Yesterday, electric vehicle pioneer Bob Beaumont passed away. For those of you who don't know, Beaumont created the Citicar (which then birthed the Comutacar) in the 1970s. Small, frugal and unlike anything else on the road, the Citicar eventually sold 2,000 units. More importantly, it gave the community of green car advocates a vehicle to rally around. The idea that plug-in vehicles are a grassroots sort of effort is something that will remain true at least through 2012, says PlugIn Cars.

Even though we're in the beginnings of an era where plug-in vehicles are promoted by big corporations, the day-to-day work is being done by the "rank-and-file EV drivers ... that will pave the way to an electrified auto future," writes Brad Berman. We have to agree, after reading how DIYers are improving the cars that companies like Tesla, Nissan and Chevrolet are bringing to market. Whether that's making a Leaf charge faster or giving it a more accurate battery state-of-charge meter, some drivers are turning these cars into what they want to drive, not what's been given them.

What's interesting is how automakers are, in some cases, working with these regular folks to co-promote plug-in cars. Berman's compelling article ends with this thought: "2012 could be a make-or-break year for electric cars. The honeymoon year for electric cars is almost over." What's your reaction?

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