The Top 12 Electric Car Documentaries (Ranked)

Tesla, Rivian, BYD, Porsche. Even EV-makeovers of old Fiats and Land Rovers They’re all here.

Here are my top 12 documentaries on electric cars.


1) Who Killed the Electric Car

“Who Killed the Electric Car?” (2006, 92 mins) is “Erin Brockovich” meets “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Directed by Chris Paine (also known for “Revenge of the Electric Car”), this doc dives deep into the life and death of GM’s EV1.

Chelsea Sexton, a former GM insider, serves as our Sherpa.

The gut-punch arrives when hundreds of EV1s get sent to the crusher.

Sexton utters, “It’s like they’re killing their own child.” Archival footage rolls—EV1s being demolished, a gloomy day for planet Earth.

Sheen narrates; the soundtrack lacks notable artists. The doc asks hard-hitting questions and paints Big Auto as the villain.

Watch Who Killed the Electric Car for rental on Apple TV, Amazon, YouTube, Microsoft, Vudu Fandango or Google Play. Details are here:

Steve Todey also cut the 92 minute movie down to 6 minutes here:

2) Revenge of the Electric Car

“Revenge of the Electric Car” picks up where “Who Killed the Electric Car?” left off. Directed by Chris Paine (Who Killed the Electric Car), this 2011 sequel runs 90 minutes.

Elon Musk, Bob Lutz, and Carlos Ghosn lead the charge. Musk’s Tesla strives for electric luxury. Lutz, from GM, redeems himself with the Volt. Ghosn bets Nissan’s future on the Leaf. Tension peaks when Tesla nearly goes bankrupt.

ELON: We’re out of money.
BOARD MEMBER: So, what’s next?
ELON: We pivot or we die.
[long pause]
BOARD MEMBER: What’s your call?
ELON: We pivot.”

You’ll see Tesla’s risky loan (465 million dollars) from the U.S. government. Contrast that with Ghosn, who leverages Nissan with a $1.4 billion loan. Facts jump off the screen—like the Leaf’s 73-mile range vs. Tesla’s 265.

Watch Revenge of the Electric Car by renting it on Apple TV or Amazon. Details are here:

3) “Megafactories” Supercars: Tesla Model S

“Megafactories Supercars: Tesla Model S” peels back the curtain on Tesla’s production. In a 45-minute runtime, it’s an engineering delight. Elon Musk, the man behind PayPal and SpaceX, dares to defy automotive norms.

Under the Hood: Get an in-depth look at the manufacturing process, situated in Tesla’s California factory. Did you know the Model S boasts an acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.98 seconds? Innovation isn’t just a buzzword here; it’s a reality.

Musical Pulse: The soundtrack matches the tempo—accelerating and decelerating with the production line. While not by a famous artist, it adds to the cinematic experience.

“ELON: This car breaks all the rules.”
ENGINEER: “That’s why it’s a game-changer.”

Watch Megafactories Supercars: Tesla Model S for free on YouTube by clicking the video above or going here:

4) What is the Electric Car?

Green Future. Innovation. Choices. “What is the Electric Car?” (2010) offers answers and more. Directed by Ken Grant, this 90-minute exploration pulls back the curtain on electric vehicles (EVs).

Eye-opening insights. We meet a slew of experts, like Elon Musk and Ed Begley Jr., discussing EV advantages.

Did you know you could save $1,000 a year on fuel? These experts break down numbers and environmental impact, providing a compelling reason to consider going electric.

Production value. The doc uses archival footage, snappy graphics, and even a catchy soundtrack featuring Neil Young.

It educates while keeping you engaged. One memorable scene includes a side-by-side comparison of emissions between an EV and a gas-powered car—a striking visual.

Top reason? This doc demystifies electric cars.

Whether you’re an EV skeptic or on the fence, it offers enough hard data to make you rethink your next vehicle purchase.

Watch What is the Electric Car on PantaFlix for a $2.99 rental fee in some countries. Check out the details here:

5) BYD: Factory Tour & Full Range of EVs

Elliot guides viewers through BYD’s sprawling Shenzhen factory, which covers an astonishing 15 million square meters. Formerly known for producing mobile phone batteries, BYD has pivoted into an electric vehicle (EV) titan, employing 150,000 staff.

