October 21, 2011
Studio: WestMidWest Productions, Area23A
Director: Chris Paine
MPAA Rating: N/A
Screenwriters: Chris Paine, P.G. Morgan
Official website: RevengeoftheElectricCar.com
In 2006, as many as 5,000 modern electric cars were destroyed by the major car companies that built them. Today, less than 5 years later, the electric car is back... with a vengeance. Director Chris Paine ("Who Killed the Electric Car") takes his film crew behind the closed doors of Nissan, GM, the Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors, and an independent car converter named Greg "Gadget" Abbott to find the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. Without using a single drop of foreign oil, this new generation of automobiles is America's future: fast, furious, and cleaner than ever. With almost every major carmaker now jumping to produce new electric models, "Revenge of the Electric Car" follows the race to be the first, the best, and to win the hearts and minds of the public around the world. We watch as these cars are developed from a concept into a working product, and see the car makers themselves struggle with the economy, the press, each other, and the car buying public. We follow the electric car renaissance through the eyes of four industry pioneers. First, there's Bob Lutz, the larger than life General Motors executive who inspires the Volt, GM's newest electric car program. Bob is a gruff, cigar-smoking maverick who seems to have stepped straight off the set of Mad Men. After years of skepticism, he's now convinced that "Electric Cars are back with a vengeance." But can GM overcome years of corporate doubt and public hostility and make a viable electric vehicle? This is the company that killed off the EV1, after all. Then there's Elon Musk, the young dot-com billionaire and head of Tesla Motors. Somewhere between launching rockets toward the moon with his private space program, Elon decides that Silicon Valley can teach Detroit a few lessons about car making. We're with Elon for every step and misstep as Tesla Motors swerves from initial excitement into near bankruptcy -- and then comes back from the dead with a triumphant IPO. Our third protagonist is the dynamic head of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn. A former EV skeptic, Ghosn astonishes the car world in 2009 by announcing the launch of the Nissan LEAF: an affordable electric vehicle meant for mass market. We are at Carlos's side as he steers the LEAF through Nissan's corporate culture -- and as he attempts to sell the car across the world. It's a bold gamble. If Nissan succeeds, they will corner the market in mass-produced electric cars. If they fail, then the company will fail too.