It’s well documented that one of the biggest drawbacks to pure electric vehicles are their range. It’s an aspect that’s proving a significant barrier to mainstream consumer acceptance, nevertheless, some manufacturers continue to push the boundaries of battery technology, in an effort to make such a cars a more viable proposition.
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Renault is already one of the auto industry’s leaders in electric vehicles, investing enormous sums in the Better Place battery swap technology and introducing one of the first mass-market electric cars with their Nissan division, in the form of the Leaf hatchback.
Although Renault is set to introduce the all-electric Z0e in 2012, the small hatchback will only have a range of 100 miles. Renault is hoping to increase that to 150 miles by 2015 thanks to new chemical compounds in the cars battery pack. Britain’s Autocar magazine suggests that by 2025, range could be up to as much as 300 miles. While Europeans generally have shorter driving distances, a 300 mile EV would go a long way to soothe the fears of North Americas, and make the idea of a battery powered car a lot more palatable.
There have been some big blunders in the history of automotive naming. The Chevrolet Nova flopped in Spanish speaking countries because its name literally means “it doesn’t go”. The Ford Pinto’s name in Brazilian Portuguese has similarly negative connotations, literally meaning “a man with small genitals.”
The latest casualty in the history of cars being forced to undergo name changes is an unreleased Renault electric vehicle, formerly named “Zoe”. The name actually means “life” in Greek, and is a fitting name for an EV. Apparently, Renault is also a common last name in France, and the likelihood of finding a person named Zoe Renault wasn’t entirely out of the question.
Zoe is allegedly threatening to sue the automaker unless the name of the car is changed. Renault told Autocar that the name wasn’t set in stone, but perhaps the Renault OverSensitive is an appropriate replacement.