| Ford Church

Who Killed the Electric Car?

The Cottonwood Institute recently showed Who Killed the Electric Car? at our Change the World Movie Night at the Fluid Coffee Bar in Denver.

I really enjoyed how this film presented and analyzed the various suspects that contributed to the life and death of GM’s Electric Vehicles (EV). Suspects included the California Air Resources Board, Batteries, the Federal Government, Consumers, Car Companies, Oil Companies, and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles.

Guiding Question: With global warming gnawing at our environmental consciousness and higher gas prices burning a hole in the wallet of the average America, what do you think would happen if GM re-release their Electric Vehicle line in 2007?

Categories: Cottonwood Institute News

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4 Responses to “Who Killed the Electric Car?”

  1. Byrne Reese

    There was one thing that this movie failed to mention, that for me is the single biggest reason I would never buy an electric car, no matter how much I might otherwise want to:

    * the end of the road trip

    You see, one can longer just jump in the car and drive indefinately. At some point you need to stop and refuel, and how long would that take, versus the “honey, take the next exit and fill her up, then let’s get back on the road!”

    Sorry, if I can’t drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in one go, then forget. Sorry you lose.

  2. Ford Church

    Thanks for your comment Byrne. This concern was addressed in the movie with the suspect of consumers and consumer education. The question that we need to ask is how many times are we actually jumping in the car and driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles in one go?

    The fact is at the time the EV was introduced, the battery had a 100 mile range. Now battery technology has improved and it could have a 300 mile range.

    In addition, because of the zero emmission regulations, California was in the process of developing a major infrastructure change to create electric filling stations to solve your concern about not being able to take the next exit and fill her up.

    The EV met 90% of California’s driver’s needs based on actual miles commuted. If you need to make a longer road trip, you could solve that by simply renting a car. I can rent a 12 passenger van in CO for $89 per day. Pile in your family or a bunch of friends and now we have a road trip!

    The next question we need to ask is whether or not the average American is willing to make personal sacrifices to make environmentally sustainable choices?

  3. Byrne Reese

    That is perfectly reasonable, and in this way the consumer is “guilty” as the movie would allege. But as a consumer – that is unreasonable. Today’s battery capacity is irrelevant to understand the demise of the electric car 10 years ago. 100 miles? That is insanely unreasonable. Even 300 miles is unreasonable.

    I buy a car because I want the freedom to go where I want when I want. But if I purchased an electric car I would sacrifice that freedom. And you must know, that to an american, that is the last thing they want to hear.

  4. M King

    I realize that the electric car was created on the coasts because that’s where people have the money. I live in SD and with towns so few and far between, sometimes 100 mi. is just a drop in the bucket. Are electric cars just for commuters in CA? or is there a future for us mid-continent residents of this fair country who don’t make the hefty salaries but would still like to do something about the energy crunch?


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