The Detroit Free Press reports: MARK PHELAN: Electric car killer? Hey, we're pro environment, but we had an issue with this Who Killed The Electric Car movie. We don't believe that GM wanted the EV-1 (their electric dealie) to die off.
"The movie 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' was terribly one-sided," Ernest Bastien, Toyota Motor Sales vice president for vehicle operations, said intensely. "It was not balanced at all."That's pretty weak of the movie maker to do that. In fact, it underminds his whole position. We believe the electric car is coming back and that it will be here in under 10 years. And it will catch on.
If it's not surprising enough to hear Toyota defending GM, try this on for size: The film's director pretty much agrees.
"We let Toyota off the hook for how they subverted the program" to sell electric cars because GM had a higher profile, director Chris Paine told me over the phone Sunday.
The automakers, of course, don't think they subverted anything.
The movie also intentionally ignored Toyota's experience to make its case, Bastien said.
"We shared all our experience with the RAV4-EV," but the filmmakers intentionally omitted it, he said.
He said the movie's suggestion that GM "chose not to make money on a car people wanted to buy in California" is ridiculous.
"They spent a huge amount of money advertising that car in California," Bastien said. "People wouldn't buy them."