Tom Hanks' letter to the editor of the New Yorker about his electric car, a Toyota RAV4 EV.
RE: THE ROAD AHEADSource: The New Yorker
A letter in response to Peter J. Boyer’s article (April 27, 2009)
MAY 18, 2009
Peter J. Boyer, in his otherwise spot-on piece about the car industry, assumes that I once leased G.M.’s sadly fated EV1 electric car and, like other drivers of that twin-seat rocket of a vehicle, watched the emission-free car be wrested from my garage, towed away, and busted up into pieces of metal, glass, and rubber smaller than razor blades (“The Road Ahead,” April 27th). Luckily, I did not. The source of Boyer’s slight inaccuracy may have been the documentary film “Who Killed the Electric Car?,” which used a clip of a visit I made to the “Late Show with David Letterman,” during which I claimed to be saving America one electric car at a time. However, by the time I began shopping for an all-electric car, in 2003, the EV1 had already been yanked from showrooms as if the car had never existed. Instead, I found what was purported to be the very last electric car available for sale in the state of California—a Toyota EV. It had four doors, a rear hatch, room for my family, including a dog in the back, power windows, A/C, a great sound system, and the fastest, most effective windshield defroster known to mankind. When the car companies collectively, and, to some, diabolically, decided to take these cars back, the electric vehicles disappeared. But not mine. I have the pink slip. I own that car, and it is still driven every day, albeit by one of my crack staff of employees. My electric car recently crossed fifty thousand miles on the odometer with its original battery but without so much as a splash of gasoline.
Los Angeles, Calif.