Two Really Good Reasons Why GM Can’t Call its Electric Car the Chevy Bolt

Earlier on today as part of opening-day festivities for the 2015 North American International Auto Show, General Motors unveiled its new 2015 Chevrolet Volt, as well as its Chevrolet Bolt all-electric concept car.

The Chevy Bolt is a cool car -- but it needs a better name.

The Chevy Bolt is a cool car — but it needs a better name.

Described by GM CEO Mary Barra as what GM’s future 2017 model-year 200-mile all-electric subcompact car “might look like,” the Bolt concept car is funky, stylish and full of new technology. There’s heavy use of carbon fibre body panels, a panoramic glass room, and plenty of in-car high-tech too.

The Chevy Bolt looks great too — a little like the illegitimate love-child between a BMW i3, a Chevy Spark and perhaps a Renault Scenic MPV. Despite its generally good looks and futuristic concept car vibe however, there’s one thing the automotive world agrees on: the name Bolt has to go.

Volt or Bolt? Two car names that are similar spells trouble.

Volt or Bolt? Two car names that are similar spells trouble.

We’ve got two really important reasons. First, as GM CEO Mary Barra proves during the official reveal, ‘Bolt’ and ‘Volt’ are really difficult to differentiate from one another.

Imagine the following scenario playing out over a telephone some time in 2018…

Garage: “Hi, this is Mom and Pop garage, how can we direct your call?”

Customer: “Yes, I’ve got a Chevy Bolt which needs its service. Could you book me in please?”

Garage:” Of course, ma’am. will you require an oil change with that?”

Customer: “No, it’s a Bolt.”

Garage:”Yes, but the Volt has a gasoline engine. We recommend changing the oil every 10,000 miles…”

Customer: “No, Not VOLT! BOLT!”

Garage: “V O L T?”

Customer: “B O L T”

We think you get the idea. If the two cars were made by different automakers, the confusion would be bad enough. If they were made by the same company? It would be nigh-on impossible.

If that alone — and we think it is — isn’t a good enough reason to find another name, the following surely is.

There’s already a car called the Bolt. It’s small five-door compact gasoline car made by India’s Tata Motors. The same Tata Motors who happens to own luxury brand Jaguar LandRover.

Chevrolet Bolt? Sorry, there's already the Tata Bolt.

Chevrolet Bolt? Sorry, there’s already the Tata Bolt.

And as Tesla CEO Elon Musk knows, there’s nothing worse than trying to use a car name already claimed by someone else.

So it’s got us wondering. If you had to choose a new name for General Motor’s new all-electric concept car, what would it be?

Leave your suggestions in the Comments below.

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