How entertaining? ★★★☆☆
Thought provoking? ★★☆☆☆
16 July 2012
This a movie review of REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR.
“I would say the electrification of the automobile is a foregone conclusion,” Bob Lutz, VP General Motors.
Documentary feature sequels released at the cinema are rare but do occur. Sometimes a filmmaker desires a piece to be followed up. In 2006 we got a satisfying essay on why General Motors’ EV1, the first modern electric car, was shelved, in WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?. It was enlightening and tragic. Now on our streets and advertised on our TV sets, the electric and hybrid vehicle is no longer the stuff of sci-fi. And as you savour this doc, you end up asking yourself what is the point of this film? It’s not quite a told-you-so, as the message appears to be that the fledgling industry is still on the journey. What lessons do the audience learn? I’m not really sure. REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR feels less factual than its predecessor. Less a dissection, and more an interesting story about four different groups trying to get to the market place:
- General Motors,
- Tesla, and
- Do-it-yourselfer Reverend Gadget.
What we watch is pretty entertaining, though low on context in relation to the rest of the automotive industry. What REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR does convey well is the fraught path of reinventing the wheel (ahem!). Struggling to start from scratch and scrapping the internal combustion engine and replacing it with an electric powered car, devoid of emissions, able to travel far on one charge, safe, and affordable, is hardly a show of vengeance. This is more like a finger up at the original naysayers.