Monday, April 25, 2011

GM No Longer Villain in “Revenge of the Electric Car”

Carmaker executives featured prominently in “Revenge of the Electric Car” – GM’s Bob Lutz, Renault-Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn, and Tesla’s Elon Musk – walked the red carpet Friday at the film’s Tribeca Film Festival opening. General Motors should be especially happy with the movie. It comes out five years after “Who Killed the Electric Car,” which was very critical of the company for pulling the plug on the EV1; that car was to be the very first mass market electric vehicle following the crank-up cars from 100 years ago.

"Revenge of the Electric Car," directed by Chris Paine, traces the efforts of GM, Nissan Motor Co., and Tesla Motors to build and sell electric vehicles, starting back in 2008. GM and Tesla gave Paine extensive behind-the-scenes access – as long as footage would not be shown until 2011 – after GM's Volt was in production. Renault-Nissan restricted filmmaker access.

Lutz and GM have long-insisted that the decision to kill the $1 billion EV1 program was not because of conspiracy, but because the company couldn't profitably make EVs that were dependable. Ghosn takes a cautious approach in the film, telling staff to not talk too much about the Leaf, waking up competition. And it delves into Musk sorting through production delays and sifting through problems that had to be resolved before Tesla Motors stood a chance of succeeding.

I’m very much looking forward to the movie coming to theaters in LA, and have seen the original three times.

No comments: