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Who Killed The Electric Car?

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Released in 2006, Who Killed The Electric Car? is a documentary by Chris Paine and explores the history and subsequent downfall of early attempts to re-start the EV industry.

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8.7Mojo Score
Our Verdict
In many ways, Who Killed the Electric Car? is a must watch EV documentary as it showcases the struggles many people faced trying to get the industry to take off. With a lot of heavyweight involvement from actors such as Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson and Martin Sheen as well as having drawn a very strong response from GM about the EV1’s plight it is certainly one of the best EV documentaries produced.
Critic Rating

Narrated by West Wing star Martin Sheen, Who Killed The Electric Car was one of the first mainstream documentaries to bring the spotlight on the electric vehicle industry. It received strong praise from many critics and drew a strong response from industry magnates such as General Motors, really bringing the topic into a new light.



The focus of the documentary revolves around the struggles involving pushing electric vehicles into mass circulation. Much of it investigates the story of the GM EV1 and its eventual demise. Director Chris Paine delves into how many different parties reacted to the EV1’s creation and how rival brands, oil companies and even politicians looked to discredit the vehicle’s potential. It also talks about other challenges such as the feasibility of a hydrogen cell battery and how fledgling companies like Tesla could still be successful ventures.




Generally, Who Killed The Electric Car? was a hit with critics earning an 89% fresh rating with Rotten Tomatoes and won several awards from film boards including the 2006 Best Documentary Award from the Writers Guild of America.

Industry Insiders

Like many documentaries challenging the industry giants, it was met with a mixed reaction from the automotive world. GM was quick to challenge some of the points surrounding the plight of the EV1 with then Head of Communications Dave Barthmuss writing that “ there may be some information that the movie did not tell the viewers”.

Specifications: Who Killed The Electric Car?


1hr 32min

Year of production


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