That was my gut response to the documentary movie Who Killed the Electric Car. I expressed my skepticism as we sat down to watch it last night. I don’t care about cars. I care about bicycling and walking.
Who cares if a car is electric, it still requires ENERGY to run. Most of the electricity in the U.S. comes from coal (the movie stated that 55% of electricity comes from coal, but I’m fairly certain we’re higher than that in Missouri), which is hardly a clean and green alternative to petroleum.
Despite approaching the movie with a fairly closed mind, I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. It contains lots of dirty little secrets that the car companies and the government don’t want us to know. I mentally rallied with the electric car supporters, and shed a few tears of anger and disgust at one point (watch the movie and then guess when).
Though my passion will continue to be active transportation, the movie makes a convincing case for electric vehicles being a viable and superior solution for many mid-range trips. However, about half of the trips made in urban areas are less than three miles (with about a quarter of total trips under a mile) — a distance that most people should be able to travel under their OWN power. While electric cars might be PART of the solution for reducing our energy use and carbon emissions, working toward and promoting communities that support walking and biking is an equally (if not more) important part of the equation.
Conclusion: informative and entertaining, though not exactly uplifting. A well-done documentary — I give it five stars.