I just got done watching a documentary called ‘Who Killed The Electric Car?’
I wasn’t even aware that there ever even WAS an electric car, let alone, someone who killed its existence. I took the general statement to mean: who prevented the electric car from ever coming into the market place, when actually it meant, who really took it off the road.
And, in fact, in 1996, GM (of all manufacturers) in California, came out with the full monte, real deal, electric car that runs on absolutely no gasoline and does not possess a combustible engine, but rather a cell battery.
This miracle machine was called the EV1 Electric Car.
It was fast, real fast, rivaling the speed of normal cars’ acceleration. It could go up to 80 miles on a full charge in a single day which was more than satisfactory considering that apparently and according to the government, the average distance traveled by car by the average car owner is only about 23 miles in a day.
GM allowed consumers in California merely to lease the vehicles, which in turn allowed GM to be able to repossess the vehicles at will.
Why they did this is what one must read between the lines for.
To add insult to this mystery, GM did in fact, end up repossessing all the vehicles and destroyed every last one of them, garnering much protest from most of the former owners.
About 9 months after the car was ‘on the market,’ California Air Resources Board (CARB) mandated, I believe it was, that the auto-manufacturers had to make like 1 out of every 20 automobiles to be BEVs. (Battery Electric Vehicles) ostensibly in order to cut down on emissions.
Now I can see the sense in cutting down on emissions, but why then and not before? I guess it makes sense considering there never was an electric car on the market in the way the EV1 was. I can understand the car manufacturers feeling singled out I guess.
On the other hand, the force and thoroughness with which GM followed through in killing the mandate was considerable.
And they did, they killed it, and killed it for good it seems.
They even sued CARB through a federal court and got their way.
Today I saw an ad from Chrysler, which is apparently owned by GM. It was for an electric car.
Here’s its link on YouTube.
Notice how explicit it is in presenting the car as if it were already out!
My friend, George, called up a dealer and asked about the silver muscle-car-like beauty, expecting to hear about when he could go and see it.
George: ‘So do you guys really have a fully electric car?’
Dealer Rep: ‘Well…it isn’t really out yet.’
George: ‘Are you serious? But I just saw the commercial for it.’
Rep: ‘Yeah, but it wont be out for another year at least, if even then.’
It isn’t so bad that the company GM, is wating to come out with their electric car, necessarily, but for a car they are advertising for full on, as if it were—IS.
This goes right along with the pattern of GM ‘leading us backwards into the future,’ in the words of Ralph Nader.
In conjunction with the 1996 beyond peculiar decision to repossess a (full-on) consumer product through the bizarre leasing of the vehicles, it kinda makes one wonder what the motive of auto-manufacturers really is.
With the EV1 story that resembled a cover-up more than it did a business practice, and the oil companies buying out Washington, I really tend to think this is less about business for GM and more about external pressures, and someone else’s business.
Seriously, why would an auto-manufacturer test out consumer demand by leasing out electric cars that ended up in a landfill?
Why is GM still so cautious about putting out an electric car now when people seem to be chomping at the bit for the idea? The EV1 was extremely successful a product with the mere 80 or so owners who got them.
Or does this really have more to do with the fact that GM is concerned about how the oil companies will fare beyond the era of the combustible engine?
This, while they bide their time keeping the consumer at bay with false ad campaigns with no inherent indication of being at all a ‘concept-car’ as they claim it is.
Be sure it is companies like GM who are keeping the dream of an electric car, just that.