Chevy Bolt

Describing a “moon shot” in one syllable.


General Motors Co. (Detroit, Michigan), global automotive manufacturer and steward of such famous brands as Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac.


We've always wanted to name a car. Wouldn't you? We’ve been working with GM for a while now, most recently by helping them name one of the first in-car inductive charging systems for mobile devices. Several other projects never made it past the design stage, which is all too common in our business. So close, but no low-emissions cigar.

Then in 2013, GM approached us with something that would push the boundaries of automotive technology — a competitively priced all-electric vehicle that can go 200 miles on a single charge.

Our moment had arrived.

GM brought us out to get up close and personal with their new all-electric companion to the hybrid Volt. They wanted to build on the brand presence created by the Volt, while simultaneously reinforcing this new car as an EV game-changer.

We started by identifying the core characteristics of this new model — beyond its battery — focusing on the athletic and sporty nature of the design and the overall range and efficiency of the technology. The car is primarily designed for urban active individuals and families who need to get around town and also escape to the wild unknown on the weekends. The name obviously required a sense of energy and movement.

As usual, we came up with a plethora of possible ideas and directions, but one kept appearing at the top of the pile: Bolt. Not only did it reflect the characteristics of the car and fit it like a glove aesthetically, it tied in so perfectly with Volt that it was impossible to ignore.

There's an argument to be made that Bolt is too close to Volt: In some languages Bolt and Volt are pronounced nearly identically. But people said the same thing about the iPod and iPad, and we all know how that turned out. From a brand perspective, Bolt and Volt are two sides of a single coin, and the name just works. When it feels right, it's right, and research confirmed it.

We're exceedingly proud of our first car name, and we imagine this is just the first of many. Now that we've achieved a major life goal, we need something to take its place.

Next up: Name a rocket.

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