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On DVD: November 14, 2006
1h 32m |
The year is 1990. California is in a pollution crisis. Desperate for a solution, the California Air Recourses Board (CARB) targets the source of its problem: Car exhaust. Inspired by a recent announcement from General Motors about an electric vehicle prototype, the Zero Emissions Mandate (ZEV) is born. It requires 2% of California's vehicles to be emission free by 1998, 10% by 2003. It is the most radical smog fighting mandate since the catalytic converter.
Eager to satisfy the largest car consuming market in the world, GM's EV-1 electric vehicle is launched in 1997 with great fanfare. It was the first perfect car of the modern age, requiring no gas, no oil, no mufflers, and no brake changes (a billion dollar industry unto itself.) A typical maintenance checkup for the EV-1 consisted of replenishing the windshield washer fluid and a tire rotation.
Fast forward to 6 years later... The fleet is dead. EV charging stations dot the California landscape like tombstones, collecting dust and spider webs. How could this happen? Did anyone bother to examine the bodies? Yes, in fact, someone did. And it was murder.
The electric car threatened the status quo. The truth behind its demise resembles the climactic outcome of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express: multiple suspects, each taking their turn with the knife.