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WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?

Starring: Documentary film
Director: Chris Paine
Rated: PG

WHO Killed the Electric Car? is a murder mystery with a different kind of victim – the short-lived electric car.

It is murder most foul and, keeping the Agatha Christie connection, it seems as though there are more killers than on the Orient Express.

General Motors Electric Car, EV1, may not be as well known as it should be, even though it was brought to birth, so to speak, for California, and then perhaps the world. However, it died in California. Seventy-eight surviving cars in a Burbank compound were taken out in February 2005 and, despite vigorous demonstrations, destroyed.

This enterprising and always interesting documentary makes no bones about being partisan. It is against the vested interests or, more appropriately, the invested interests.

It lines up a number of suspects including the automobile industry, the oil industry, the government, the hydrogen fuel cell and the California Air Resources Board, whose meetings made the decision to kill.

Also accused are the consumers who did not follow up on this environmentally friendly, as well as hugely economical vehicle.

There is nothing like a well made documentary to make you think, even to prod your conscience.

This one certainly does that and, because it focuses on that indispensable item in our lives, the car, and the possibilities for a better machine in a healthier world, it packs its emotional punch as well.

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