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Who Killed the Electric Car?

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In this video, the director aims at establishing the critical factors that led to the sudden failure of the electric car concept of the General Motors christened ‘the EV1.’ The setting of the film primarily follows subsequent events that accompanied the mass production of EV1 in the mid of 1990s. The initial concern leading to the commercial production of the model came after sensitization campaigns due to the effect of photochemical smog over the state of California. The official production of EV1 comes after endorsement in Southern California by the California Air Resources Board. The aim is to reduce the potential destruction of the environment due to effect on air pollution and global warming levels shown by the photochemical smog over California. The model receives immediate applause from environmentalists; however, this is to run for only a short time.

Further efforts to market the vehicle on a large scale fail after the General Motor’s efforts are crippled by political interference aimed at deterring success. This follows court suits coming from other conventional vehicle manufacturers, oil industry players, and the American political elite. The American government potentially interferes by promoting the hydrogen car concept, which was greatly accomplished by George Bush. Oil industry players also oppose spotting the impact it would have on the gigantic oil industry. In addition to this, other consumer pundits spot the relatively high prices in form of initial costs and running costs compared to gasoline vehicle prototypes. General Motors analysts interviewed also suggest that the EV1 had little market potential (based on cost of spares and maintenance) a factor which further contributes to its unsustainable trait. These issues lead to the ultimate elimination of the EV1 from the market leading to its ‘death’ as epitomized in the video. In the end, an outlook is made on the feasibility of other alternatives, for instance, potential of hydrogen cars.

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