Who Killed the electric car?

Newsflash: Tesla Model S replaces US built Citicar as the number one electric car sold in the United States. The Citicar worked great but required a really really long extension cord. Hmm, not much of a stretch of truth.

Citicar was the first responder to those dastardly devils holding Americans to task over cars getting less then 10 MPG. Citicar was a sparky trailblazer taking on Detroit but more importantly the mindset that something other than gasoline could move man through the economy. The Citicar had a top speed of 45 MPH (faster downhill) and a range of 50 miles at the time Elon Musk was entering grade school and Chelsea Sexton was in diapers.

When I started EVTV I was recommended by his mother telling my mother about it and the rest is history. I was hired for the upcoming Electric vehicle convention. EVTV things were moving quickly towards this bash of nerdy car builders with a purpose, get a computer to drive them around.

In 2011 I was looking for fresh run after my Checker Products days had ended. Checker Products was a trendy company from the 90s building composite bed covers for mini pickups. The automakers killed the mini pick up, too. Dang capitalists keep on making decisions based on what makes them money.

I had attended SEMAs, speaking with a lot of hot rod style people. I knew the language. I knew the business of car shows and conventions. People want to talk about THEIR car. My automotive aftermarket experience blended well to the EV custom builder mindset and Jack saw that right away.

Jack had been in operation a few years now at EVTV, expanded to a large building just up the street from his house. He enjoyed driving his electric speedster to work every morning. Some days he silently pulled in when the garage door stood open and scared the Willys out me. He got a kick out of it.

My first day on the job was to help electric home-built cars on trailers pulling in. Then unload them and get them show ready. I was filmed washing and shining cars for the car show getting my first 15 seconds of fame.

WSIU Public broadcasting from across the river southern Illinois, came with a crew to film the convention. Jack was excited, you could feel his energy.

Everyone with curiosity watched the public broadcast segment on EVCCON which jumped his cost thousands of dollars because Jack had a hybrid video system he controlled and paid to be downloaded. The more downloads the more costs. All sorts of public people watched not Evers.

Then he got the AWS bill and understood the folly in his strategy. He switched to Youtube.

He carped “I’m not doing that again.”

The EVCCON convention had a night feature showing of Who killed the electric car. Jack was flying in Chris Payne the director and star to give a talk to the convention. My job assignment was to escort Chris Payne into the convention. I was standing outside at the back of the hangar waiting to drive up to the terminal and pick up Chris after his plane and landed. I turned around just after the plane landed and didn’t even make it to the car. Chris Paine was already there. He had walked fast possibly jogged all the way to the meeting. He was pumped up to say the least to speak with fellow humans let’s share his passion for the electric vehicle.

The movie itself documents the General Motors EV1 program that ended in the cars being taken off the market and the majority destroyed. Why? Oh the inhumanity! The proverbial cat was out of the bag though, just enough important people with cameras got a taste of the smoothness and simplicity of an electric vehicle. The big point was the ease of refueling in their home. The movie won several awards.

He followed up the film with the prophetic Revenge of the electric car having just missed the mark of the coming Tesla revolution. And boy howdy, did Tesla get revenge.

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