The green cartopia ain’t likely to happen
Kurt Cobb writes a smart and sensible review of Who Killed the Electric Car? Excerpt follows:
The documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? is an excellent murder mystery filled with dislikable corporate and government villains. It also features heroic engineers, salespeople and average citizens as well as a sprinkling of good-looking actors and actresses who play, well, themselves. As I watched the film recently for the first time, I found myself doing something that I don’t normally do: cheering for Hollywood celebrities and their cars.
For those who must use private automobile transportation all or some of the time, owning an all-electric or hybrid vehicle may be a wise choice. But buyers of hybrids especially should know that half of all the energy a car will ever use has already been used by the time you buy it. The energy was used to mine and refine the metals, to extract and refine the petroleum used for the plastics and the rubber, to stamp out the myriad parts, to ship them to an assembly plant, to assemble the car, to ship it to a dealer and to house it at the dealership, all while housing, feeding and providing transportation for all the people who do these things.
So my advice is to go see Who Killed the Electric Car? if you haven’t already. And if you want to, hiss at all the greedy executives and malign government regulators. In retrospect they look more pitiful, than sinister as we watch the Japanese automakers run away with the hybrid and soon-to-be plug-in hybrid auto market. Cheer the good celebrities and the common folk who valiantly try to do their part to bring a presumably better technology into American life.
But don’t get carried away with the unspoken message that technology will save us. Technology may be one of the many solutions we need to move toward sustainability. But, I find it very doubtful that we will all be able to sit behind the wheel our electric cars and wait for a green techno-utopia to emerge.