Who Killed The Electric Car?

There is an excellent documentary film available titled “Who Killed The Electric Car”…

Every automotive enthusiast should obtain a copy of this film and see how GM, Big Oil and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) teamed up to kill the zero emissions vehicle…

At first I thought it was going to be a nice little propaganda piece put together by the tree huggers lamenting the failure of GM’s EV-1 electric vehicle…But it goes far deeper than that…

When it’s revealed that the Chairman of CARB is also the CEO of a start-up fuel cell company, things get interesting…

I am familiar with that piece and feel there is much legitimacy in it. I do not feel it’s an unusual situation as far as corporations are concerned; after all they are generally amoral. I feel there is little the average person can do about it except to vote with there pocketbook. If we as a country had refused to buy “hemi type” toys and pushed the auto industry, we would have had legit electric cars long before now. Right now, we have no one to blame but ourselves based upon the decisions we make at the polls and cash out lines.
We have allowed ourselves to be scammed by our own ignorance. This is a free country and we are getting what we deserve.
And only now after years of this information being out there, there is still little concern about giving both corporations and govt. officials a free pass for negligence.
I’m going to jump in my big SUV and go 4 wheel’n this afternoon.
We could have had functional EVs years ago on advanced lead acid battery technology alone. We continue to let ourselves be duped.

So far I have not yet seen a business model that would make electric cars a viable product. I am not against the idea. I do foresee them in the future, but we are just not ready for it. That “we” is the consumer. Until the numbers of interested consumers grow a lot larger than current, it is not going to work.

There are just too many issues to be addressed and too many different groups that all need to get on board to make it go.

GM built 850 of the cars, the dealers in the selected markets had LONG waiting lists of willing customers waiting to take delivery…Most wanted to BUY the car but were only offered two-year leases. GM made NO EFFORT to ramp up production to meet the high demand…Only one out of a hundred perspective customers was ever able to lease one…

The effort was just a Dog & Pony show, they never wanted it to succeed…As a matter of fact, they did everything they could to make the car a failure…

It worked. The zero emissions vehicle law California had passed was overturned as “unworkable”…A few $1,000,000 each fuel cell prototypes were trundled out and offered as the “solution” but those have quietly disappeared too…

When a new battery technology is developed and patented, the big oil companies buy the patents and then sit on the technology. Patent law needs to be changed to a “Use It Or Loose It” format.

In all practicality we have seen enough shell shock on this board for the 3 grand price tag when the battery dies.

Not… the nickel metal hydride batteries are still being used in equivalent form in the EV RAV. They are 15 to 20 years use items and unavailable for replacement only because of patent concerns not because they aren’t worth it. The Prius battery life of over 200K miles on the early models on follow up test by CR shows their continual viability. It’s not a run of the mill daddy’s K mart $39 lead acid special. It works well in any weather and it is un phased (comparably so ) by cold temps. These are the kind of comments that are not born out by research.

Then and now, the fundamental problems for electric cars are battery charge life, battery expense, battery lifespan, battery weight and battery space required that is practical. Efforts such as the Prius and the Volt still dance around the problem with gasoline engine backups. The ability of the Leaf to answer the problem in a sufficiently complete way remains to be seen.

The chairman of CARB and the CEO of a start-up fuel cell company having the power to stop electric car progress is similar to the old story of sinister forces that suppressed the 200 mpg carburetor that dates back at least to the 1930s except that the 200 mpg carburetor, in hindsight, could never be possible. Where true knowledge is missing or denied by those unwilling to listen or comprehend, folklore and Hollywood will fill in.


That is about 6 months worth. Your conclusion?

Too many things against full electric vehicles for them to be viable right now

Ranges need to extend beyond 100 miles in ideal conditions(light foot, no AC or heat, no lights, etc)
Charge time needs to decrease to minutes instead of hours
And the biggest hindrance is that we need more power plants to provide the necessary electricity to charge these vehicles.

If we can barely keep up with demand as it is without the vehicles charging up, then how can we hope to supply numerous vehicles charging up everywhere? Rolling blackouts happen a lot in the summer time with people using their AC in their home, imagine how it’d be with those vehicles charging up.
I bet very few electric car fanatics(read: tree huggin hippies) thought of that problem.

I’m not overwhelmed as only three of your references refer to actual complaints about battery failure. The rest appear to be just inquiries. Compare that to the transmission/engine replacement questions on cars. It’s less of a problem. And yet, we typically say to people needing a major engine/trans overhaul job it’s “normal” for a particular car and costs equal to or more. Bottom line, your references are subjective and I’ll stand behind CRs recommendations and the actual performance of the batteries in use today.
And I maintain that stories like these are just as valid.
Using our own references is like inbred reasoning. Having the sample as part of the discussion group does not make it valid.

My guess is the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle maybe the best long term solution, but would still require massive electric generation to make hydrogen and a complete infrastructure change in fueling stations. But vehicle would be fueled similarly to gas vehicles and have a reasonable range. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX_Clarity

I hear you, but it’s normal for drug companies to hold back tests on drugs that could be much more beneficial than those on the market, but do so only until the patents and profitability run out on those that they presently market. It’s normal for drug companies to sell drugs in particular application forms in countries that require it because it enhances compliance but not here where profit says no. Ask any doctor. Why are car companies any different in these practices. I repeat, corporations are amoral and we should not doubt for one moment that they are capable of such transgression nor doubt that corp supported politicians don’t support it through legislation.

“would still require massive electric generation…and a complete infrastructure change” = why hydrogen fuel will never replace gasoline on a grand scale in the USA, at least not in our lifetimes.

However, I do remember seeing a TV documentary about a massive shift to hydrogen in Iceland, I think it was. Which is possible for them because the country is so small, in terms of population & infrastructure.

There is no magic solution, but if we really want to get off our oil addiction Hydrogen and electric generation seems to have possibilities.

The movie does a good job of presenting one side of the story. Kinda like the stories around the Tucker, and other ‘documentaries’ that have an axe to grind. The EV-1 was no secret to the future car. Just because several hundred people wanted one means nothing. Remember the lines for the ‘smart’ car, which is now unsellable to most folks. We finally have the technology to make EVs boderline feasible, even though I don’t like the huge tax incentives.

As for hydrogen, there’s no reason to do this, why take electricity and make hydrogen, just use the electricity in an EV.

“As for hydrogen, there’s no reason to do this, why take electricity and make hydrogen, just use the electricity in an EV”.

To have the range of a conventional vehicle, and to be able to fill it up and be back on your way.

Those are certainly advantages, far outweighed by the costs to put in an entire new energy distribution infrastructure, and waste lots of energy splitting water. Our need is to save energy, not waste it in new and imaginative ways.

Not to mention the costs of fuel cells, which are still beyond any reasonable mass use.

If conventional EV is mass produce it would require major electric power distribution infrastructure upgrade to handle the load, Plus not everybody lives in a single family house with a driveway and garage to be able to plug in these vehicle. So all these people are out of luck with a EV unless more infrastructure. Plug in meter post installed everywhere. And what happens if all the meters are taken when you get home from work late? Call into work to the next day to say you cant come into work because all the plug in station were taken and could not charge the Car ?

If we have enough EVs to create all those problems, we’ll have no difficulty supplying the few remaning cars with gasoline. Really, a gas hybrid is probobaly the best option, will be for years to come.

So mostly everybody lives in a single family home with a driveway and garage. And only a very small percentage of people live in condos, apartments, townhouses, etc? Which use less energy then a single family home.

Just trying to make the point that a plug in EV or Plug in Hybrid is simply not a option for a large percent of the population even if they wanted one.