Who Killed the Electric Car ?


Who Killed the Electric Car? is a question that should concern all of us, because the answer shows how our society bestows advantage to sectional interests over the common good.

Electric cars would already be commonplace and mainstream, if their natural development had not been interfered with and if their comeback in the 1990's had not been thwarted by vested interests----to the detriment of us all. In fact, if the electric car had not been edged off the planet by vested interests over the past hundred and fifty years, the history of the world would have been completely different.

  • We would have a cleaner environment.
  • Our health costs would be much lower.
  • Electricity would be produced from natural resources.
  • There would have been no oil wars and dodgy foreign policy interventions driven by oil interests.

The 20th century could have been much more benign and we would not now have the grave geo-political and climactic problems that we 21st century folk have inherited.

Oh, and there wouldn't have been a Bush in the White House. Ponder that!

The recent history of electric cars is enough to make you cry---it truly is a remarkable tale of greed, bullying and how terribly wrong human affairs can sometimes go. It was beautifully told in Chris Paine's award-winning documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?

Here's the story of who killed the electric car.....

In response to the State of California's attempt to introduce laws curtailing car pollution, several car manufacturers began producing electric cars----while the auto and oil-industry challenged the Californian initiative.

But during this temporary hiatus, before the challenge, in 1990, General Motors developed an electric vehicle, a nifty little two-seater called the Impact. Its name was later shortened to the GM EV1 (just for you anoraks out there who needed that little bit of detail!).

Now this baby was a gorgeous sleek model. And really fast. So fast it set a world speed record of over 180 miles per hour! It was a truly aerodynamic shape, so it just glided along with no air-drag, or energy wastage.

Actually, the car was practically a plane it was so aerodynamic and if it had wings it would probably have taken off into the sky like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Eight hundred of them were leased out to California drivers for three years, but once the leases expired, General Motors crushed them all. Having created these cars, they killed off their own babies in a Medea-like act of mindless destruction.

Honda, Toyota and Nissan had also developed electric cars and leased them during this hiatus of enlightenment in California. And when the Federal Courts stamped out enlightenment and reinstated the bad old dispensation, these companies also developed Medea-like tenancies. They too crushed their electric babies.

After protests, Toyota agreed to stop crushing and sell their remaining electric cars, the RAVs. These cars are now worth more than their original $40k price and are collectors items in the cool green world.

But why such acts of utter bloody-mindedness?

When California laws on car emissions were successfully challenged in court by the motor industry and overturned, these companies knew they were off the hook. But why crush the electric cars? Perhaps they just didn't want the bother of supplying spare parts to a few cars everyone was trying to make obsolete.

Who Killed the Electric Car?--- The motor industry.

The car they had to crush. What a waste!

As well as its legal challenge, the oil industry had been working hard to spin the public away from going electric, so there was no huge demand for electric cars. Behind the scenes, Big Oil was doing what it always does---dictating policy, running the world, making fat political donations, which had the strange affect of keeping politicians stum about the crisis of our addiction to gas-cars.

Who Killed the Electric Car?---The oil industry.

The U.S. government could have changed Federal law after the legal challenge. It could have given great incentives for electric cars. But it stayed silent and did nothing.

Who Killed the Electric Car? ---The U.S. Government.

The environment was going down the tubes, the air was getting dirtier, the oil was running out. But it was the Nineties! Boomtime! Nobody cared too much and gas prices hadn't yet hit the roof.

So we all partied on and the sad tale of the electric car trying to make a comeback was just a blip.....

Who Killed the Electric Car? ---- All of us!

.........until now.....

.....because now we know we want electric cars....

.....and they're back to stay this time....

...............because you can't keep a good thing down!



Return to Electric Car 101

Return to Homepage

They're clean!They're green!
They're the wonderful electric car machines!

Sitemap