During the tour, Elliot uncovers BYD’s blade battery technology, considered one of the safest in the EV market, and reveals an efficient electric monorail system.

The factory tour zeroes in on the assembly of the BYD Han, the company’s flagship electric sedan. Over 1,000 workers assemble 400 Han cars daily—a testament to BYD’s manufacturing prowess.

The company’s e-platform has proven so adaptable that it even struck a partnership with automotive giant Toyota. To date, vehicles on BYD’s platform have clocked four billion kilometers in commercial use.

The BYD Han itself is a marvel, boasting a drag coefficient of just 0.23, outperforming many competitors. Elliot culminates the tour with a test drive of the Han around BYD’s campus, offering viewers a firsthand account of the car’s capabilities.

Beyond cars, BYD has successfully branched into other EV forms like trucks, taxis, and buses. With the company’s focus and impressive output—400 vehicles daily—it’s clear that BYD’s influence on the electric vehicle sector is monumental.

Watch the BYD: Factory Tour for free on YouTube by clicking the video above or here:

6) Demand for electric vehicles growing, but can charging network keep up? (from “Chasing Carbon Zero”)

Correspondent Miles O’Brien takes a ride around charging stations. EVgo is featured.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttieg is interviewed.

The full doc Chasing Carbon is here: though It’s not focused on electric cars alone but covers it in a summary. From PBS: Can the U.S. reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and avoid the biggest impacts of climate change? Experts say it can be done. Here’s the technology that could get us there.

The above clip is excerpted from the longer documentary “Chasing Carbon Zero” from Nova — you can watch that for free here:

7) Vintage Voltage

Old meets new in “Vintage Voltage,” where Richard “Moggy” Morgan and electric car expert Greg Keily transform classic cars into electric wonders.

They tackle everything from a Porsche 944 to a 1971 VW Beetle.

It’s a grueling but rewarding process, especially when dealing with cars over 50 years old.

The series is a feast for gearheads and eco-conscious viewers alike. Highlights include:

  • Land Rover Type 2A makeover
  • a ’70s Fiat 500 overhaul
  • a green makeover of a 1965 Mustang.

The challenge? Sourcing compatible parts for these vintage gems.

Overall, it’s a blend of mechanical prowess, sustainable initiatives, and a dash of nostalgia.

Watch Vintage Voltage on Fubo or Spectrum or Google Play. Details are here:

8) Cobalt Wars, The Dark Side of Electric Cars

Tesla, Volkswagen, Volvo, Peugeot, and Renault funnel billions into electrification. The linchpin? Batteries.

Yet, a thorny issue shadows these batteries: Cobalt. This contentious material, extracted from ores, mainly hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo, comprising 65 to 70% of global cobalt production.

This documentary unearths the grim facets of cobalt mining. Child labor is just one facet of the multifaceted problem. Corruption festers, soil stands tainted, and human lives and health teeter on the edge. Europe’s heavy reliance on China’s cobalt market dominance is a precarious dance.

Notable scenes or facts:

  • The DRC produces over 70% of the world’s cobalt.
  • Cobalt mining in the DRC is often done by hand in dangerous conditions.
  • Many of the miners are children.
  • Cobalt mining has a significant environmental impact, including deforestation, water pollution, and soil contamination.
  • Electric car companies say that they are committed to responsible cobalt sourcing, but it is difficult to ensure that cobalt is mined ethically and sustainably.

