Tuesday 17 July 2012

From the archive: "Who Killed The Electric Car?"

Who Killed the Electric Car? is an admirably eccentric advert-cum-obit for the merits of the gas-free vehicle. Shiny, attractively designed, fast-moving, low-maintenance and - above all else - environmentally sound, the electric car was crushed by one or more of the suspects listed here: Big Oil, General Motors (a company that, after Roger & Me, must surely wish the documentary genre would die off, too) and, oh look, it's the Bush administration again. Director and electric car enthusiast Chris Paine uncovers unlikely heroes in Stanford Ovshinsky, inventor of the electric car battery, and Chelsea Sexton, a former GM employee turned tireless campaigner for gas-free transport. There's also a priceless piece of vintage newsreel announcing "good things will come to Iraq because of oil". A shoo-in for the bottom half of a double-bill with Al Gore's upcoming global warming doc An Inconvenient Truth, the film's weakest element is that Paine feels compelled to buy into our all-pervasive celebrity culture to further his case. Commendations from Tom Hanks and a weirdly-bearded Mel Gibson are one thing, but whoever did kill the electric car, I doubt they'll lose too much sleep over the sight of Peter Horton from Children of the Corn looking a bit mournful at the vehicle's demise.

(July 2006)

A sequel, Revenge of the Electric Car, opens in selected cinemas this Friday, and is reviewed here.

No comments:

Post a Comment