• Sep 1st 2010 at 11:56AM
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2011 Chevrolet Volt – click above for high-res image gallery

Think of the oft-discussed term "range anxiety." What company comes to mind? Is it General Motors? Well, that's exactly what GM apparently wants you to do, based on its recent trademark request filing for those exact words. Why does GM want this trademark? The filing, which you can find at Jalopnik, says it's for "promoting public awareness of electric vehicle capabilities." Um, right.

GM has forever (well, since the Chevrolet Volt was originally announced, which seems like forever) said that its plug-in hybrid is better than a pure electric car because you can charge as you go using (premium) gasoline. So, if you were wondering exactly which "capabilities" GM will be promoting, we already know. As Joel Ewanick, GM's vice president of U.S. marketing, told Jalopnik:
[Range anxiety is] something we need to be very aware of when we market this car. We're going to position this as a car first and electric second... people do not want to be stranded on the way home from work.
Well, most people won't be stranded in their electric cars because they'll know how to use them. Of course, GM wants the Volt to sell beyond the early adopters, and using fear has long worked in major marketing campaigns. For all the fresh, new ways GM has been pushing the Volt thus far, it looks like some things will never change. Thanks to Greg B. for the tip!

[Source: Jalopnik via Wired]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am going to trademark the term "massive cojones" so I can be the only one to talk about the massive cojones of a company like GM trying to trademark a common usage term like "range anxiety".
      Then I am going to file for "irony" - in the modern sense.

      Unfortunately I am probably not the only one who won't be surprised if they are in fact granted such a trademark as our intellectual property laws are near hopelessly messed up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, I guess when you run out of threads to create about the Volt after all these years of hype, now we can expect lawyers and marketing types to take over and continue the Volt hype.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds like it's time to cull the copyright lawyer herd. If we allow their numbers to continue to increase they'll begin to feed on more and more everyday phrases, and eventually starve en masse, their rotting carcasses littering the legal plains.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "save the earth" is trademarked.

      Honda found out the hard way when they used "save the earth" in a commercial and they were sued earlier this year.

      Now, I guess "Save the Earth Foundation" is coming after me for a penny for using "save the earth".
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is: 'Government Motors - the knocking shop' trademarked yet?
      • 5 Years Ago
      "range anxiety" brought to you by the folks that gave you "red menace", "white flight" and "axis of evil". Fear is such a great marketing tool....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Noz, so WHAT if we cooperated with Saddam in the past? We cooperated with Stalin to beat Hitler - that didn't mean we had to be allies forever. The world is a nasty dangerous place, full of butchers, tyrants, and lunatics, and we have to identify the greatest threat to our security and interests at any given time, and gang everyone up on it. Once that's done, look around at who's left and repeat the process.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Here we go again CARNEY...blame blame blame...you're God's gift to the planet and you can do no wrong.

        You don't know the first thing about Iran...other than what Rush Limbaugh has told you...and you're even more clueless about Iraq...never mind Rumsfeld was kissing Sadam's ass when it was convenient for your stupid country to do so.

        Get your head out of your butt. I'm sick and tired of idiots like you...you bring no good to anyone.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, the red menace never existed. Wacky tales of a nightmare totalitarian expansionist nation-swallowing empire bristling with nukes aimed at us -- all fairy tales.

        And middle class homeowners fled cities like Detroit for no good reason at all. Why it's been a paradise for generations now, if only people would go back and look.

        And it's totally unheard-of for unfriendly foreign powers to cooperate. Iraq never gave its air force to Iran, and North Korea has never cooperated with radical Mideastern regimes.

        Good thing me have enough folded-arms, smirk-faced attitude enabling us to resist any efforts to make us stop appreciating our misunderstood slums and enemies as the rainbows-and-lollipops delights they've always REALLY been!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Saddam sure was a threat to the US...... in Wolfoshitz's wet dreams.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't forget "American cheese."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ahhh..CARNEY...so now you're trying to justify your two-faced behavior as a "so what"?

