Smithsonian magazine taps EVs as a tech trend to watch in 2012

“Will 2012 be the year the electric car takes off?”

 

Smithsonian magazine’s A-Z list of 2012 tech trends ranges from the cosmically significant (H is for the Higgs boson) to the hopelessly trivial (Foodspotting?). Which category EVs belong in may be debatable, but we not only made the list, but scored the headline photo and an electrifying question: “Will 2012 be the year the electric car takes off?”

It’s a rhetorical query that Smithsonian doesn’t try to answer, noting only that, so far, “there’s been nowhere near an electric car boom” (Who was expecting one, with only two models available, neither of which has really moved out of the test marketing phase yet?), and that Ford, Honda and Toyota all plan to launch electric vehicles in 2012 (what about Fisker, Coda, Tesla, Mitsubishi, Volvo, Renault and Daimler?).

Things move slowly in the automotive world (at least so it seems to tech-heads living on Internet time), so even we ardent EVangelists don’t expect EV sales to make like a rocket in one year. However, with so many new models set to launch in 2012, we’ll hazard a guess that it will be the year EVs take off in the press, at least.

While the trade mags have been buzzing like a high-tension wire, the mainstream media barely took any notice of EVs in 2011. Even the Volt battery fires rated no more than an article or two in the New York Times’ Business section. ABC News’ fabricated flap over Fisker’s Finnish factory caused a tempest in the anti- and pro-EV teapots, but was quickly forgotten on the Main Street news racks.

The Silicon Valley Mercury News, in the heart of EV country, ran a year-end précis of the EV scene, but they had no bold predictions either, just contrasting interviews with mildly pessimistic and cautiously optimistic pundits, and the obligatory sentence about “bumps in the road.”

 

Image: Chevrolet