Who Killed the Electric Car

Wolf and I watched Who Killed the Electric Car? probably a year ago or so. Today we found it in the supermarket for $9.99. I probably could’ve gotten cheaper on Amazon but blind consumerism got in the way. That is, I got SUCKED IN.

I have some questions: will an electric car get me from Central New Hampshire to Eastern Massachusetts in one charge? If not, how long will it take to charge the batteries? Already it takes about two hours to get from home to my inlaws. I don’t want it to take longer.

Also, I need an education in electric cars and inclement weather. How well will they do in the snow? How about ice? How about rain? The movie is all about California. They don’t go into how these cars will work (or not) in other regions of the US so there is no hint as to the weather-worthiness of these cars.

Lastly, will using electric mean we need more power plants? If so, I don’t think I can support that. Certainly not if the plants are coal fired or nuclear. Maybe if the power is wind, solar, or something else renewable.

I like the idea of electric cars. I’m willing to own one. But first I want to know it’ll take me south and get me around in the winter.

What say you?

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9 Responses to Who Killed the Electric Car

  1. Pingback: Sonata Reviews from the Net » Who Killed the Electric Car

  2. Thomas C. Gray says:

    The star of the movie (and nowhere else) was the EV-1 – it might go
    for 100 miles on a single charge, or it might not. Why not? If the terrain is hilly, or if you drive agressively, or use the AC or heater, or if the batteries have some age on them – it could run out
    of juice at 75 miles or less. New batteries required every 5 years or so, and cost $25,000 (Toyota dealerships charged $38,000 for new batteries for its Rav4 electric). Newer li ion cars like the Think cost around $25,000 for a real cheap econobox, go around 100 miles
    (depdending), recharge in about 4 to 6 hours, batteries last about 5 years,cost around $12,000 to $15,000). At five years of age, the range drops from 100 to around 85 miles.

  3. Kerry bradshaw says:

    Avoid battery-only electrics – they cost a fortune. The Chevy Volt will accomplish virtually everything any battery-only EV can and is still a practical car. Coming Fall, 2010. Will get $5,0000 tax break and cost less than $30,000. Is a real, reliable and has a 10 year battery warranty. Will get 50 miles driving range off batteries before motor kicks in to run electrical generator.
    As a commuter, it would eliminate the need for 96% of gasoline.
    Check it out at http://www.chevy-volt.com, a website run by its many fans.

  4. Howling Hill says:

    Thomas: I live in the foothills of the White Mountains of New Hampshire so, yea, it’s hilly here.

    What does one do with the batteries after the five years? Trash them?

    Kerry: You sound like a saleswoman for the Volt.

    Neither of you explained how an electric car will function in the snow, sleet, and ice. Are these cars for warm climates only? Also, how did you find my little blog?

  5. Noelle says:

    After watching that movie, I am inclined to think that the electric cars didn’t function well in inclement weather. But that’s because they were mostly prototypes. It takes many years of on-the-road practice to perfect a car, and those cars weren’t around long enough. Based on how we get worse gas mileage in bad weather, I bet electric cars get worse battery life. But I’m no expert, so that’s just a guess. The bottom line is that they’re still not available to consumers, so you’re better off with a hybrid, which is now well beyond the first generation, and quite reliable.

  6. Howling Hill says:

    Noelle: I agree with you.

    I’m still thinking about a Smart Car when it’s time for me to get a new one.

    Wolf and I were talking about converting my Focus to an electric vehicle. It appears to cost about $8,000 which is way cheaper than buying a new car. What’s holding us back — besides the money — is inclement weather and the vehicle’s performance.

  7. Allie says:

    I haven’t see this yet! I really need to rent it. I’ve been thinking Smart Car too.

  8. Howling Hill says:

    Allie: I was looking into the Smart Car some more and found out they aren’t really worth. First, I thought they were a hybrid, they are not. Purely gasoline powered. Then I asked about the mileage and the salesman said about 40 mgp. I get 36 with my Ford Focus so I’m not about to get myself into another car payment over 4 mpg. If the mpg was more like 60, then I’d buy one.

    The movie is very good and I highly recommend it. If you have Netflix you can get it there. If not, most libraries have it I think.

  9. Pingback: Favorite Documentaries « Howling Hill

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