The Electric Car Was Produced in America 10 Years Ago!!!

Chelsea Sexton, part of the General Motors (GM) team who in the late 1990's worked on the EV1, an electric car that got 100-150 miles on a charge. GM reclaimed all of the EV1 vehicles and destroyed them. The EV1 was highlighted in the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car".

 

Sexton was asked: The films showed that there was a big activist movement to save the EV1, and you were part of this group. How should activists approach such battles in the future?

She responded: I think, more and more, it's important that consumers request for what they want and not settle for the status quo. Part of that comes from having worked within the industry and knowing how it works. The typical industry attitude for automotive is, "We're going to build a car and convince the customer that they want it" not, "Let's find out what they want and then build it." This is a case where this has absolutely been proven. Just last year, for instance, Life and Times [Los Angeles-area PBS show] did a story on auto enthusiasts. They interviewed Hummer and to Prius and they came to us last at the vigil. While they're setting up we were chatting, and they said, "We just went to Toyota and we asked them about the grassroots demand for plug-in hybrids and the Prius seems like the obvious first car to start with and people are making them in their garages. Why don't you build a plug-in Prius?" and they said, "Because we don't have to. So many people are buying the gas-burning version we don't need to build anything else." That's explains everything. As long as we buy what they're producing, they will not produce anything else. It is necessary that consumers get involved, whether through protesting or grassroots pressure or by voting, not just politically but with your wallet by not buying something that isn't really what you want. We have to be active in order to end up seeing in the showrooms the cars that we really want to drive.

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