Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 152 - Who Killed the Electric Car?...GM, Texaco Chevron, Lloyd and Bush

Chris Paine's documentary
I recently watched Who Killed the Electric Car and honestly I think this should be required viewing for everyone who has a license.  When you go to the DMV, you should sit through this entire documentary just to be sure you are not only an educated driver but now an educated consumer.  I never really understood Ralph Nader and what he stood for until I watched a documentary on him.  He basically forced the automobile industry into changing the interior from the old hard steel steering wheels that impaled drivers in accidents to the now more rounded, softer steering wheels that hold air bags.  He said that unless we force the automobile industry to do something they wouldn't do it.

This documentary shows this to be the EXACT case.  In the 1990's California's Air Control Board did just that.  They told car companies that if they sold cars in California, they had to have at least 1% of their sales in electric cars. The theory was that if they increased the minimum amount over time, the electric car would become common.  The state of California even added the infrastructure for the electric car by installing electric stations in parking lots so that the car could be recharged.  A gentleman came along named Lloyd and basically by buying out Lloyd, the auto companies were able to buy his vote and convince the board that making these cars was too much of a hardship.  [Here the babies crying in the background now?  waaah waah]

GM was the most forward thinking and put together a team of experts in the Saturn division to come up with the design of the EV1.  They however still tried to fight California and agreed to "lease" the cars and not sell them.  This supported their claim that no one wanted to buy them.  They realized that the battery didn't meet the need of the consumer so they bought a battery made by a gentleman Ovshinsky that allowed the car to go from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and run on 300 miles per charge.  Ovshinsky was happy and actually placed an ad about his new invention. GM then sold the Ovshinsky's patent to Texaco Chevron. Texaco Chevron then ordered him to put a gag on it since they had bought 25% of his company that produced these and realized the positive impact it would have on the environment at the expense of the oil companies.  Americans would no longer be dependent upon oil.

All of the leasees wanted to buy their EV1s.  They absolutely fell in love with them and Saturn kept telling them they couldn't.  As soon as the auto industry convinced Lloyd to kill the law, they methodically came and towed all the EV1s from each owner. Taking a baby from its parents.  It was painful to watch.  A group of EV1 owners then contacted Saturn and said they would buy them. GM promised they would recycle all the parts and would not crush them but they could not sell them. They took the cars to a remote site in the Arizona desert and shredded them.  GM lied about it.  The owners located a parking lot in Burbank California with 78 EV1s left in it.  They offered Saturn $1.9 million dollars to buy the cars and Saturn loaded them up, had the protesters arrested and took them to the shredders too.

Former President George W. Bush then came out with the federal budget to make the first hydrogen cars.  Haven't heard from them since because they are too expensive to make.  Ovshinsky now has invented solar tiles to put on your roof just like shingles and we all could have solar energy in our homes now if we were given this option as a consumer.

The right thing to do is for GM to reopen its EV1 division under a name suitable to them.  Produce the cars as we will buy them.  Most of us live 50 miles or more from our jobs so 100 miles per commute is not logical.  The EV1 is perfect for our society.  Ovshinsky's talent is obvious and his only mistake was selling his rights.  This is the one time I will beg.  Will each of you who reads this blog please rent this movie/documentary and tell everyone else about it?  Click here also The story is charging and electrifying. And we as consumers should band together and demand that the companies make this car for us.  They know it can be done, it's not a dream it is our reality that is being denied us. 

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