July 12, 2006

Who Killed the Electric Car

Saw a free sneak preview of Who Killed the Electric Car, a new documentary that is in some ways a better film than An Inconvenient Truth.

I recommend seeing both -- AIT first, then WKTEC.

To think that all the technology exists to make automobiles that are faster, cheaper, many times safer than anything the big automakers make. And yet WHERE ARE THE STARTUPS?

Why is it that Buffett is gonna give away $30B to Bill Gates's foundation but none to fund an alternative to the big auto makers and the oil companies?

At a conference recently I asked Al Gore and Vinod Khosla the same question: where are the Steve Jobses and Bill Gateses of the personal automotive revolution? When are we going to see the equivalent of what happened when PC manufacturers took on mainframe vendors, and brought about major change? Why can't the same happen for transportation?

I was dismayed that they both had basically the same answer, that boiled down to something like: the car companies and the oil companies are too powerful; they own the government, and any auto startup that threatens car companies or oil companies will be squashed.

Sounds too wimpy to me. I'd still love to see some IMSAIs, Commodores, and Apples emerge to take on the GMs and ExxonMobils of the world.

Posted by brian at July 12, 2006 12:30 AM


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