`Who killed the electric car?’ showing this month

While electric cars contribute greenhouse gases whenever the electricity is generated from fossil fuels, they still only produce about a third of the emissions of a petrol engine, says Mark Whittaker in The Australian (27 October 2006 p36-37). And if the battery is charged at a time when the power station’s turbines are spinning but there is little demand, you can argue that you’ve created zero extra emissions.

The long hard road of the electric car: The past 90 years have seen a lot of companies go broke producing electric cars. So today’s major manufacturers aren’t rushing to sell you one – but the niche marketers are.

Brrmm, brrmm: Next year, Silicon Valley will take on Detroit when the Tesla Roadster goes on general sale in the US. It can keep up with a Ferrari, going from 0 to 100km/h in four seconds, and can drive 400km on each recharge of its 6800 mobile-phone type lithium ion batteries.

Eeek! $US100k: It’s pricey, at $US100,000 ($A134,500), but the point is it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than hydrogen, and it’s ready to roll, the article says.

Whodunnit? And Detroit’s response? Next month a disturbing documentary called Who Killed The Electric Car? will open in Australia, showing what happened to General Motors’ electric car, the EV1.

Crushing blow: It could go from 0-100km/h in eight seconds and had a range of more than 160km. Most were acquired on a three-year lease from GM, after which the cars reverted to the company. Actors Mel Gibson and Tom Hanks were fans, but in 2003, GM recalled all 400 EV1s on the road and had them crushed.

Cloak of secrecy: GM says it was because the public wasn’t interested, but the documentary makes a strong case for conspiracy-type scenarios of oil companies in cahoots with car makers and lawmakers and various other forces of darkness.

The Australian, 27/10/2006, p.36-37

Source: Erisk Net  

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