Year-end roundups are an unavoidable necessity of the media business.
They let editors and writers opine, and they fill space when there may be little real news.
They also serve the more valuable function of forcing a longer-term perspective on the hundreds of news items a month that flow through any given writer’s feeds.
We’ll offer our own assessment of the year’s most important green-car news story in a few days.
But we decided we’d poll our Twitter followers to get their views, offering up four major stories that spawned regular coverage during 2017.
Poll participants, as we rather suspected they might, evinced a predictable preference for one particular company and vehicle by naming it the most important news story of the year.
What was our most important story of 2017?
— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) December 20, 2017
The company is Tesla, and the vehicle is the more affordable Model 3 electric car that is intended to turn the company into a volume-car maker.
The Tesla Model 3 has what is perhaps an even more important role: it must finally enable Tesla to turn a profit after 13 years of consistent operating losses totaling in the billions of dollars.
More than four in 10 readers (42 percent) named the Tesla Model 3 the most important green-car story of 2017.
That’s despite the six months of “production hell” that saw only tiny numbers of the cars struggle out of Tesla’s assembly plant in Fremont, California.
The next most popular story was the rise of local and national future bans on sales of new vehicles with combustion engines, chosen by 23 percent.
China’s emerging global dominance in electric cars earned only 19 percent of respondents’ votes, and the first year on sale of the Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car got a mere 16 percent.
Is one of these our editors’ choice for most important green-car story of the year? Could it be another topic altogether? Keep your eyes open right around the end of this year for our verdict.
As always, please note that our Twitter polls are far from scientifically valid, due to small sample size and self-selection by those who choose to participate.