GOOD

GM Trademarks the Phrase "Range Anxiety." Its Motives Are Suspect.



General Motors has asked to trademark the phase "range anxiety," which refers to the anxiety one might have about the limited range of his or her electric car. Jalopnik speculates that this is preparation for a marketing campaign to distinguish the Chevy Volt from its all-electric competitors.

The application filed with the U.S. trademark office in July suggests GM wants every marketing weapon it can find when it finally starts selling the Jesus Car Chevrolet Volt — GM's Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV), basically a plug-in electric with a gas engine to charge the battery when needed — in a couple of months. That includes range anxiety — a fear of driving too far from your power plug.


"It's something we call ‘range anxiety,' and it's real," said Joel Ewanick, GM's head of U.S. marketing. "That's something we need to be very aware of when we market this car. We're going to position this as a car first and electric second... people do not want to be stranded on the way home from work."

\n

Presumably—though we don't know for sure—GM would use the phrase to scare you about getting stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery in your all-electric Nissan Leaf.

There are good reasons to believe that the limited range of the upcoming crop of all-electrics isn't going to be a problem. Most people drive less than 100 miles a day (100 miles is the expected range for the Nissan Leaf) and there are ways to use dashboard displays to make it very easy for the driver to avoid depleting the battery.

If GM exaggerates the range problem to make people more anxious than they need to be, and ends up slowing the adoption and development of all-electric cars, that would be a bummer of a marketing ploy from everyone else's perspective.

Photo: General Motors.

Articles

When former Pittsburgh Steelers' center Mike Webster committed suicide in 2002, his death began to raise awareness of the brain damage experienced by NFL football players. A 2017 study found that 99% of deceased NFL players had a degenerative brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Only one out of 111 former football players had no sign of CTE. It turns out, some of the risks of traumatic brain injury experienced by heavily padded adults playing at a professional level also exist for kids with developing brains playing at a recreational level. The dangers might not be as intense as what the adults go through, but it can have some major life-long consequences.

A new PSA put out by the Concussion Legacy Foundation raises awareness of the dangers of tackle football on developing brains, comparing it to smoking. "Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I am exposed to danger. You wouldn't let me smoke. When should I start tackling?" a child's voice can be heard saying in the PSA as a mother lights up a cigarette for her young son.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about some favorable economic numbers, claiming that annual household income is up, unemployment is low, and housing prices are high.

Now, just imagine how much better those numbers would be if the country wasn't mired in an economy-killing trade war with China, bleeding out trillion-dollar-a-year debts, and didn't suffer from chaotic leadership in the Oval Office?

At the end of tweet, came an odd sentence, "Impeach the Pres."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via International Labour Organization / Flickr and Michael Moore / Facebook

Before the release of "The Joker" there was a glut of stories in the media about the film's potential to incite violence.

The FBI issued a warning, saying the film may inspire violence from a group known as the Clowncels, a subgroup of the involuntarily celibate or Incel community.

Incels an online subculture who believe they are unable to attract a sexual partner. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes them as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in its list of hate groups.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture