Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Revenge of the Electric Car

(A Documentary Film)

I and six others were in the theatre this evening to see this outstanding presentation of the trials and tribulations of the process of bringing electric cars onto the market. It starts with the well documented destruction in 2006 by General Motors. There were several hundred on the road in California. The lessees really liked the car. Since they were not allowed to purchase, they could not prevent G.M. from taking them back and crushing them to be sure they could not be put back into service. This film follows one that chronicled the saga. It was called “Who killed the Electric Car”. I wrote an article after seeing it. To this day it is hard for me to forgive G.M. management. That is why I was outspoken against the Federal Government bailout.
This new film covers the years since 2006. There is a small company that is retrofitting gasoline cars with batteries. It is a mom and pop type of enterprise run by Greg Abbot. Their main contribution is to provide an alternate as opposed to a newly designed electric car. Carlos Chosn of Nissan is by far the most aggressive. He is staking their future on the success of the Leif and other electric cars. Bob Lutz was instrumental in convincing G.M. management to develop the Volt. Elon Musk started his own company called Tesla Motors in California. He almost went under but is today in production with great looking cars.
We are all aware of the hybrids produced by Honda and Toyota. At the end there are brief glimpses of autos from Europe and also trucks on the road today. How great it would be if electric cars became a larger part of the vehicles on the road, particularly in places like California with the smog produced by gasoline vehicles. You don’t even have to believe in global warming to see the advantage. Wouldn’t it be great to stop sending billions to the countries in the Middle East most of whom hate us.
As I usually do I will end this with a plea to our elected officials and the American consumer. This progress can be brought to a screeching halt if gasoline prices continue to drop. The higher cost and limited range will keep consumers from purchasing as the gas savings will not be sufficient, even though we would all appreciate cleaner air to breathe.
I highly recommend seeing this film.

Jack B. Walters
December 14, 2011

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