Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Who killed the electric car?

According to the agit-prop film, "Who Killed the Electric Car," GM canceled production of the wonderful EV-1 electric car because of some variation on a corporate-oil-company-Bush conspiracy. A simpler explanation is provided by Time Magazine: they include the EV-1 in their list of "The 50 Worst Cars of All Time." Time writes:
The early car's lead-acid bats, and even the later nickel-metal hydride batteries, couldn't supply the range or durability required by the mass market. The car itself was a tiny, super-light two-seater, not exactly what American consumers were looking for. And the EV1 was horrifically expensive to build, which was why GM's execs terminated the program
"Super-light" cars generally don't do well in collisions, even without considering the possibility of a collision letting loose a spray of battery acid. Advocates in the film claim the car had a 60-mile range which might, as claimed by the film, be good for "95%" of consumer needs but most consumers consider the other 5%, such as maybe driving to the lake on their summer vacation, to be essential, not optional. Gasoline cars can refill in minutes. How long did the EV-1 take to re-charge and how many consumers would be willing to pull off the highway and wait hours for a re-charge every 60-miles?

On the other hand, maybe if you prefer, you may believe that it was an evil-corporate-oil company-Bush conspiracy....

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