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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  • NotRappaport


  • CDspeed

    Any country that has the Tata Bolt, will probably get the Chevy Bolt as an Opel Screw : )

  • Mark Benjamin David

    Joke. That’s what it is. GM is blowing smoke. Tesla is building a gigafactory. I seriously doubt GM will actually come through on the claims it’s making at this show. Don’t forget, this is strictly a concept car, and we know GM can talk, but, where is the battery deal? How can they make this really happen? It’s just talk, nothing else. Again, Tesla is building a gigafactory with panasonic, GM does not have a plan for producing batteries in that kind of quantity.nnnIt’s all speculation when there’s nothing to back that up.nnnTHIS was a publicity stunt, Nikki, see my comments on TE’s press-release article for the bolt.

    • CDspeed

      The Tesla comparison is driving me crazy, the Bolt is no Model S, and the Model 3 has yet to premier, it seems more like wishful thinking at this point.

      • tech01xpert

        There is a massive structure being built in Sparks, NV that proves that the Model 3 is not wishful thinking.

        • CDspeed

          I’m sure it’s coming, but as far as public information goes few people really know enough to use the Model 3 as a Bolt comparison. I did mean wishful thinking on the part of those who say the Bolt will challenge Tesla, sorry.

  • BenBrownEA

    Seriously… how about the EV-1: Renewal, EV-1 Restitution, or even the EV-1B… I LIKE what I’m hearing, about the car, but it does feel a little like GM really doesn’t believe in its own product.nnnI remember when the EV-1 was first advertised. The whole campaign was designed to confuse, almost dishearten people, or slip under the radar. This most definitely fits within the confuse category, even the delay category as they negotiate with Tata, as they must. People are more likely to overlook the car, mistaking PR for the Volt. Pretty good psychology if you ask me. Only dedicated ev only enthusiasts will know the difference.

  • leptoquark

    But it does kind of make sense. The Chevy Bolt being a big brother to the Chevy Spark….?

  • vdiv

    Read somewhere on the Intertubes that the Bolt is being referred to as the nn>>>Baby Volt<<<nnLooking at it that way the Bolt doesn't sound that bad. 🙂

    • Kerry Lee

      But it seems larger than the Volt, no? Maybe Bigger Volt then?

  • Joseph Dubeau

    Nikki have you noticed that GM is getting lot of PR on the Bolt announcement. nThe Volt would have not necessary received this much attention on its own. nnIt reminds me of another company who recently announced a battery upgrade. 😉

  • BEP

    Take a Mercedes-Benz A-Class (old model), add some typical american bulkiness, and there you have your “beautiful” Chevrolet Bolt.

  • Maxwell Erickson

    How about the Chevy Watt?

  • TornyiBarnabu00e1sazIsten

    Chevy Shock

  • At least the two words rhyme well, is in the following sentence.

    Volts and bolts are driven by dolts.

    Just kidding!!! They are both great cars.