Revenge of the Electric Car (PG)


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The Independent Culture

Chris Paine has made a sequel to his 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, which chronicled the short life and sudden death of the EV1, General Motors' attempt to provide an electric alternative.

Five years later the landscape has changed: GM has been through bankruptcy, a nation of gas-guzzlers has twigged the finite nature of fuel and the electric car now looks a good bet again.

Paine profiles three major players of this automotive revolution: Bob Lutz, cigar-chomping exec of GM; wunderkind Elon Musk, CEO of luxe-brand Tesla; and Carlos Ghosn, the head of Nissan who shocked the industry by launching the Leaf, an electric car designed for the mass market.

As the economic storm clouds mass over the United States and the automobile industry heads into crisis, you wonder if this "revenge" will actually kick in.

The Tesla dream in particular looks doomed: customers who have waited two years for delivery are told that the car's price has just gone up... can American mettle stand the test? It's an oddly compelling watch, even if you know nothing about cars.