Official: Chevrolet Bolt To Retain Its Volt-Like Name


Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

"Bolt" Name Is Set

“Bolt” Name Is Set

General Motors’ marketing chief, Tim Mahoney, has told USA Today in regards to the Chevrolet Bolt that “The decision is made. The name won’t be changed.”

So, Chevrolet’s upcoming 200-mile, $30,000 pure electric car will for sure be called the Chevrolet Bolt.

As USA Today reports:

“Calling Chevrolet’s next electric car Bolt is a terrific idea, says marketing boss Tim Mahoney, even if it is almost indistinguishable from the Volt name that Chevy already uses for an extended-range electric on sale now.”

Mahoney states that he officially approved the Bolt name, saying it’s a keeper.

USA Today adds:

“He said there are “synergies” between the sound-alike names, and the image association between Bolt and Volt “connotes good things.”

“Potential confusion between the names “can be an advantage,” Mahoney said, and the Bolt name “association with Chevrolet is nearly immediate,” partly because the Volt now is a well-known Chevy.”

According to Mahoney, Chevrolet conducted not one, but two studies into the use of the Bolt name:

“Noting that “anybody can do one study and get it to say what they want,” he said Chevrolet did two studies trying out the Bolt name on potential buyers and, “Same result, it did well.”

General Motors released this statement on the matter:

“Since unveiling the Bolt EV three months ago, the name has quickly become associated with Chevrolet. Therefore, we will use the name when the vehicle goes into production. The Bolt EV is a significant statement of Chevrolet’s commitment to electrification and the name suits this game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity.”

Source: USA Today

Categories: Chevrolet

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70 Comments on "Official: Chevrolet Bolt To Retain Its Volt-Like Name"

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Having worked with a Spaniard, there is is no appreciable difference pronounciation at all in their language. 🙂

It’s still a step up from the Chevy Nova though right?


Or when the Honda Fitta was about to released in Europe, they had already printed and sent all the PR folders to their dealers.

Then it suddenly changed name globaly to Honda Fit and to Honda Jazz in Europe.

Why? Do a Google translate on “fitta” from Swedish (or Norwegian).

Oh… and to make it even better the official PR slogans were something like “For your pleasure” and “Small on the outside, large on the inside”. 😉

How about The Honda “Fritatta”

I agree the two words are too close, in english and in spanish. But, with a “nitpick” point of view.. how close “v” and “b” are in Spanish depends on the speaker and the word, but “b” as in “bebe” or “bateria” is IPA (international phonetic alphabet) [b] while “v” as in “voltaje” would be [β̞].

At least in most places in Spain, but there are significant regional variations.

Eduard/o (Eduard in Catalan, Eduardo in Spanish)

I recently called Chevrolet Customer Service to ask some questions about the 2016 Volt and Hybrid Malibu and make some comments/observations.

We chatted, and she asked me my impressions so far of the new electric car. She said, “now was that the Volt or Bolt?” Then she said, “I hope they change it, that is so confusing!”

[insert audio clip of that annoying ad with the guys saying “frog protection”/”fraud protection” back and forth.]

Still, I like both names.

How about Stewart Gatzo..or Stu Gatz l m a o

Not sure what all the fuss is about, I like the name Bolt and you would have to be pretty dim to get confused between that and the Volt.

They both have electrical connections which is great.

Hey, maybe the name association (confusion) will be a blessing in disguise.

Customer: I’d like to find out more about the Bolt please.
Sales guy: Sure! I have a Volt right here I can show you!
Customer: Uh, I wanted to see a Bolt, not a Volt.
Sales guy: Oh…sorry about that. The ’16 Volt was totally redesigned, and is superior to the original in every way.
Customer: Hmm…tell me more.

Advertise 1 car, automatically get exposure for 2!

Good point!!

Customer: I’d like to find out more about the Bolt please.
Sales guy: I’d like to tell you about the Volt…
Customer: Uh, I wanted to see a Bolt, not a Volt.
Sales guy: But the Volt will give you MORE of a Jolt…
Customer: Hmm…you are a serious Dolt.

Would you like them with a fox? Would you eat them from a box? mmmm samiam……

“You have frog protection right?”

Guess they couldn’t come up with any alternatives, so just said “meh, let’s just stick with Bolt”.

as a general rule, quite a bit of thought goes into product nomenclature. this typically includes testing candidate product names in focus groups to see how people react. i wonder if this “bolt” name was focus group tested, or whether GM management uncharacteristically just decided to wing it?

I hope the Bolt EV production version doesn’t change much. I like the way it looks. Maybe make the front hood 2 inches longer and extend the front bumper another 2 inches for better front collision results.


