In 2006, Chris Paine mourned the death of the EV-1 – General Motors’s short-lived electric vehicle – in ‘Who Killed the Electric Car?’. Here, it’s 2010 and Paine finds the automobile industry taking the plug-in car more seriously. He widens his focus to include the rocky birth of Tesla’s Model S, as well as Nissan and GM’s entry (re-entry, in GM’s case) into the market with their Leaf and Volt cars. The techie stuff is light and the mood mostly optimistic, which makes for a slightly bland experience. More entertaining are the characters who emerge from Paine’s impressive access. You could make a whole film about PayPal millionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk, a fresh-faced oddball who we see awkwardly talking in the company of his wife, actress Talulah Riley (they’re now divorced). Thrusting French Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn is also good fun.
Friday July 20 2012