Who Killed the Electric Car? Nobody!


Last week I mentioned that Ford was introducing a new alternate fuel sports car that runs on E85 ethanol. This week, GM announced the new Chevy “Volt” Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. While some conspiracy theorists rally around an alternate film claiming GM was trying to kill electric vehicles because they were in cahoots with “Big Oil” called “Who killed the Electric Car” (which was shown at Chico’s Pageant Theatre right after Al Gore’s movie) GM has been quietly working on this new electric rollout. See details here.

That movie cited the EV1 concept vehicle built and test marketed in the 90’s and its demise as a conspiracy. But according to GM’s Bob Lutz “The EV1 ‘died’ because it had limited range, limited room for passengers or luggage, couldn’t climb a hill or run the air conditioning without depleting the battery and no device to get you home when your battery charge ran low.”

I guess some folks just don’t understand product marketing for mass consumption. You can’t sell a product that doesn’t work that well, except to a dedicated few. Demand and technology have to merge and be in sync.

The new “Volt” has some real promise, and GM shows that its serious about producing it by announcing it at the biggest auto show in the world. Yep, sounds like Big Oil killed the Electric Car NOT!

I’ll buy one of these, it looks cool and will sound like a “hummer” going down the road. With gas soon to be $3 a gallon, it makes a lot of sense, and the side benefits of less pollution hold promise too. Bear in mind though, this won’t be a “zero carbon footprint” car, but it’s a step in that direction.

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Ron Acevedo
January 8, 2007 7:22 am

In the stampede for electric cars many lose sight of the reality behind the myth. Electricity is generated somewhere. Mostly Hydro, nuclear, fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are of course what we are trying to get away from. Nuclear power is the bogeyman technophobes use to frighten their children. Hydro electric dams are now the target of dismantling schemes across the country.
So while firing up your electric car envision a coal fired power plant in Arizona producing the electriciy used to charge its batteries. Think of the energy loss in transmission lines. Think that there are no easy answers.
Don’t get me wrong, I think electric cars can and should be developed as the road to the future. I also believe that until we develop nuclear power, until we put an end to the stalling/delays at Yucca Flats by the technophobes, we will guzzle oil until the last drop.

Anthony Watts
January 8, 2007 8:59 am

Thats why I said this was not a “zero carbon footprint” car.
The only way for it to become that way would be if the car owner used solar power at home/office to keep it charged. Thats actually a viable method and the technology exists, but remains too expensive for the average consumer.

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