For an engineering audience, the downside of the film is that it takes an all's-well-that-ends-well approach, essentially glossing over the fact that the struggle for pure electric vehicles will likely be with us for a long time. It makes the assumption that the technical work is completed, and it fails to address the fact that EV batteries are still prohibitively expensive.
At the film's end, we see a "good news" montage of successes for GM, Tesla, Nissan, and Abbott (the EV converter). Tesla's stock soars, and its massive DOE loan comes through. GM rolls out the Volt. Nissan gets a $1.4 billion loan to build Leafs, and Abbott's business recovers from a devastating fire.
Danny DeVito joins the montage long enough to remind us that we've left the Dark Ages. Another actor, Adrian Grenier, tells us that he can't wait for the electric car era. "The innovations are here now," Grenier says, smiling brightly. "Bring them to me. I want to play." The viewer is left to wonder what Grenier might think of today's paltry electric car sales figures.
Still, Revenge is perceptive. It shows the pain of taking risks, and it honors those who have the courage to initiate change. It gives us a glimpse inside the minds of the EV faithful. And it reminds us that we're heading in an electric direction, ready or not. Yes, the movie gives a one-sided view of the auto industry, but it also provides real insight into why we're going in that "electric direction."
Have you seen Revenge of the Electric Car? Do you agree/disagree with this review? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.