Will GM build an electrified vehicle called the “Bolt?”

It sure rhymes with “Volt,” and invokes an electrified theme of a lightening Bolt that could be quicker than Usain Bolt.

Your guess is as good as ours, as GM has only patented the name without notice, and offered no further revelation beyond public disclosure Aug. 5 as legally required by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and reported by GM Authority.

In 2012 rumors swirled around GM’s grabbing the name “Electra” from the archives of gas-powered Buick lore but to date there’s been no further news on that front.

So for now, all we know is the name “Bolt” and “Chevrolet Bolt” shall belong to GM which it can use or shelve like it has hundreds of its patents, so take care between fact and rumor.

Here on a slow news day, we’ve already seen a re-report that the Bolt name seems likely for a down-market Volt. How this was arrived at was not explained, but the story went on to unequivocally state the new Bolt “will” cost around $30,000, have a smaller battery, and less content than the Volt. This, “will” reportedly combat customer complaints that Volt is too expensive and let GM price the next-gen Volt higher.

This story has been speculated on before, could be correct, but who knows?

While it’s true many consumers wince at the Volt’s price, especially if they can’t recoup tax credits, the more-common analysis by the Volt’s most ardent followers at GM-Volt.com is fear that GM would strip down the 38-plus-mile EV range Volt. In their minds, this would essentially mean a dumbed-down Volt version with less EV range on par with a 19-mile Ford C-Max Energi or – worse – an 11-mile Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid.

Some GM-Volt fans have said they’d be OK with a cheaper Volt they’ve taken to calling “Volt lite” but most want more electric range for their dollar, not less. Oh, also, while GM is at it, make it a five-seater, give it 50-60 miles EV range, price it competitively and make it the “Prius fighter” it was always supposed to be in the marketplace.

Back to what we know: If you’re an information consumer it’s caveat emptor – buyer beware. Despite apparently credible reports all over the Internet, including one we posted earlier today about greater efficiency for next-gen Volt, no official statement has been made by GM about what is in store for the official Volt much less the “Bolt.”

The “Chevrolet Bolt” could indeed make it to production, or it could be shelved like the Electra name until such time, if ever, GM decides to use it.

GM Authority