We all know what happened. By 1920, the first EV era was mostly over. So will it be déjà vu all over again? Paradoxically, the main adoption impediment isn't EV sticker prices, daunting though they are. It's the lack of recharging infrastructure.
The US government is subsidizing the construction of charging stations. Austin, Texas, already has more than 100 stations in place, but, quite frankly, the buildout rate is nowhere near rapid enough to turn EVs into no-muss, no-fuss mainstream driving machines.
There's also a technology wild card. EV power packs haven't kept up with Moore's Law, and it's not clear if they will ever get significantly beyond the 200Wh/kg energy densities of today's top Lithium-ion batteries. We also don't know how quickly the packs will dip below their not atypical $10,000-plus replacement costs, nor do we know how this will affect vendor warranty costs or used-car resale values.
I've always believed fuel-cell vehicles are a more viable technology than EVs, in the same way that Sony Beta was a better videotape format than VHS. In the latter case, marketplace machinations outflanked engineers' data-driven assessments. This will likely be the case with EVs, in which so many people have so much invested that pulling the plug now would unleash a far worse scenario than fixing the problems.