We’ve heard from sources that the exterior is about 95% set in stone. Meaning, what you see on the outside now is basically what you’ll get in the production version. The interior is a different story. It will be completely reworked.

Good! I did not like the interior at all.

Are they keeping the “Model S Inspired” door handles?

I hope not. One more thing to go wrong in Michigan winters.

I’m betting part of the 5% being changed is that pano sunroof. No way that thing makes it to production.

Look at the Buick CUVs for interior similarities.

If it seats 4, they are asking for a flop.

GM said production version seats five.

i don’t know that i am in the market for one, but i think that the Bolt is a fairly nice looking car (the front end “smiley” thing looks a bit odd, though). i think that the Bolt certainly a lot better looking than the BMW i3, although i think that i like the design of the tesla model x a bit more.

That reminds me of the origins of the Ford Taurus name. “Taurus” was just the internal name for the platform for that car. It was shown many times with that name that it was decided to just keep it since people seemed to like it.

Mahoney, on the inside: “Relegating expensive electrification to non descript looks and indistinguishable names suits our corporate strategy”


I think it’s pretty neat that the front page “Featured articles” right now are all from GM, and each of the four a different EV.

Are there any other automakers that have four different models of US-sold EV’s to talk about?

Before the purists jump all over me, I’m being a bit cavalier here, and I really mean four plug-ins.


LOL! Puristas are kind of amusing.

Before somebody argues it, I am going to say Tesla doesn’t count with 70D, 85, 85D, P85D.

Although two of the GM vehicles aren’t produced yet, so you could argue Ford has more with Fusion Energi, C-max Energi, and FFE.

Ignoring generational differences, only the Bolt EV isn’t produced currently. Volt, ELR, and Spark EV all are available for sale today.

That was my intent of the post anyway, though I know the article on the features site is focusing on the Gen 2 Volt! 😉

If they are set on the name, they really need to make it distinguishable from “Volt”. Use “Bolt EV” when referring to it maybe?

Unless, of course, they are planning on retiring the Volt by the time the Bolt comes out.

I’ve got a real problem. I love my Volt, and (don’t laugh) I love my wife’s Mitsubishi i-miev! I don’t need a third car. What will I do when the Bolt Ev is available?

I’m guessing that the iMiEV won’t seem as charming once better looking, smarter, better performing options are available.

Trade-in/sell the iMiev and pick up a Bolt. 🙂 More AER FTW!

I have to admit that I’m a bit stunned they’re sticking with “Bolt”. All along I’ve liked the name, and I was therefore sure that GM would change it, if only to annoy me. I’m glad to see that I’ve fallen off GM’s list of people to make cranky. But I really do think “Bolt” works on multiple levels, and I respectfully disagree with the view I’ve seen several times online, including upthread, that it needs to be modified, e.g. “Bolt EV”. I think it’s fine as is. It’s relatively descriptive, as car names go, it forms a family association with the Volt, and it has just a bit of whimsy. Plus, it will likely be a big seller to Tampa Bay Lightning fans (who routinely call their team the Bolts). I’m most concerned about what they’ll actually deliver in terms of features, price, and availability date. Surely the George Jetson interior and that roof will disappear, and I expect to see only minor changes to the exterior. But how many EPA miles will it really deliver? (I’m guessing around 175.) At what price? (I’d wager they hit the $30k post-Federal incentive.) And when? (Sept. to Nov. 2017, perhaps…?) Most… Read more »

I thought for sure Apple would not really have an iPod and iPad, given the confusion of pronunciation, but I was wrong.

(A European says iPod and it’s “I pud”. A Brit says iPad and it’s “I pod”. An American says iPad using an archaic a sound as in mad that no one really even teaches outside of America. Pandemonium!)

1) Even Google search gets confused on Bolt vs Volt

2) Scheduling service appointments will be a pain

“I’d like to schedule service for my Bolt”
“For your Volt, yes sir!”
“No, BOLT, with a ‘B’ ”
“You’re saying ‘V’ ?”
“No! B, as in Boy”

Oh wait… there won’t be many service calls for the Bolt!

“Confusion… Can be an advantage”

Great example of building a justification around a decision.

Intelligent people I know, who drive Priuses, mistakenly thought that the Volt had a total 35 mile range.

Confusion did not accrue to GMs favor, unless the plan was to keep sales at a low level.

All one has to do is go to,, and the like and type in New Volt to pull up thousands of dealer ads. In the specs area they list Volt as “40MPG”;”38MPG”…etc, and “Auto Trans”; “CVT”…etc.

