If You Liked 'Who Killed the Electric Car?', You'll Love This...Revenge of the Electric Car, which will be released in certain markets tomorrow, is the second part of what could easily become a trilogy of films. Part one, Who Killed the Electric Car?, was a post-mortem, pointing fingers at those responsible for holding back promising technology. Revenge... is all about rebirth. It shows us an industry that, like the mythological phoenix, is rising from its ashes. Hopefully someday we'll have a part 3 that shows how the widespread electrification of transportation is making the world a better place. But for now, let's take a closer look at the comeback of the electric car...
The first thing to say about the movie is that it is everything the first one was, except better; it's better filmed, there's more behind-the-scenes access to key players, the main protagonists are very interesting, etc. If you liked Who Killed the Electric Car? at all, you'll love this one.
Wide-Angle View of the Electric Car IndustryThe structure of the movie is interesting. The film-makers have decided to follow around a representative cross-section of the field, from a guy who makes gorgeous EV conversions in his garage (the poor fellow has such bad-luck, it's heart-breaking -- you'll see what I mean), to the hot new startup trying to make electric cars go from 'golf cart' to 'I want one' in the public's mind (Tesla Motors), to the fallen giant trying to get back on the horse (GM and Bob Lutz), to the coldly calculating CEO who sees EVs as a chance for his company to leapfrog others (Nissan/Renault's Carlos Ghosn, who is made to look a bit like he's building a Death Star for the Empire...).
Tesla Motors fans will learn a lot about the company and its CEO, Elon Musk. The cameras were following him during the financial crisis when Tesla came extremely close to failing, and Musk almost had a nervous breakdown. He seems to have pulled the company away from the edge of the cliff by sheer willpower. Not everything we see about him is flattering, but his determination and brilliance comes through loud and clear.
It's great to see that so many talented people and visionaries are working hard on making electric cars good enough and cheap enough for the mainstream. They each have their strategy, and it's not yet clear which one will work, but the outcome itself seems fairly certain. It's only a question of time...
So the final words: I recommend that you go see this movie. You can find the release dates in various cities here. I personally enjoyed it quite a bit - in fact I watched it twice - and though that it was an hour-and-a-half well spent!
Post-movie development/trivia: Former GM Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz Joins Electric Car Company Via Motors