Who Killed the Electric Car?

2057 Words Mar 4th, 2015 9 Pages
Who Killed the Electric Car?
Take – Home Midterm

Natalie Farrugia
6759091
Professor Larose
SOC3116 D
March 4,2015
1.
A relevant social group is a group of people who share the same set of meanings, or feelings, attached to a specific artifact. In this case, it is all groups of people who feel the same way about the electric car.
There are many relevant social groups involved with the electric car. They include General Motors, the consumers/drivers/fans of the EV1, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the federal government, Ovonics (battery company), and the oil companies.
General motors is a relevant social group because they are the ones who manufactured and sold the EV1. They originally decided to abide by the
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Ultimately, consumers were excited about the EV1 and wanted to see them succeed. In contrast however, there were many consumers who were unaware of the EV1 and/or did not have enough information regarding these new vehicles. This could have made the difference in keeping the electric vehicle alive; if everyone had been made aware of this vehicle, it may have had a larger demand, and may be prominently driven on our roads today.
This interpretation was similar from the stand point of CARB. They saw it as a way to solve their air quality problem and to better the state for future generations. However, Alan Lloyd of CARB, interpreted it slightly differently because of his biased opinion (became the Director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership).2 He, along with the oil companies, saw it as a loss of profits because if people started to only drive the EV1, then they would not need oil as much or as often. The EV1 was not a good thing to the oil companies and they did not want it to succeed. Oil companies even went as far as manipulating oil prices in order to deter consumers from switching to oil alternatives. Ultimately, this may be the main reason, combined with others, as to why the electric car died.
Like the oil companies, the government did not want the EV1 to succeed since oil is a multi-billion dollar industry. They would also lose money if the oil companies did not sell as much. Therefore, they fought to weaken the

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