Saturday, January 28, 2012


By the time I finished watching The Cave of Forgotten Dreams it was time to eat so a break from movie watching was in order. I am not sure which meal it was but I ate it. One thing that I found on long intercontinental flights, you eat whenever food is offered to you. When you get to your destination you may not have time to eat if you have a connecting flight, as it was in my case.

After the meal I thought I would take in another movie. Since I liked The Cave of Forgotten Dreams so much I thought I would take in another documentary, The Revenge of the Electric Car. This is a documentary by Chris Paine who made a previous documentary on electric cars called, Who Killed the Electric Car in 2006. In his latest documentary, Chris Paine follows the resurgence of the electric car (EV)revolution through the efforts of four different scenarios; General Motors, Nissan, Telsa Motors, and an electric car converter who takes high end gasoline engine cars and converts them into electric cars.

Strangely enough, Bob Lutz was the same guy from GM who ordered the destruction of 6,000 EV cars about ten years ago. In this documentary he was leading the charge to within GM to resurrect the EV car and market it. At Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan, staked the entire company's future on his belief that Nissan could manufacture and market and electric vehicle. Elon Musk was another story altogether. He was the whiz kid who developed Paypal and then sold it for some 46 million dollars which he then used to finance Telsa. As the CEO of Telsa, Musk developed his own high end electric vehicle. The independent converter, Greg Abbott had a mission to show that one man could make a difference.

Eventually, Bob Lutz brought the Volt to market. It was named the 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year. Carlos Ghosn succeeded in producing the Nissan Leaf and started selling it in 2010. The Leaf was named the 2011 World Car of the Year at the New York Car Show. Elon Musk almost burned through his entire 46 million dollar fortune and almost bankrupted Telsa before bringing a viable electric car to the market. He learned that it was not easy playing with the big boys in the automotive market. Greg Abbott was a study in hope and persistence. His workshop burned down destroying his equipment and several cars. He had to start over and eventually did start producing his one off electric car conversions.

This documentary was totally captivating. It might seem like a dry subject but Chris Paine brings a lot of cinematic technique and expertise to create an entertaining as well as informative documentary on the electric car.

No comments:

Post a Comment