Chris Paine: "My optimism is on the upswing,"
Mark Phelan - FREEP
- September 12, 2010
The GM Volt is getting closer to release on the streets. The original critics of the death of the EV1 speak out. --Ed.
When the automaker's image needs a boost most, a new film by one of its most eloquent former critics will portray GM as a technology leader working to improve the environment and reduce America's oil dependence.
Chris Paine, director of the influential documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" is making another movie. This time he can't say enough good things about GM.
"My optimism is on the upswing," Paine said after a recent visit to GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant to film production of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car.
"I started out as the ultimate GM fan" when the automaker built the EV1 battery-powered car in the 1990s, Paine said.
"I was very disappointed" when GM ended the program and scrapped the cars. That led Paine to make "Who Killed," a searing account of how GM bungled its way from a technical triumph to a public relations disaster.
"I'm excited again," Paine told me this week. "I couldn't have imagined the change I'd see in GM in just five years."
Paine's new film, "Revenge of the Electric Car," should arrive in theaters next spring or summer.
By then, the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf electric car should be reaching dealerships in reasonable numbers. The Volt is to go on sale this November. The Leaf should follow in December.... [Read More]