Clean Car Diaries: Revenge is Sweet

GM/Chevy Volt introduction. Photo: westmidwestproductions
GM/Chevy Volt introduction. Photo: westmidwestproductions

Revenge is sweet for electric car enthusiasts.

Less than seven years after GM recalled, and destroyed, most of its EV1s, there are now more than 20,000 electric cars on the roads and new releases on the way. Gasoline prices in California are creeping up toward the five-dollar mark and this year California passed the toughest clean car standards in history. The federal government is considering similar standards.

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

It's this revolution in the auto industry that filmmaker Chris Paine tries to capture by following four industry pioneers in his 2011 film "Revenge of the Electric Car", now out on DVD. This time around the doors of GM seem to be wide open for filmmaker Chris Paine who also directed, "Who Killed the Electric Car." In his latest documentary former GM CEO, Bob Lutz and Paine seem to actually be on friendly terms as Lutz explains his hopes for the plug-in hybrid GM/Chevy Volt. We visit Nissan's Carlos Ghosn to hear about the company’s mass market play with the Nissan Leaf, we hear from Tesla's risk taking CEO, Elon Musk, and visit an underground electric car converter in Los Angeles.

It's an interesting look at the auto industry's reversal on electric cars although it could use some editing and a bit more of an investigative look at the next gen EV revolution. A lot has happened since the film wrapped up in late 2010. If you are in the Bay Area, you can check out a screening of the film and timely discussion to follow. KQED and ITVS Community Cinema are presenting the free event.

Revenge of the Electric Car

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WHAT: Screening of "Revenge of the Electric Car." Discussion, with panelists, to follow
Where: San Francisco Public Library
WHEN: Tuesday, March 20th
TIME: Doors open at 5:15. Screening starts at 5:45

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