It is increasingly difficult to keep abreast of all the announcements of new electric vehicles. Not because there are so many of them, but because the names of the cars are so uninspiring, and frankly quite boring.
Today, the automotive press is saturated with news of Kia’s new all-electric vehicle. The South Korean automaker has sent waves of excitement across the industry, so you’d be forgiven for thinking it has a really exciting name, but you’d be wrong.
Kia has decided to call its next electric car the EV6. Clearly that means electric vehicle 6. TechCrunch was bold enough to say that this was part of a new naming strategy … playing fast and free with the word strategy There are some people.
If randomly picking letters and numbers out of the air, and putting them together in some sort of lexicographical order, is a strategy, well, I don’t know what’s real anymore.
Kia’s sister company is no better. Just a few weeks ago, Hyundai announced its first electric vehicle which will come under its brand of pure electric vehicles, Ioniq. The imaginative name “5.”
“5” just doesn’t do the car justice. It looks great and has some really cool features like the ability to use the high voltage battery to power external devices like e-bikes, laptops, and refrigerators.
But no, Hyundai couldn’t come up with an equally interesting name, instead deciding to call it 5. Presumably, 4 was not enough, and 6 was just a bit too much.
Now Hyundai and Kia are both traditional car makers, so we can’t fault them for maybe lacking a bit of progressive creativity. But even new electric vehicle startups fall prey to this sin.
In China, the start-up EV Xpeng, faced with a world of possibilities, a totally blank slate with no history cluttering its creative decisions, had the opportunity to do something new and fresh, but no.
Like Kia and Hyundai, Xpeng opts for letters and numbers to name its cars. The company currently offers the G3, an electric SUV, and the P7, a sedan positioned against the Tesla Model 3.
Oh, that reminds me of… Tesla.
If we head west and look to European and American manufacturers, the situation will not seem to be improving.
Taken in isolation, Tesla’s vehicle names are, like the rest here, uninspired and devoid of personality. We all know them, but for that they are the models S, 3, X and Y …
Taken together, yes, they spell “sexy,” because Elon Musk has the humor of a 13-year-old. When the company finally builds its Cybertruck, ATV, Roadster, and Trailer, it’ll spell some sexy cars… Like I said, 13 years old.
Maybe the Germans can do better? No.
Let’s start with Volkswagen, one of the world’s largest automakers. Some of the most iconic automotive marketing campaigns have been developed by VW, but it seems its creativity is lacking in the age of electric vehicles.
While its shift to electric vehicles is well underway, VW also relies on letters and numbers for the names of its electric vehicles. ID.3 is his electric car for the people, and ID.4, is slightly larger, electric car for the people.
I could criticize BMW here too and say that the names of its electric vehicles lack a certain I do not know what, but Beamer has always had the most boring of naming conventions anyway.
Maybe we should credit BMW for starting the whole trend with its numbered vehicle series. For his electric cars, he just stuck the letter “i” on the front to make i3 and i4. For SUVs and crossovers, he throws and “X” in there for good measure, because as we all know, “X” stands for adventure and excess.
Speaking of excess. While these are not new electric vehicles with boring and uncreative names, its former manufacturers are reinventing the old names as electric vehicles. Take GMC’s Hummer EV or Ford’s electric Mustang as two examples.
They are just as unimaginative as the letters and numbers. You can reuse these names as much as you want Ford and GMC, but we know they’re not the real thing!
Maybe I’m just cranky that the names of all these exciting new EVs hitting the market don’t quite match the product. But with names made up of letters and numbers, they no longer look like evocative, emotional pieces of engineering, but boring household appliances.
Maybe I need to focus on the few companies that give it a hand with real real names. Like Porsche with its seductive name Taycan, or Lucid with its luxurious and fluid Air.
Maybe I’m just full of hot air and need to lie down. But seriously, why are the names of new EVs so boring? Watch this space, because although we now know the lay of the land, I still need answers.
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Published March 9, 2021 – 14:58 UTC