The Chevrolet Bolt electric hatchback may be rechristened before it hits the production line late next year.
At last week’s Chicago auto show, Alan Batey, GM’s vice president in charge of North America, admitted to the Detroit Free Press that “some people” think the Bolt’s name is confusing due to its similarity to the Volt.
The Volt, which has just moved into its second generation, is a plug-in hybrid that features an electric motor, which drives the front wheels, and a battery pack that can be recharged by either the on-board petrol engine or via mains power.
On the other hand, the Bolt, which was recently confirmed as production bound, is a pure electric vehicle with a target range of 320-or-so kilometres and a sticker price of US$30,000 ($38,500).
Batey played down any possible confusion, saying that while “people are having some fun with it”, it is also “generating awareness” and is “so conversational”.
As to whether GM will give the electric hatchback a new name, Batey noted that the company still had a year up its sleeve and that “it could go either way”.
Even if the company decides to keep the Bolt badge, Batey believes that there should be no confusion as “the Volt and Bolt are different vehicles for people with different needs”.
The new Bolt, or whatever it’s called, will begin production in late 2016 and has been confirmed for sale in all 50 US states. GM has yet to say whether the car will be available in other markets, but reports suggest that there will be an Opel version for Europe.