        Yes...the world is a very dangerous place and your country is one of the biggest problems for other countries all over the world. Because you're so full of it and egocentric, it never occurs to you that US policy and dirty dealings have caused more havoc around the world than from any other country (perhaps England does more sht but hey...we're an extension of the UK so it makes sense doesn't it).

        You really have no clue what you are talking about...you're simply a stupid mouthpiece of warmongering jackasses that are unfortunately frequenting this planet right now. You don't care about the consequences of your actions because your head is filled to the brim with "Manifest Destiny" bullsht and justifying the ends with any means is OK for you.

        You can start the list of butchers, tyrants, and aholes right at the White House, CIA, and NSA. The only difference is they wear 3 piece suits and are white...I guess you and Rush Limbaugh can have a field day with that one.

        Now...who do you want to blame next for your worldly woes?
      • 5 Years Ago
      So GM has indeed chosen to go the route of politics: I don't need to
      convince you that I'm "good" so much as convince you the "other guy" is bad.

      Works great when you want to win an election. Works for shit when you
      want to increase voter turnout. All it does is discourages voters
      from showing up because "neither side is worth voting for".

      I hope that doesn't end up being the same result here where nobody
      buys any type of EV because the PHEVs are bashing the BEVs and vice
      versa and they all look bad.

      This is not a zero sum game guys. Negative campaigns create a
      shrinking pie.

      Maybe GM really thinks they need this to sell the few thousand cars
      they are going to produce? I sure hope not.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've been saying something similar all along. I appreciate GM's efforts in creating the Volt, but the way they are marketing it (BEVs are horrible) is shrinking the overall plug-in market rather than expanding it. They need to focus more on positives (esp over existing cars like hybrids and conventional diesel or gas ICE) or rather than negatives of what is supposedly a smaller market (the BEV market).
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a waste of an article, they're not marketing "fear", they're marketing a fact. Range anxiety is a real issue with all but the very resolute EV adapters. If you forget to plug in your vehicle or are at a location were you can not plug it in, it doesn't matter for the Volt. Those are real issues and I have no problem with GM trying to get out the word on why it's vehicle performs better in a lot of scenarios.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Khadgars said, " I have no problem with GM trying to get out the word on why it's vehicle performs better in a lot of scenarios. "

        The Volt is a tough nut to crack. I want to hate it because it piggy backs on the virtues of EV's for 40 miles, as the ICE fires up it extols the virtues of burning oil. It sends a mixed message almost becoming a red herring like hydrogen, effecting the public thought processes and delaying EV's, certainly delaying GM from having to produce a EV, this allows them to still look like they are green innovating. I need to work my fingers to the bone to get a Leaf, enough subterfuge and confusion.

        Those damn words I herd Chelsey Sexton use haunt me, "baby steps, it about baby steps."
        Always with the baby steps, cursed confusing baby steps... GM and their oil addicted tar-heroin baby step Volt. It starts out as a EV after that it's biggest attribute is that it becomes a normal every day ICEV. GM will market it as, a EV with "range anxiety immunity." Wait, I need to patent that phrase.

        • 5 Years Ago
        The fact is anyone with a brain would plan their trips knowing the limits of their vehicle. "Range anxiety" is exactly appealing to fear, the fear of the scenario of being stranded and needing to be towed (usually what is described when talking about the term). In reality, after that happens to you once, you would be careful the next time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The difference between the Prius and the Volt is the marketing. Yes, Toyota exec's come out once in while and say hybrids are the future and in EV's they see no future. But when Toyota advertises the Prius they don't denigrate EV's. This may be time sensitive as the Leaf did not exist until recently so Toyota obviously would not mention it in press releases or attack it. It bothers me that the Volt basically says EV's good, first forty miles, EV's bad, after 40 miles and that is how their add campaign/press releases appears to be going.

        As far as GM building a EV, that would be nice. I have herd only that they have a test fleet in Europe.

