RESISTANCE CINEMA presents “WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?” Sony Pictures Classic, Written & Directed by Chris Paine, narrated by Martin Sheen, 2006, 90 minutes
WHEN: Sunday May 3rd, 2009 1:15pm
WHERE: Community Church 0f NYC, Gallery Room, 28 East 35th st. @ park ave.
ADMISSION: Free, donations appreciated
It was among the fastest, most efficient production cars ever built. It ran on electricity, produced no emissions and catapulted American technology to the forefront of the automotive industry. The lucky few who drove it never wanted to give it up. So why did General Motors crush its fleet of EV-1 electric vehicles in the Arizona desert?
Who Killed the Electric Car? chronicles the life and mysterious death of the EV-1; examining the cultural and economic ripple effects caused by its conception and how they reverberated through the halls of government and big business.
Chris Paine’s film investigates the events leading to the quiet destruction of thousands of new, radically efficient electric vehicles. Through interviews and narrative, the film paints a picture of an industrial culture whose aversion to change and reliance on oil may be deeper then its ability to embrace ready solutions.
In one of the opening shots in “Electric Car,” as a sleek silver sedan zooms silently down a freeway, Martin Sheen narrates that this GM electric car was available for leasing in 1996. He goes on to state that a little over a hundred were made and all were snapped up as soon as they came off the assembly line.
A mere 10 years later, the cars disappeared from the nation’s roads. Why? Who “killed” the electric car? Paine’s well-crafted, riveting film attempts to answer these questions. He rounds up the usual suspects: Oil companies, guilty (obviously); batteries, not guilty; consumers, guilty (for not grasping the advantages of EVs); U.S. government, guilty (by fighting against the EV and campaigning for the expensive and problematical hydrogen car).
Paine interviews some of the people who leased EV1s from GM. All extol the car’s merits: Speed, range, comfort, ease of handling, convenience (plug it in at home or work). The best features: no visits to the gas pumps, no concerns about maintenance or of replacing oil. Best of all—no toxic emissions.