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Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)

PG  |   |  Documentary  |  4 August 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 11,046 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 154 user | 87 critic | 28 from

A documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Reverend Gadget ...
Himself (as Greg 'Gadget' Abbott)
Dave Barthmuss ...
Jim Boyd ...
Alec N. Brooks ...
Alan Cocconi ...
John R. Dabels ...
Tom Everhart ...
David Freeman ...
Himself (as S. David Freeman)
Frank Gaffney ...
Himself (as Frank J. Gaffney Jr.)
Greg Hanssen ...


With gasoline prices approaching $4/gallon, fossil fuel shortages, unrest in oil producing regions around the globe and mainstream consumer adoption and adoption of the hybrid electric car (more than 140,000 Prius' sold this year), this story couldn't be more relevant or important. The foremost goal in making this movie is to educate and enlighten audiences with the story of this car, its place in history and in the larger story of our car culture and how it enables our continuing addiction to foreign oil. This is an important film with an important message that not only calls to task the officials who squelched the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate, but all of the other accomplices, government, the car companies, Big Oil, even Eco-darling Hydrogen as well as consumers, who turned their backs on the car and embrace embracing instead the SUV. Our documentary investigates the death and resurrection of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in our ... Written by Richard D. Titus

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Unrest in the Middle East. Rising Petrol Prices. Global Warming. There was an Alternative. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

4 August 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chi ha ucciso l'auto elettrica? - Un giallo che si tinge d'oro nero  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$45,138 (USA) (30 June 2006)


$1,677,838 (USA) (10 November 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The boxy, small EV shown being crushed in the movie was the Honda EV-Plus. They, like the sleek GM EV-1, were only available for lease; several returned to Honda, and were converted into fuel cell demonstration vehicles. For a while, you were able to lease them through EV Rentals (at several Budget Rent a Car locations). See more »


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User Reviews

Thank you for the public death notice.
25 June 2007 | by (California) – See all my reviews

I don't have many documentaries to my credit as far as how many I've watched, but I thought this was great. Part of its appeal was its bringing to light an issue that was either completely unknown to most Americans, or otherwise forgotten. If you consider the parameters surrounding the short lived electric car, then it is easy to see how many of us wouldn't even have known there was a killer of the electric car. Consider that there were few made by GM, Ford, and Honda. Consider that they were only released in California and Arizona. Consider that in those markets not many were sold. And finally, consider that none of the car companies spent much money or effort into advertising these vehicles, then you can see how so many of us were largely ignorant of the plight of the electric car.

This documentary was very informative and fact driven which I appreciate. Sure, politics played some role in it all, but when doesn't politics play a role in major issues? This documentary really be-smudged GM, but since I'm not a GM enthusiast, it didn't bother me one bit. I'd even go so far as to say that this documentary was the only thing that actually made me feel guilty about owning a Hummer. SUV's are my only environmental vice. I recycle, I don't litter, I try to stay away from aerosols, and I generally do what I can... except when it comes to SUV's.

It was interesting to see the active annihilation of the electric car. One can only wonder what the advances in electric vehicles would be if they were to have remain in production. Everyone knows how resourceful and inventive humans can be. Given the right incentive (money), there would probably have been about a dozen upgrades to the electric car and the infrastructure from '96 til now. And to think my home state of California had the chance to be the thorn in the side of the auto industry to effect change but then blinked, only goes to show just how mighty the oil and auto industries are. But I still believe that the electric car will make a second coming. Because if the environment is not enough of an incentive for people to make a change, gas prices certainly will be.

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