The best-kept secret in zero-emission vehicles is the electric car. While auto manufacturers, oil companies and the federal government act as if this technology is light years away, General Motors has already designed -- and destroyed -- the best electric cars in the world.
The EV1, manufactured by GM, had all the power and speed that we are used to in our cars and had a range of 75-130 miles between recharges. The car used no gas or oil and the only maintenance on them was battery care, tire and brake care, and filling the windshield fluid reservoir.
In other words, EV1s were the perfect car for city driving and short commutes. With proper marketing, they could have been very popular and would have put a lot of people back to work in this country, but only 800 cars were built and they were for lease only. As a result of a GM lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the cars were rounded up from the lessees and crushed. The Bush administration, with its insider ties to Big Oil, supported the GM lawsuit and called for more research money for hydrogen fuel cells, a promising technology that is many years behind electric car technology.
"Who Killed the Electric Car?" is a documentary released by Sony Pictures Classics. It is the story about the EV1, California's zero emission mandate, the lawsuit brought by General Motors and others against CARB, and the subsequent recall and destruction of the EV1s. Buy it, rent it, share it, and then DO something. Electric cars have been around for more than 100 years, so this technology, more than any other in existence now, can quckly reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere if we find the political will to manufacture and mass market all-electric vehicles.
The auto manufacturers and oil companies have long withheld the mass development of this technology from humanity and it is my belief that this is the main reason we now find ourselves facing the crisis of global warming and the prospect of a new world war. Energy is very important, but we all need to understand that science has already proven that energy is free, abundant and clean and that our current energy policies are all wrong and unnecessary. The profit-hungry energy companies, motivated only by money and power, do not want to do what is in the best interests of humankind.