Thursday, June 19, 2008

Death of the Electric Car

Mitsubishi's iMiEV is an electric car built on the company's 'i car' platform. The electric iMiEV is only a test vehicle at this point, but it can go for about 100 miles on a full charge with its lithium ion battery pack.

In 1996 electric cars were starting to appear all over California but they were all gone by 2006: destroyed--crushed and shredded by General Motors who made them. They were fast, quiet, and used no gasoline. Who Killed the Electric Car is a DVD by Sony Pictures which discusses the death of the electric car and by who/what. It is a very interesting look.

The movie states that the cost to run an electric car is about 60 cents a gallon (if it took gas). An electric car runs on rechargeable batteries, supplying electricity to an electric motor. The motor triggers the transmission which triggers the wheels to move.

In about 1996 the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted the Zero Emission Vehicle in California, requiring 2% ZEV in 1998, 5% in 2001 and 10% in 2003. Then the auto companies got the board to lower the standards and in 1999, GM bought the Hummer. Guess what? They started pushing Hummers vs. electric cars!!

In 2003 President Bush started a push for the hydrogen fuel cell car. Because hydrogen fuel cell cars can't be powered at home (such as with an electric socket) but need a whole infra structure to "fuel" cars they are not very convenient.

In 2006 GM started recalling all its electric cars and crushed them all, then eventually shredded them! All the GM EV cars are gone!

The movie looks at several "suspects" in the killing of the electric car:

Oil Companies
Car Companies
Hydrogen fuel cells

The web site for the movie: Who Killed the Electric Car is full of information and facts that are seen in the movie. Check it out if you can't see the movie.

By the way, Beaver Island (Michigan) is having an electric car show on June 27 and 28th. The ferry will be bringing the cars over to the island from Charlevoix (Michigan) on the 27th and they will be parked in front of the Shamrock. People can drive them and talk to the salespeople. Check it out!


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