Who Killed the Electric Car

Topics: Hydrogen vehicle, Electric vehicle, Fuel cell Pages: 9 (2769 words) Published: March 29, 2013

To: Whom It May Concern
From: Yiying “Rachel” Cao
Date: 3/6/2013
Subject: Analysis of who killed the electric car


The problem
In 1990s, California was threatened by smog problem, and black cloud appeared in the sky. Air pollution problem resulted in the development of lung cancer and associated diseases in people. The gasoline car was one of the main factors that released carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which lead to global warming. Facing the risk of devastation of human’s living place and health, California proposed to develop cars that run on clean energy. To comply with the state environmental policy and economic trend, GM produced the first electric car, which was called EV1, and its first presence on the road was in 1996.

The creation and prohibition
The aim to replace gasoline car with electric car was to reduce the emission of air pollutants. Plug-in electric vehicles are next generation clean cars that use electric batteries charged from an external source. With smart strategies and a favorable policy framework, these vehicles present an exciting opportunity to reduce air pollution, save drivers more than $1,200 per year on gasoline and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. [Environmental Law & Policy Center] Seeing the business trend of electric cars, the development of electric car has soared in a short period. Many other car companies imitated GM to produce the electric car, and even launch new design electric vehicles to ingratiate consumers’ taste. However, less than a decade, automakers were required to stop producing electric cars. This prohibition was not very understandable for many people, and it was also controversial to balance the technology development and the environment.

The Suspects
According to the documentary movie Who killed the Electric Car, consumers, federal government, California Air Resource Board, hydrogen fuel cell, and so forth are regarded as suspects of killing the electric car. Based on a large number of statistic, videos and facts, all suspects are found guilty. Each group considers the benefits based on their points of view, but neglect the influence on others. Social responsibilities should be taken to balance the pros and cons of electric cars’ presence. To elaborate more evidences about the “killing,” the analysis of the three main suspects will be listed in the following.

Consumers: Affect EV’s Business Trend

Positive attitude and expectation towards EV
Many people believe that electric car is an amazing idea. They have a deep impression on electric car, which is fast, modern, cool, sexy, and quiet with less pollution than other normal gasoline cars. The vast majority desire to own an electric car, but unfortunately the supply is not enough to meet the demand. Consumers are eager to sign up on the waitlist and expect to eventually have one in the future. However, only 50 out of 4000 people who sign up on the list can get the EV1. For those EV drivers, they hold positive attitude toward the car. Their appraisals mainly focus on two aspects, which are convenience and effectiveness. The electric car is given the ease to charge at home and electricity stations. All drivers appreciate the easiness to plug in the car when they are at home. Another reason that consumers like the idea of electric car is that the air condition can be improved, while air quality is closely related to their health. With consumers’ expectation and the foreseeable development, the electric car is supposed to be more and more popular in the future. One of the specialists in the EV product line, Chelsea Sexton, even says that electric car is the dream car of American.    

Risk of uncertainty
* Despite of the positive opinions of the EV drivers, they commonly have issues on the car’s price, functions, and range. The electric car is well designed in saving energy, but it only has a limited range around 100 miles. Electric car...
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