“Revenge of the Electric Car,” the documentary movie currently in theaters is an update of the electric car industry previously presented in “Who Killed the Electric Car,” which was reviewed here in 2006.http://boards.fool.com/movie-who-killed-the-electric-car-244...As shown in the first movie, GM and others developed early electric vehicles for the California market. GM's model, the EV-1, was ultimately recalled and crushed. This was a public relations disaster for GM, even though GM maintains the EV-1's batteries were primitive and allowed too little range per charge. Thereafter, GM considered electric cars not practical, but that changed when Tesla announced its 2-seated electric sportscar.Tesla is the brainchild of Elon Musk, of Silicon Valley whose fortune came from selling Paypal. He has invested most of his assets in the Tesla (and in a commercial rocket business to supply the space station). The movie emphasizes the difficulty of developing a new vehicle. Tesla neared bankruptcy as costs ballooned. Additional financing was needed in the midst of the Great Recession. Ultimately Daimler came through with funding and Tesla went public, (ticker: TSLA). The company is ramping up to produce 20k roadsters per year at $100K+ each beginning with 5k vehicles next year. That will be followed by a four-door sedan starting at $50K, whose volume should be sufficient to make Tesla profitable.GM under Bob Lutz took another look at electric vehicles after Tesla announced their product. The Volt is now in production but GM is still ramping up production. So far availability has been limited.The movie followed an individual named Gadget, whose start-up company claimed it could convert existing vehicles to electric for about half the cost of a Tesla. His company suffered a setback when his business was destroyed in an arson fire. The criminals have not been identified, but from the first movie one suspects sinister activities from the enemies of the electric car. The loss was uninsured, and an attempt to rebuild was delayed again when the site chosen proved to be contaminated by toxics.The fourth player featured was Carlos Goshen, head of Nissan. He is committed to producing 200,000 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles at Smyrna, TN. His view expresses the new attitude of the auto industry: whether or not global warming is real, buyers expect the auto industry to offer an answer to the concern. Nissan will be ready, but at significant risk. We learn the Leaf's battery weighs 450 kg (abt 1000 lb). Add say 600 lb for four passengers, 200 lb each for glass, tires and wheels, and motors and you can see how light the rest of the vehicle must be (vs 2907 lb curb wt for the similar sized Ford Focus).Prominent people included Danny Divito, an EV-1 owner, and Tom Friedman.See also Charlie Rose's interview of Bob Lutz and Elon Musk with a trailer of the movie as well as a review of Bob Lutz's recent book.http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11984http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11986A Wikipedia article lists many electric vehicles– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_production_battery_elec...Those interested in electric vehicles will find “Revenge of the Electric Car” informative. The story continues. Production volumes able to satisfy demand appear at least several years away. The key question, will ordinary consumers buy electrics, remains unanswered.
pauleckler: “Revenge of the Electric Car,” the documentary movie currently in theaters is an update of the electric car industry previously presented in “Who Killed the Electric Car,” which was reviewed here in 2006.http://boards.fool.com/movie-who-killed-the-electric-car-244......- - -Those interested in electric vehicles will find “Revenge of the Electric Car” informative. The story continues. Production volumes able to satisfy demand appear at least several years away. The key question, will ordinary consumers buy electrics, remains unanswered. Thanks, Paul. Those interested in the electric car might also be interested in the formal investigation of Chevy Volt fire risk by NHTSA (http://news.yahoo.com/u-opening-formal-probe-gm-volt-fire-ri...).It also appears economic headwinds BEVs and PHEVs confront are pretty substantial. Some of the economic factors are addressed in http://seekingalpha.com/article/310159-bernstein-and-ricardo...
Another thread on the Volt fire story appears on the Maintaining a Car board--http://boards.fool.com/chevy-volt-2nd-electric-car-battery-f...
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