Place oneself in the average auto buyers head as they go online and cross-shop Prius or other hybrids with Volt. When they come across this data they think: “If Prius gets 50MPG for $24,500, and Volt gets 38MPG for $32,000…It’s a no-brainer!”

GM has lost the battle in educating dealers how to sell the Volt.

When I called a local dealer and asked why they listed Volt at “38MPG” he said they had no option at the website for “MPGe”, and that customers didn’t understand that, anyway. Same went for my question about their listing of Volt as having a “CVT”.

Therein lies a major problem with marketing the Volt.

I got hit with a lightning volt? Come on, Bolt and Volt are easy enough to differentiate. Also they get to use the little lightning bolt again in the name.

I listened to Pam and Pablo talk about the Volt and the Bolt at the DC Autoshow a couple months ago. The people at both of the tables I could hear couldn’t figure out which car they were talking about. They thought the Volt was going to have 200 miles of range and that the Bolt would be coming out later this year. It was amusing but if I was GM I wouldn’t be laughing.

I guess the name Edsel was taken.

I still think their next Pony car EV should be the Colt.

Should be sold as a Buick, using the Electra name.

I’m curious when GM is going to introduce plug-in vehicles for both GMC and Buick.

Electra is such a great name, I can’t figure out why GM isn’t doing exactly what you say, at the very least as an upscale variant of the Bolt.

“stay tuned”…

I really hope you got the lowdown from on high and have a non-disclosure agreement…

Ha, I wish! If you ask Pam Fletcher or anyone else at GM about future products, the answer you always get is “stay tuned”. However, I am confident more BEVs are on the way eventually. (as well as PHEVs, we already know about the CT6)

i think that GM has been quite clear that they are going to be introducing more PHEVs. they have been a bit less clear about future plans for BEVs.

buick is a different segment from chevrolet. i would expect to see a larger vehicle from buick; in which case EV adoption would more likely be in the form of a PHEV. but for now, i would think that GM is going to pretty much keep *EV vehicles in the chevrolet and cadillac product lines.

I am imagining customers with thick foreign accents walking up to a dealership and saying, “Do you hab de Cheby Bolt?”

I like both names individually, but for all described reasons, it is going to be confusing. It could be an opportunity if played right. Instead of responding to the single word _olt question with another single word _olt answer, the educational opportunity would be to respond, “Are you asking about the 200 mile all electric or the 420 mile plug-in with 50 mile AER?” There is a lot of educational opportunity in that simple response. Giving in to a single _olt response will be disastrous.

And controversy sells.

the “confusion” model does not work: what you are suggesting requires that customers would need to act as detectives to sort out the two cars.

from a perspective of basic marketing discipline, confusing customers is what you DO NOT want to do.


So when the Tesla Model 3 is pitted against the Bolt, the Bolt will be more synonymous with a Nut……lol

Or better, it will be associated with the hex head that is “attached to another object by an inclined plane, wrapped helically around an axis”.

Depending on your own experience with nut, bolts and lighting.
Something hit harder than other!

Maybe confusion is the reason Volt sales have dropped. They go in wanting to buy a Volt, but somehow end up in a Vette instead.

I could care less about the name, as long as it is a good car.

this is a terrible decision. the Volt and the Bolt are really in two different segments: the operational implications of the two vehicles are very different, so you would expect the Volt to appeal to a more general market segment, where the Bolt would appeal to more of an EV enthusiast niche. in such cases, you want each product to have a distinct identity to avoid the potential for product confusion.

if there is any circumstance where you would want to follow the KISS principle, this is it. yet, GM is doing the opposite. this is an attempt by GM to be too clever by a half.

I don’t care what they name it as long as it has 200 miles of real world range, liquid thermal management for the battery, and a decent warranty and reliability. Oh, and as long as it actually shows up for sale.

It’ll be this, the next gen Leaf, or the Tesla Model III for my next EV, unless someone else weighs in with something better.

Bolt and Volt are different

still not really interested in it if it going to look like that, WE NEED GOOD LOOKING EV’S NOT ODD LOOKING ONES, SEXY SLEEK SPORT SCULPTED BODIES PLEASE

If the Bolt is set to debut in 2016, as a 2017 model, that increases the odds that LEAF 2.0 will too, maybe even the Model 3.

Don’t compare the Bolt with the Volt (in spite of the fact they rhyme; an accident of the language). Compare the Bolt with the Spark.

The Spark.
The Bolt.

It’s like the big brother of the Spark.

Official: Chevrolet Bolt To Retain Its i3 design!

Fixed it for you: “Official: Chevrolet Bolt To Retain Its Much Improved i3 Design!

GM could call it “Not a Volt” for all I care, as long as it looks like the concept and has the stated specs.