Having criminally/negligently/stupidly rounded up and crushed its wildly popular electric vehicle the EV1 in the early 2000’s, GM deservedly failed from lack of vision and financial mismanagement culminating in bankruptcy and then a government bailout in 2009.
You can watch the 2006 documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car” here for free. For a refresher, or for those who don’t know about these events already, here is a summary from Wikipedia:
The film focuses primarily on the “General Motors EV1” General Motors EV1, which was made available for “Lease” mainly in Southern California after the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed the Zero-emissions vehicle mandate in 1990 which required the seven major automobile suppliers in the United States to offer electric vehicles in order to continue sales of their gasoline powered vehicles in California. Nearly 5000 electric cars were designed and manufactured by GM, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Nissan, and Chrysler; and then later destroyed or donated to museums and educational institutions.
The film details the California Air Resources Board’s reversal of the mandate after relentless pressure and suits from automobile manufacturers, continual pressure from the oil industry, orchestrated hype over a future hydrogen car, and finally the George W. Bush administration.
Finally embarrassed back to innovation by Tesla’s lead, GM this week unveiled its new 2017 Chevy Bolt, a fully electric car to be available later this year for $30,000 with a driving range of 200 miles (2/3rds of Tesla’s range, but for half the cost). So finally an affordable, all-electric car for the masses. See: New Chevy Bolt.
Though some are framing this development as a negative for Tesla to have some competition, this is ridiculous. Tesla released its patents to the world ‘for good faith use’ in 2014 precisely to push other companies into the 21st century. It seems to be finally working, at long, long last. It’s ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles that are on their way out, not Tesla!! Painfully slow progress nonetheless…