All-electric cars debuted on California streets in 1996. The compact yet comfortable non-polluting vehicles were the carmakers' (GM and Toyota in particular) answer to lifting California's ill-famed smog. Driving one became widely popular, until the upper echelons of finance and politics drove them off the road. In a manner that is both accurate and compelling, aided by the testimony of guest stars Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks and Ralph Nader, consumer rights movement leader, and narrated by Martin Sheen, Chris Paine's film recounts the events leading to the demise of the electric car. But the battle may not be over yet: recent research into hybrid vehicles that combine an internal combustion engine with a battery-driven electric motor offers promising prospects.