Whether South Africa is ready or not, the global motoring industry is planning to phase out combustion vehicle engines within the next two decades, to go all-out electric.
The history of the electric car is a fascinating one, told brilliantly in the 2006 documentary Who Killed The Electric Car? by US filmmaker Chris Paine.
The doccie tracks the launch of the first EV by General Motors in 1997 after strict air emissions were announced in California. The EV-1 was a revolutionary vehicle, requiring absolutely no fossil fuel. Yet, just six years later, GM inexplicably destroyed the entire EV-1 fleet. They literally shredded the cars to death. According to Paine, the EV murders lay squarely at the feet of the "oil companies and the internal combustion engine monopoly".
In a 2006 interview with the US mag Motor Trend, the former CEO of GM, Rick Wagoner - the man blamed for giving the orders to destroy the EV-1 - admitted his greatest regret was "killing the electric car". Ironically, in 2017, Wagoner joined the board of ChargePoint, a company that maintains charging stations for EVs.
As depressing as the eye-opening Who Killed The Electric Car? is, the documentary ends on a high...