(San Francisco, CA) — In Revenge of the Electric Car, director Chris Paine takes us behind the closed doors of Nissan, GM, Tesla Motors, and the garage of an independent car converter to tell the story of four leaders behind the global comeback for the electric car. With almost every major carmaker now announcing plug-in models, Revenge of the Electric Car follows the race to be the first, the most exhilarating, and the fastest to break the world’s addiction to fossil fuels. The film premieres on the Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Mary Louise Parker on Thursday, April 19, 2012, at 10pm (check local listings).
Revenge of the Electric Car documents how individual leadership can sometimes bring change from within, even in one of the biggest and most entrenched industries in the world. The camera rarely stops moving as it tracks entrepreneurs from very different backgrounds as they ride a three-year roller coaster of acclaim and derision, breakthroughs and bankruptcy, and, finally, success as their designs reach the driveways and kudos of early adopters around the world.
The film follows the electric car renaissance through the eyes of four industry pioneers:
Bob Lutz, the larger than life General Motors executive who once voted to kill the electric car, but who becomes convinced that the future of the automobile is electrified and that “electric cars are back with a vengeance.” His plug-in hybrid Volt is the first of its kind.
Elon Musk, the Silicon Valley multimillionaire and co-founder of Tesla Motors who swerves from cocky early success into near bankruptcy — and then back again — with one of the most energized companies in America. His story here kicks off as Tesla delivers its first Roadster sports car accelerating from 0 to 60mph in just 3.7 seconds.
Carlos Ghosn, the acclaimed CEO of Nissan/Renault, who surprises the world with a six billion dollar investment in electric cars and the Nissan LEAF. His vision? A more affordable electric vehicle for the mass market to leapfrog his competitors on the international stage.
Greg “Gadget” Abbott, a garage converter, and one of thousands of do-it-yourselfers who are determined to start the EV revolution instead of “waiting for corporations.” His goal: make conversions easy for any car — even his silver ‘57 Porsche Speedster, which he’s determined to drive from L.A. to Palm Springs on a single charge. Revenge of the Electric Car chronicles the great shift in technology and automobile history that is taking shape as the cars hit the showrooms today in 2012.
To learn more about the film, visit the Revenge of the Electric Car interactive companion website (www.pbs.org/independentlens/revenge-of-the-electric-car), which features detailed information on the film, including an interview with the filmmaker and links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film, and more.
About the Filmmaker
Chris Paine (Director) is also the writer/director of Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006), one of the most successful documentaries of recent years. Paine has toured nationally to speak about sustainable energy and transportation at international venues including Princeton, Brown, and Stanford Universities, The Matthew Shepard Symposium on Social Justice, the James Baker III Institute in Houston, Google, and more. Paine’s forthcoming film as executive producer is Charge! (2011) with Ewan McGregor, which features the world’s first electric motorcycle race on the Isle of Man. Prior films as producer include the motorcycle racing film Faster! and No Maps For These Territories about cyberpunk author William Gibson. On the entrepreneurial front, Paine founded the digital agency Internet Outfitters, and co-founded Mondo-tronics, which provided materials for the Mars Pathfinder mission. Paine’s recent work includes counterspill.com, created in the wake of the BP oil disaster, and an advisory role to the Black Rock Arts Foundation in San Francisco. His demonstration home “Marrakesh House” hosts green events and electric cars with solar power. Paine was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Colgate University in New York.
About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about unique individuals, communities, and moments in history. Presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is supported by interactive companion websites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The series producer is Lois Vossen.
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