General Motors is attempting to trademark the phrase "range anxiety", a term that apparently describes how electric car owners feel when the battery charge drops to near empty levels.
GM Spokesman Rob Peterson confirmed the move to the New York Times, but gave no timeline on when the process would be complete. "We've been told the process will take nine months or so," Mr. Peterson said, "but I'm not an attorney so I can't say for sure."
While the Chevrolet Volt uses a gasoline motor as both a generator and a means of powering the car after the electric power source is exhausted, the trademarking of the phrase could be an attempted swipe at other electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster, which operate solely on electric power and do not have a "range extender".
While the Leaf has a variety of systems to alert the driver to the vehicle's battery life and potential charging spots, Tesla, which uses only two simple readouts displaying battery life and the distance the vehicle can travel before a charge is needed, was dismissive of the campaign. "By all means, G.M. can have 'range anxiety,' said Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes, to the Times. "To Roadster owners, the term is as irrelevant as 'gas stop' or 'smog check.' "
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