In yesterday's thrilling Clockwork, we shared the weirdness that ensued after we interviewed Who Killed the Electric Car? writer-director Chris Paine, when we discovered during the entire chat our Los Angeles Times was open, unbeknownst to lil' ol' us, to an Associated Press story with the headline: “Silicon Valley Races to Develop Electric Cars.” The story even mentioned Paine's film.
Well, the hits keep coming. The film's PR company sent out links to two other stories on recent electric-car developments that also mention Who Killed the Electric Car? in passing. CNNMoney.com carried a story on General Motors–which poured a billion dollars into developing the popular EV-1 all-electric vehicle, only to end the leases of them, confiscate them and then secretly crush them; and GM then pushed most of its resources into trucks and SUVs, only to now fall farther behind the Japanese, whose gas-electric hybrids have become the rage amid soaring gas prices–indicating that it will look into developing a hybrid that will use less gas and can be plugged into standard household electrical outlets.
Who Killed the Electric Car? producer Dean Devlin said after GM's announcement: “If they actually sell to consumers a real plug-in hybrid that can run on pure electrics, then I applaud GM for enormous corporate vision and leadership. If however this is simply another marketing ploy, then it's simply history repeating itself.”
The second story the PR company forwarded was actually from the June 16 Washington Post. It was about an electric car display being booted from the Smithsonian. That also gets some play in my interview with Who Killed the Electric Car? writer-director Chris Paine that appears in Thursday's Weekly:
During a KTLA Morning News report from the Peterson Automotive Museum to promote a recent show there, the museum rep showed off an EV-1 to reporter Gayle Anderson. The rep noted that GM made disabling the vehicle a condition of showing it off there, and when Anderson asked why these cars were no longer available considering rising gas prices, out spewed The Big Lie.
Paine did not know about the KTLA segment but he showed the exact same EV in his film. Chelsea Sexton, who loved the EV-1 so much that she became a sales specialist for GM, is seen next to the car, reiterating how great they are and that Peterson is one of few places where the public can see them. Seems innocent enough. But Paine just received word “that I will never be invited to the Peterson Automotive Museum again.” He then mentioned that the Smithsonian recently removed its own EV display–and replaced it with a robotic Hummer SUV. Both museums rely on contributions from corporations like GM.
Incidentally, I reviewed Who Killed the Electric Car? here.