and in the federal government, has killed the electric car.


The Volt can be fully charged by plugging it into a 110-volt outlet for approximately six hours a day.

The Chevrolet Volt E-Flex concept electric car represents a marked shift at General Motors as the company tries to wrestle a reputation for high technology back from its archrival Toyota.

The automaker tries again, announcing an electric-drive system that can be paired with gasoline generators or fuel cells.


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