        If the Volt stops oil dollars from leaving the country that is good. Compared to volume numbers of the Leaf projected, the Volt will not have the impact of the Leaf. I said the Volt is a tough nut to crack, it is better than nothing. GM could never gamble like Nissan producing EV's because they were not in a strong enough fiscal position to do so. If the Leaf were to fail it would hurt Nissan but they would come out of it. GM might not. I will buy a Leaf just to help prove to GM their is a market for EV's. The Volt reinforces the idea you can't get along without oil. GM has given me as the consumer, no choice to get around without oil after the 40 mile range is used up. I want that choice, a choice that GM has been vehemently fighting and sabotaging it's whole existence and will continue with the Volt. Choice is what America is all about. The oil and auto corps united to make sure their is no choice to drive down the road on anything but oil or other fossil fuel that the ICE can utilize. The Volt is a attempt at appeasement but is it not a oil free choice. After driving a EV for 1.25 years I know their value and capabilities and the Volt will not meet my needs. You can say it is the best of both worlds and I can say it is the worst of both worlds. It's a heavy EV that carries much unused weight for the first 40 miles, then it becomes a gas car that carries extra unnecessary weight in the way of batteries and other EV components. If all things were equal between a Prius and a Volt and I could only choose between them, I would rather have the Volt. Prius or Volt I don't want a ICE in my EV.

        My EV will do 80 miles standing on it's head. With just a small amount of brain power a Leaf would work just fine for you. To many people to day will sacrifice nothing to help us get off oil but instead complain about how much money the government spends while these same people ship a considerable part of their paycheck right out of the country for oil, all in the name of convenience and the luxury of not having to think things out a tiny bit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        EV Super Hero: How is it then that Toyota is considered green when in fact the Volt would use FAR less fuel than the Prius, yet the Prius is some how considered the god of green cars. The Leaf wouldn't be usuable by me, I probably travel right around 100 miles on any given day, some more some less, if I can't charge where ever I end up for a significant amount of time I'm stranded. The Volt would cover half of my driving for the day on pure electric, the rest I would be getting Prius like MPG and have no thoughts of where i HAVE to plug in. The amounts to a huge decrease in fuel used.

        The Volt is an awesome concept and much more usable by the masses as it's the first ONE electric car that doesn't need to be supplemented by another vehicle.

        The Leaf doesn't have this advantage, and until charging stations are as accessible as gas stations with 15 min or less charging times, pure EV's will be difficult for the masses.

        On top of that GM is also going to produce a pure EV as well, along with its two-mode hybrid vehicles widely considered one of the best hybrid systems in the world.

        I think both of you are still drinking hate cool-aid from the past (and I agree GM deserves criticism for many of its past decisions, but what I've seen recently GM will have one of the best fuel efficient and alternative vehicles in the world
      • 5 Years Ago

      Two months ago, GM demonstrated that it does not have the range limitations (aka range anxiety) that an electric car such as the leaf has. They were trying to prove that you can drive a thousand miles which an electric car cannot do.

      They had a propaganda called the "Freedom Drive" from Texas and arrive at New York City on July 4th, Independence. The car completed the trip but the propaganda was short lived and it was seemingly kept hidden afterward.

      I am pretty sure they hide it since everybody in the blog were asking for the fuel consumption and they don't want to reveal it.

      Their propaganda backfired since the 25 MPG fuel consumption was embarrassing. It only showed that you can have better fuel consumption for the same trip on a regular sedan, plus you don't have to stop for a battery recharge.

      Nice try GM. Good luck next time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A trademark denotes the source of goods . . . does GM want to be known as the source of range anxiety?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yep. No more " I'm with range anxiety > " T-shirts for you
      • 5 Years Ago

      If you are so disfunctional that you can't plug it in everyday (nor plug it in when the car send a message to your phone) nor do the simple planning needed like knowing where you are going when you leave the house and how far that is - you shouldn't be allowed to drive a car.

      Everyone knows this is a FUD ...
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