Leading electric car names

what’s in a name?

Vehicle names have always been an important part of the navigation mystery. Feed for songs: “Little Red Corvette” by Prince, “Roadrunner” by The Modern Lovers, and “Red Barchetta” by Rush, to name a few. One could argue that a good name sets the stage for a good overall experience and an important emotional connection.

So, when it comes to electric car names, you might think that it would take the same amount of time and thought to get this (often a first impression) right.

In 1990, General Motors President Roger Smith demonstrated the company’s new electric concept car, the Impact. Naming an Impact car can have a lot of meaning, but usually minds immediately go to the most negative thoughts. Indeed, who wants to be in a car called Impact?

Legend has it that when talk show host Jay Leno did a demo, he desperately wanted to buy one. When he was told he could only rent the car (which was still called the Relic at the time), he went crazy and passed the name of the car by saying, “Is the crash and burn already taken?”

GM EV1, which was originally called Impact. Image courtesy of General Motors.

The Impact was renamed the EV1 and became a car that early adopters loved (and would later be immortalized at a mock funeral, crushed and documented in a full-length feature film).

In the wake of the destruction of those early electric vehicles, Nissan came out with the Leaf and Chevy with the Volt Hybrid (also known as the Long Range Electric Vehicle).

Image courtesy of Cynthia Chahan, CleanTechnica.

As the names go on, you could say the LEAF is close to ideal for those jumping on the EV bandwagon at the time. The vast majority of early electric vehicle buyers were very interested in making the switch to help the environment, so what better, more organic name than Leaf? The leaves represent literal and figurative cleaning of the air. But it is not that simple. If you note the full-capped nature of the name, Nissan actually made LEAF an acronym (not a fancy acronym at that). The two letters symbolize a pioneering, eco-friendly and affordable family car.

BMW i3 and Chevy Volt. Kyle Field pictures CleanTechnica.

The Chevy Volt is such a good name because it refers specifically to the electric nature of the car. But when Chevy came out in 2017 with an all-electric Bolt, it left many confused. Why on earth do they come out with so similar names? In fact, in Korean, the names Bolt and Volt are pronounced the same way – which leads to even more confusion.

Image courtesy of Zach Chahan, CleanTechnica.

Tesla has taken a seemingly simpler approach to naming its cars. The car was just a roadster. The Model S stands for Sedan. The Model X is a luxury crossover. The Model 3 was supposed to be the Model E, but then Ford stepped in and indicated it had that brand, and the Model Y completed the lineup so Elon Musk could have fun (arranged in the correct order, all production models after spelling Roadster S3XY, or SEXY for beginners). Well, bonus points for the fun.

With Tesla, there were additional letters and numbers, such as the P85, which would indicate a Performance model with an 85 kWh battery, but was later pulled for simplicity. Now you get a Tesla in the standard or long range with all-wheel drive, which is more attractive to the general public. Looking to the future, Tesla hasn’t paid much attention to updating the truck’s top-down design with the polarized Cybertruck. No matter what you think of the Cybertruck’s design, the name is cool as hell.

Ford Mustang Mach-E. Photography by Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica.

Many vehicle manufacturers associate their electric vehicle names with tried and true brands. For example, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford F-150 Lightning EV, Chevy Silverado EV, Chevy Bronco EV – well, you get the point. Perhaps old-fashioned automakers will hedge their bets and keep their feet steady in the ICE world while dipping a cloud in EV water?

Kia EV6. Image courtesy of Kia.

As for the all-electric new names, there are some interesting ones. The Kia EV6 is nice and simple (a convincing electric car in my opinion), and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a winner. According to Hyundai, the name Ioniq is an ion-carrier and unique. Then there is the Volkswagen ID. font and identifier. Part that refers to smart design, identity, and wise technologies (the company meeting should be interesting). A Volkswagen ID. Buzz – Well, with VW Van hippie roots, you can imagine why it’s called Buzz.

Ocean Fisker Big Picture

Image courtesy of Fisker.

Fisker is entering the battlefield soon with its premiere, Fisker Ocean, whose name derives from the fact that ocean waste is captured and reused into the materials used in the vehicle. The upcoming Fisker PEAR, which represents the personal electric vehicle revolution, is expected to be under $30,000. Not much is known about the PEAR, which is supposed to go on sale in 2024, but it’s supposed to be very modern and look different than anything else on the market. Well, the name of the fruit was good for Apple, so time will tell.

But then there’s the unfortunate Toyota PZ4X 2023. Well, really, is Toyota even trying with this whole EV thing?

So, there you are. I wonder if the multi-platinum hit would be called “Let’s Flex Toyota bZ4X”. I seriously doubt it.


 


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