Who Killed the Electric Car?

Rated 3.0

Let’s get this crack out of the way: Who killed the electric car? Whining liberals! It just couldn’t stand their bellyaching for one more minute, so it killed itself. Drove full-speed (about 80 mph, thank you very much) right off a cliff. There you go, talk-radio hosts; that one’s on us. Writer-director Chris Paine’s nobly intended but often silly documentary takes up a worthy subject in the strange case of General Motors’ EV1, a zero-emission marvel manufactured only briefly and grudgingly and then recalled by the company and herded off for mass extermination in 2001. So, whose fault was that? Washington’s? California’s? GM’s? Big oil’s? Ours? Paine knows he needs to make us care, but his first act, essentially a choir-preaching late-night cable infomercial, tries too hard. We don’t need that much coaching to enjoy the lovely irony at the movie’s core: that so petite and mousy a thing could so threaten the Hummer-intensive status quo.