This year saw its share of major electrified car stories, some of which may qualify as the biggest so far this decade.

And, given plug-in cars really only got started among major automakers this decade, that may mean they’re the biggest stories to date, but before we get ahead of ourselves, things are still just warming up.

The U.S. plug-in market share comprised of plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles is just around 1.09 percent – which is a mild improvement over around 0.85 percent last year, but obviously more needs to happen.

This year saw a change of presidency whose policies are in stark contrast to those of the outgoing president who was essentially on board with a global (and California) sensibility concerned with climate change and accelerating electrification.

That in turn emboldened automakers doing business in the U.S. – who in other markets where they have no choice express nothing but gung-ho sentiment for electrification – to seek the president’s new EPA director to soften 2022-2025 rules. A decision on that is not yet finalized.

And regardless, a tide is rising worldwide, and automakers concerned with regulations giving them little room to go other than toward much more electrification, are meanwhile having their effect.

Following are some of the bigger U.S. stories of the year.

Nationwide Chevy Bolt EV Launch

Having poured its engineering focus into the Chevy Bolt EV to beat Tesla’s Model 3 to market, General Motors had introduced the Bolt in December 2016 to California and Oregon, and 2017 saw a rollout to the rest of the country that was completed by early summer.

The Bolt leapfrogged the existing standard of what a consumer could expect for a mid-30s selling price with 238 EPA-rated miles range for $37,495 before a $7,500 federal tax credit cut the net to a whisker below $30,000.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Review – Video

Purpose built with 60-kWh battery in floor, spacious, the compact crossover zips to 60 in around 6.5 seconds – not enough to impress those spoiled by insanely fast Teslas, but a time still considered quick.

The Bolt has risen to be the country’s second-best selling plug-in car this year behind the Tesla Model S, and sells well above other EVs in its class.

Nationwide Toyota Prius Prime Launch

Similar to the Bolt, the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid had launched at the end of 2016, and 2017 was the year it rolled to the all 50 states.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Review – Video

The former Prius PHEV, which was discontinued from 2015 and selling through leftovers, had been a 15-state car, but the new model with 8.8-kWh battery and 25 miles EV range and price midway in the range of the Prius hybrid was deemed much more competitive.

A side story in this is that it has documented sales neck and neck with the existing best-selling Chevy Volt, and despite limited supply earlier this year, is now just ahead by 114 sales and poised to be the country’s best-selling PHEV for 2017.

The midsized Prime is a solid value and folds in a number of attributes from a company with known reliability record.

Decline of the Toyota Prius Liftback

The vaunted Prius, a car synonymous with the term “hybrid car,” is having its worst sales year since 2004 despite being all new.

Redesigned for 2016 in fourth-generation form, the car launched in the U.S. in 2000, and Japan in 1997, is not hitting on song in the U.S. market for its 20th year.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Toyota Prius Review – Video

Best sales for a single year this decade were in the middle 140,000 range, and through November it has just 60,230 sales. Toyota has said the low price of gas has been a contributing factor, but the hybrid market is slightly up this year even without as meaningful a contribution from the Prius.

This is significant as the hybrid market in years past was carried in large part by the Prius Liftback’s sales as it typically outsold next-best sellers by 2-3 times the volume month after month.

This year, one of the cars it formerly used to walk all over in the sale arena, the Ford Fusion Hybrid, is trailing by just 7,000 sales, and the third-best selling Toyota RAV4 Hybrid follows by close to 15,000 sales.

Why? No one can put a clear reason why, but included is there are more competent hybrids to choose from than in previous years, some mind share has been taken up by plug-ins, and the new car’s styling has not resonated to the degree that former generations did.

Tesla Model 3 Launch

The EV that has accumulated half a million $1,000 paid reservations experienced a ceremonial soft official launch July 28 with 30 initial deliveries.

Tesla had worked over a decade toward the goal of this being its mass-production car, and had said by now 5,000 per week would be rolling off its assembly line, but this timeline has been pushed to the first quarter of 2018 by CEO Elon Musk.

To date, and estimated 720 have been delivered.

It’s nonetheless the Model 3’s game to lose, as hopes and sentiment for the “$35,000” EV with 220 miles range are far more for it than they are for the Bolt EV, or any other plug-in car.

Eyes are on Tesla to fix the production “bottleneck” as financial pundits stir the pot and short sellers go on CNBC telling the world Tesla stock is “worthless” – statements that stand to serve their own financial wagers against Tesla.

No matter how things go, the Model 3 is a car that will have a place in EV history. Hope is still strong that the sleek car can be brought to mass volume though initial bluster has been questioned.

Green car analyst Alan Baum projects Tesla will pull out the stops, and while he does not believe Tesla’s exuberant predictions, his estimate for next year is over 100,000 sales even with a late start. That would be about triple the current EV sales record, and so a success by any measure, assuming it comes to pass.

2018 Nissan Leaf Reveal

At long last, and as sales dwindled for the world’s best-selling EV, Nissan revealed this year its 2018 replacement for the Leaf.

The Japanese automaker had updated range two times in nursing along the car first launched Dec. 2010 for an exceptionally lengthy product life cycle. The irony was not lost on EV fans who’d noted Nissan was the original major manufacturer bull for EVs, and had predicted EVs would make up 10 percent of sales by decade’s end.

The new Leaf also does not yet match the Bolt EV in range, while the 150-mile range first-year model does undercut it in price at around $30,000. An over-200 miler is due next year.

Nissan also dismayed some by, as they would put it, not learning its lesson to put liquid cooling in the battery.

Early Leafs underwent a fiasco of premature range loss, the company updated the chemistry, upped a pro-rated warranty, but those Band-Aids were not thorough solution. The Bolt, Teslas, and others do see the need to spend up for liquid battery cooling.

The new Leaf however is off to a reported great start in Europe and Japan, and buyers in the U.S. look forward to the redesigned new car in early 2018.