Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Who Killed The Electric Car?

If you haven't seen the trailer:

It's a bit like Tucker: THe Man And His Dream, in that while it's not a great film, it's a fascinating and intriguing tale to watch, full of imaginative engineers and inventors whose dreams of a better product are crushed by their masters in Detroit.

You don't need to be an environmentalist - Ayn Rand would be as up in arms after a screening as David Suzuki, what GM did here was an assault on the true nature of capitalism. This was a better product that would have changed the world - it's no stretch to say that the Middle East would look a lot different if the EV1 had been given a real chance.


Blogger calgarygrit said...

I always thought electric cars were exorbitantly expensive...but maybe not.

Saw the trailer before Gore's movie and it looked interesting. Documentaries are certainly in style these days,

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 6:11:00 PM  
Blogger Jason Bo Green said...

Actually Bart, GM never actually sold a single electric car. They were only available for lease. They were offered lots of money for outright purchases, but would never bite.

I don't want to tell you a lot more - but it's a truly fascinating story, enjoyable for environmentalists and capitalists alike. Greenpeace and Ayn Rand would both be up in arms over the story.

Thursday, July 27, 2006 8:56:00 AM  
Blogger Cherniak_WTF said...

Ayn Rand? How so?

Thank you for not having a word verification

Thursday, July 27, 2006 7:38:00 PM  
Blogger Jason Bo Green said...

Word verification is killer, I can't stand it!

(You're welcome, btw)

A lot of inventors worked themselves silly on the electric car, and it ended up a really competitive product that was squashed by GM to stop it from competing against their other, regular products.

If Ayn Rand wrote the story, the inventors would all become folk heroes the same way that Henry Ford did - "they imagined a better cheaper cleaner way, and the world flocked to it, and made them rich".

I was pretty impressed when I finally read Ayn Rand - people had told me a great deal about her writing, and I found it, upon reading, to be untrue. I heard often that she espoused a "success at the cost of anything" view, and believed that all capitalists were good. In her books, the "success at any cost" characters are always villains, and while the heroes are captains of industry - so are the bad guys, too. A morality play in a hospital between doctors can't be said to paint doctors as 'good' or 'bad' if they're split along those lines - that's how I felt reading her.

The Fountainhead is all about the best product with the most innovation and thought and talent behind it becoming the world's choice on a free market - that's where she'd get annoyed with GM over the EV1.

I don't want to give too much of the movie away...

Friday, July 28, 2006 2:48:00 PM  
Blogger Chuckercanuck said...

Ayn Rand is awesome. But I couldn't get through the "This is John Galt" part of Atlas Shrugged - 80 page speech?

Ayn, baby, we get it - we love it - but we get it.

Friday, July 28, 2006 4:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cherniak_WTF said...

I've read a lot of Ayn Rand, I don't like her reasoning or politics - oddly I do consider myself Libertarian (left leaning) and was curious about the links.

I guess I'll have to see the movie to understand more.

Now, before we get started on a debates, I'm all for free markets but not everywhere. Some markets/services cannot be well served by a pure for-profit system. We often fail to take into account human nature - Communism failed in part because of that and I see Capitalism suffering from the same delusions. (that of being the best system)

Friday, July 28, 2006 6:20:00 PM  
Blogger Jason Bo Green said...

Oh, yeah, I think the road is in the middle - I'm not really sold on a "capitalist" model that, for example, lets GM buy up someone's life work and then kill it because it could compete with them - that's a lunatic system. There are most definitely situations that call for regulation - in fact, the very documentary we're talking about discusses California's attempts to regulate auto sales to include a percentage of zero emissions vehicles each year. I personally like the idea - California ultimately bowed and broke, but should have stuck to its guns.

Friday, July 28, 2006 10:16:00 PM  
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