General Motor's attempt to trademark the term "range anxiety" is generating some critical heat. The first to attack was Tesla Motors, which basically told GM to go ahead and associate itself with the term. Later, the global marketing director for Think EV, Michael Lock, told AutoblogGreen that:
Lock also issued a statement to the media that said:While I have no interest in bashing GM, it is clear that their technology is limited and their car can only travel about 40 miles without the need for a gasoline engine. This is patently not what the environmentally motivated customer wants. It's classic defensive marketing to try and divert attention away from your weaknesses and this is typical of the battle cry, 'the best defense is offense'.
However, the early adopter end of the market is well educated and, as you may see from the blogs, are already decrying this. It may frighten some of the mass market, but they are not going to build the market over the next 12-18 months anyway and it may actually cement their view that GM is not enthusiastic or invested in pioneering this new market. I think that's a big risk.
Our marketing of the Think brand starts in earnest over the next 6 months and we are confident in the technology and the message. If anything, this presents a great opportunity for us to differentiate from the legacy manufacturers earlier and clearer than we had hoped for.
No interest in bashing GM, indeed.At Think, we are, frankly, a little bemused by GM's recently released 'range anxiety' campaign. It strikes me as 'kindergarten marketing' and can only be designed to confuse the public at a time when we should all be concentrating on education. The flaw in the GM Volt is that their hybrid arrangement carries enormous excess weight by needing both a power generation and a bulky power storage device.
For many customers, it is a bogus argument that the 100 mile range, in a Think City for example, will cause the driver to run out of charge on the way home from work. Most work commutes are comfortably within that range and new 'fast-charging' technology that enables a 0-80% charge in 15 minutes debunks the myth that a pure EV car is a limited niche option for America's needs. We welcome the late entry by giants like GM to the clean tech debate, but are hoping for a more positive contribution.