Californian and Dutch efforts to produce electric vehicles are explored and compared. Three strategies are put forward that could turn electric vehicles from an elusive legend, a plaything, into a marketable product: technology forcing creating a market of early promises, experiments geared towards niche development and upscaling (strategic niche management), and the creation of new alliances (technological nexus) which bring technology, the market, regulation and many other factors together. These strategies deployed in the Californian and Dutch context are analysed in detail to explore their relative strengths and weaknesses and to argue in the end that a combined use of all three will increase the chances that the dominant technological system will change. The succesful workings of these strategies crucially depend on the coupling of the variation and selection processes, building blocks for any evolutionary theory of technical change. Evolutionary theory lacks understanding of these coupling processes. Building on recent insights from the sociology of technology, the authors propose a quasi-evolutionary model which underpins the analysis of suggested strategies.