Watch Cobalt Wars for free on YouTube by clicking the video above or going here:

9) Fifth Gear Recharged

The UK show is full of tests of EVs like:

  • Lamborghini Sian
  • Citroen Ami
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Sono Sion
  • The Munro EV
  • Porsche 964 EV Conversion
  • Mini E
  • Skoda Enyaq
  • Land Rover Defender Electric
  • Cupra Born
  • The Arrival Van
  • Defender Diesel VS Defender Electric
  • The Next Generation Filling Station
  • The Off Roading Challenge
  • Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
  • MG ZS EV
  • NIO ES8
  • Plato’s Ferrari SF90
  • The Best Bargain Second Hand EVs
  • Hyundai’s Ioniq 5
  • Mazda MX30
  • BMW iX3
  • Ford’s Mach-E GT
  • Porsche Taycan Turbo
  • Audi RS e-tron GT RS
  • Audi Etron vs Lexus UX300e
  • Mercedes C 300 e PHEV
  • Honda Civic e:HEV Advance
  • Polestar 2 BST edition 270
  • Ford Kuga 2.5 FHEV
  • Honda E vs Peugeot E-208
  • Audi A8L
  • Skoda Superb iV Estate
  • Porsche Cayenne, Volvo XC90, Audi Q7, and BMW X5
  • Tesla Model Y
  • Mercedes EQS
  • BMW M2
  • Hyundai Kona
  • Toyota Proace
  • Renault Zoe
  • Volkswagen ID5

They also do comparisons such as:

  • Tesla Model 3 VS Polestar 2
  • Mini E v Peugeot e208 v Renault Zoe v Honda E v Fiat 500
  • Porsche Taycan Turbo vs Audi RS e-tron GT RS
  • EV Multivan showdown between VW T7 Transporter and Hyundai Santa FE
  • Big SUVs Death Match
  • EV Van Challenge: Ford v Fiat
  • EV SUV – Skoda, Hyundai, Volvo, and Lexus

You can stream Fifth Gear Recharged on Discovery+ at

You can also watch 100+ free clips of Fifth Gear Recharged at

10) And We Go Green

The “And We Go Green” doc explores Formula E, the all-electric racing championship that is gaining momentum worldwide.

Directed by Fisher Stevens and Malcolm Venville, they profile the 2017–18 Formula E season of this exciting motorsport.

It highlights key figures such as Lucas di Grassi, Jean-Éric Vergne, and Sam Bird, offering viewers a glimpse into their lives on and off the track.

“And We Go Green” doesn’t shy away from addressing the criticisms and challenges facing Formula E. It highlights the debate around the lack of noise in electric racing compared to traditional motorsports.

The Doc captures the energy of Formula E races in iconic cities like New York, Paris, and Hong Kong, showcasing the fusion of high-speed racing with urban landscapes.

And We Go Green is not streaming on anything right now. Check out to see if new options show up.

11) Formula E: Unplugged

Formula E: Unplugged tries to pick up where And We Go Green left off.

The docuseries premiered on November 22, 2021, following a similar format to Formula 1’s popular “Drive to Survive” series.

“Unplugged” offered an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into the journeys of every driver during the 2020–21 season.

The series returned for a second season, featuring the 2021–22 season.

Watch Formula E: Unplugged on Paramount+ at Check for other options.

12) Hard Cell

Sorry, there’s no trailer for Hard Cell. Ping me if you know of one

Tom “Wookie” Ford (of Fifth Gear and Top Gear fame) looks at EV supercars.

It’s only one season with 4 episodes:

S1 E1 – Does the EV Supercar Really Exist? — Electric supercars are all the buzz, but are they real? They explore Lotus, Pininfarina, and Rimac, promising 2000bhp electric supercars. Do they deliver the speed and the sensory thrills of traditional supercars?

S1 E2 – Can an EV Ever Be an ICON? — Porsche’s iconic history meets electric with the Taycan. Can this electric car join the ranks of legendary Porsche models and create a new chapter in the brand’s storied heritage?

S1 E3 – Is Motorsport Still Fun When It’s Silent? — Electric motorsport faces criticism for its quietness and unique regulations. They explore various championships worldwide, from circuit racing to rallycross, to determine if electric motorsport can truly compete.

S1 E4 – Can You Have a Proper Adventure With No Plug In Sight? — Venture into the world of EV pickup trucks with Rivian and Bollinger, test the Extreme E race car in Saudi Arabia, and challenge the limits of adventure in the desert without internal combustion engines.

Watch Hard Cell through a subscription to MotorTrend via Apple TV at or Prime Video at

Thanks for reading!

-Rob Kelly