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“Who Killed the Electric Car?” investigated auto manufacturers’ reluctance to embrace electric cars and General Motors’ destroying of its EV1 model. “Revenge of the Electric Car” plots the comeback of electric cars, including GM’s change of heart in manufacturing the Chevy Volt, a gas-electric hybrid.

“I wasn’t planning to make another film about this topic, but I thought this could be one of those really rare moments where something turns around,” says Paine. “And I already have the access, so I should probably step into this and see if we can capture a moment of transition.”

Paine has essentially shifted from pessimist to optimist.

“Sometimes it happens in America and in capitalism: Great ideas get killed,” says the director. “But it’s not always the way things go.”