The big oil companies and their political allies may hate the very idea of the electric car, but writer-director Chris Paine remains an unabashed fan of the technology. His informative and entertaining documentary, which makes an explicit link between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, traces the evolution and eventual marketplace failure of the innovative vehicle.
Laying the blame at the feet of General Motors (which eventually reclaimed the first models leased to consumers and crushed and buried them in the Nevada desert), apathetic politicians, and an unrepentant oil industry, Paine also gives voice to the car’s staunch defenders, Mel Gibson among them. He may have a clearly defined axe to grind but, in this war-ravaged and environmentally distressed day and age, Paine’s passion is worth attending to.
Filmmaker Chris Payne explores the many factors that played into the ultimate failure of the electric car to catch on with consumers, even as gas prices began to skyrocket, in a thoughtful meditation on the increasingly important role that renewable energy plays in modern society. Introduced as a means of providing an alternative to increasing oil consumption and reducing pollution in 1996, the electric car was all but a forgotten memory only a decade later, but why?