In what has to be a clever, pro-active move, General Motors (GM) has trademarked the term “Range Anxiety.” Unless you’ve been on another planet for the past year or so, you’re aware that like it or not, electric vehicles (EV) are coming. In connection (no pun intended) with EVs, you’ve probably heard the phrase “range anxiety” a time or two.
“Range Anxiety” is a stress-inducing term conjuring up the fear your EV will leave you stranded on the side of the road in a most inopportune location at the worse possible time, due to insufficient battery life. It’s not just a problem for EV buyers, but is a major issue for auto manufacturers trying to convince a skeptical public EVs are the new way to go.
That’s why GM filed an application with the U.S. trademark office in July to patent the term — because it’s a safe bet that range anxiety will be among the top customer concerns when they think about purchasing the Chevy Volt, GM’s much ballyhooed, but still to be released, Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV).
The move is akin to of BP buying up all the Gulf disaster-related terms in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Is GM doing the same thing — grabbing up the term that envisions nightmares for potential EV owners? Is the company hoping to protect itself from competitors’ accusations? At the same time, GM is undoubted seeking to assure drivers that the Volt is “Range Anxiety-free.” Ironically, compared to its EV competitors, it actually is — the Volt has a gasoline engine that kicks in when the battery gives up.