Last night on NPR (she sayeth, firmly establishing her nerd credentials), I heard a story about protests intended to save GM’s electric car, the EV-1. About 80 of the cars have been sitting on GM’s lot, destined for the scrap heap. The highlight of the civil unrest yesterday seems to have been the arrest of “Baywatch” actress Alexandra Paul, who intoned in that screechy celebrity way, “This is about clean air.”

Apparently these protests have been going on for a couple of months. But the GM flak made a reasonable-sounding claim: there wasn’t all that much demand for EVs, and the industry is putting its energy into more promising technologies like hydrogen.

I’m all in favor of clean cars. But without knowing all the intricacies of EV history, I’m wondering if GM might have a point. Sometimes prototypes just suck.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.