In what may be a harbinger of battles yet to be fought, General Motors has applied for a trademark on the term “range anxiety.”
“Range anxiety,” which refers to the anxiety felt by electric car drivers who fear they are running out of charge, would presumably be used by GM in the marketing of the Chevy Volt. The Volt incorporates an internal combustion engine, reportedly giving it about four times more driving range than some pure electrics, such as the Nissan Leaf.
In a New York Times article this morning, GM spokesman Rob Peterson said that the term was first used at GM during early meetings in the development of the Volt. He said it was initially raised by engineers who had been involved in the creation of the GM EV1 during the 1990s.
A spokeswoman for Tesla Motors responded to the news, telling The Wall Street Journal that “GM can have range anxiety. To Roadster owners, the term is as irrelevant as ‘gas stop’ or ‘smog check.’”