Who Killed The Electric Car?

By Abrahim Harb

On January 1990 the Zero Emission Vehicle ("ZEV") was introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show with the intent of lessening California’s growing air pollution. They began to revolutionize the way people would drive, especially in California due to its high air pollution. But it never got the change to reach any other state. Soon enough following General Motors was Toyota, Nissan, and Honda they joined in and created a prototype like the EV1’s. The EV1 ran off electricity, and could be plugged in anywhere. All I thought was “wow! I want to own one!” When I saw the movie, but now they are all gone- what a travesty! How could they create something that runs so smooth, was very quite, and an innovative in starting to stop air pollution? Just to take it off the market, and eliminated it fully. If they had been kept around, and Al Gore was elected as President, we would not be in the rut that we are in now. The air pollution situation would be under control, and we would not be in a recession.

The film investigates some of the reasons that the EV1 was killed off; crushed and recycled I would fear that it would be a fad, and they would make too many. Then a General Motors spokesman Dave said “it was lack of consumer interest due to the maximum range of 80–100 miles per charge, and the relatively high price. They also failed to produce cars to meet existing demand, when a mandate was put up in California [the only state to see the EV’1s.] They also interviewed celebrities Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Ralph Nader who owned EV1’s. The oil industry was afraid that the EV1’s would catch on, and revitalize driving, and Wally Rippel would go on to explain in the movie that the were afraid of losing out on trillions in possible profit from the monopoly that the EV1’s could have created. Then they used the limited range of the battery life of 60-70 miles and reliability in the first EV-1s, but later revamped to 110 - 160 miles as an excuse to take the cars off the market. Then the government came in, and the California Air Resources Board [CARB) caved into pressure and they revoked the “ZEV mandate.” in the end all were to blame but the batteries and there life.

The majority of the film was spent on General Motors demonstrating to California that there was no demand for their product, how it would become a hassle, and advertising the bad side of owning an electric car, which sabotaged there own product/company. In my opinion that is the incoherent things to do it dirty your squeaky clean image, and possibly put you out of business. This led to them taking back every EV1 and disposing of them. They were brought to locked up, and secretive locations, and crushed, then recycled. Some were disabled and given to museums and universities to display. Activists protested by attempting to block general motors care carriers from taking the remaining EV1’ off to be crushed. The sad thing about the whole conspiracy was that General Motors never offered the EV1 for public sale. It was only available to consumers under a lease program that had "no purchase" clause disallowing the vehicle's re-purchase at the conclusion of the lease.