Watch and let me know what it says to you.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- April 20, 2012
“Revenge” has such a negative implication when in reality; the electric revolution will someday provide much better prospects for all concerned.
I just finished watching Chris Paine’s “Revenge of the Electric Car” on PBS and have to say it was well done for what appears to be a low budget production. The movie covered the hopes and dreams of the electric car movers and shakers, progressed thorough the trials and tribulations of the global recession and ended on a very positive note through 4 different perspectives. Those perspectives being through the eyes of Tesla's Elon Musk, GM's Bob Lutz (retired), Nissan's Carlos Ghosn and a small electric vehicle conversion shop owner (Greg Abbott) as they attempt to create their vision of the electrified transportation future.
I believe the movies theme involved too many “insiders and pundits
” within the automotive and business journalistic
community. And most do not have the business acumen to speak about the business of building cars in a manner that was portrayed. None of us on this side of the fence (journalists) really know the ins and outs about manufacturing automobiles and we all make guesses but in the end, most were proven wrong thanks to a number of lucky strikes whether that be through corporate cash infusions, DOE loans, IPOs, Government bailouts, tax giveaways to produce product where it would never have occurred without palms being greased or just plain dumb luck.
Similarly, I think Chris and his team spent far too many minutes with sub characters whose only reason for being was to describe how the electric car is not much more than a “roll of the dice” through companies the size of GM and Nissan. Telsa, sure but GM and Nissan’s entire corporate structure is not being built around the Volt and the LEAF although as the movie progressed, it tended to make the viewer think that way.
Electric cars are a gamble this early on in the transportation game but electrification is a sure bet over the horizon. If a manufacturer does not dabble in the electrified water, they will be left behind once the electric revolution begins in earnest. The Volt, LEAF, iMiEV, Prius PHEV and Focus Electric are only the first steps with hopefully more affordable and suitable solutions for all just ahead.
The largest manufacturers need to do the hard work now so that when the electrification revolution arrives, they have product that is affordable, sustainable and makes sense. We unfortunately are not there yet but I have faith that the future as we make it will provide a taste of both milk and honey. We will unfortunately taste a lot of sour milk as we make our way to that place that is as always "just around the corner".
While we consume the last vestiges of fossil fuels in order to drive big, dumb, fast and expensive, alternatives are coming. The only problem being most will drive those alternatives big, dumb, fast and expensive and in the process, “may
” screw it all up for everyone anyway. Let us hope calmer and shaper minds prevail as the future unfolds.
In closing, if I had access to really big $$$’s, I would drive a LEAF daily and own a Prius v for everything else. A compromise indeed. And I can dream like everybody else
Watch for the replay of “Revenge of the Electric Car” on a PBS station near you. I can guarantee that all of us here at CleanMPG will find a deeper meaning within its dialog then we have experienced from any other movie seen this year. That is what a good movie should provide and on that note, “Revenge of the Electric Car” delivers.