General Motors has filed to trademark “Chevrolet Bolt EV” with the Icelandic Patent Office in December, GM Authority has discovered. The filing seems to suggest that the Detroit-based automaker is planning on introducing the Chevrolet Bolt EV in the country.
The trademark application was filed on December 3rd, 2019, carries serial number V0115507, and will represent the following goods and services category: “Land motor vehicles, in particular motor vehicles.”
GM pulled Chevrolet out of Iceland several years ago, and currently has no presence in the market. Somewhat ironically, the Bow Tie brand’s official website at Chevrolet.is shows a healthy lineup on offer, with the site showing a bevy of last-generation GM vehicles such as the first-gen Orlando, Cruze, Captiva and Volt. All of these models have been discontinued a long time ago, meaning that someone left the office, but forgot to update the site.
An interesting factor is that Opel, which GM sold in 2017 to the PSA Groupe, previously marketed the Bolt EV in Iceland as the Ampera-E. Regardless, it would make a lot of sense for GM to offer the Chevrolet Bolt EV in Iceland for various reasons.
A Perfect Environment For EVs
Iceland’s EV market is booming. In 2017, roughly 2 percent of new-car registrations were BEVs and another 6.8 percent being PHEVs, for a total electric/electrified vehicle share of 8.7 percent. That was only second to Norway, which had an even higher EV adoption rate in Europe at the time. By comparison, EV registrations in the EU made up 1.4 percent of all registrations during the same timeframe. Then, halfway into 2018, Iceland’s share of electric vehicles jumped to 13.5 percent, making one thing clear: it is one of the world’s leading markets in terms of electric vehicle adoption.
The country is well-suited for an electric automobile future, as renewable power, a high urbanization rate, high fossil fuel prices and low electricity prices join to form an ideal market for EVs. Virtually all of Iceland’s electricity is generated from renewable resources. Roughly 75 percent of domestically-produced electricity is derived from hydropower and the remaining 25 percent comes from geothermal energy. Because of those conditions, Iceland stands in a unique position to provide its vehicles with 100-percent renewable energy.
Iceland’s high urbanization rate also plays a huge factor in the country’s high EV adoption rate, as over 90 percent of the country’s population living in urban areas (and about 60 percent residing in the capital Reykjavik region). High urbanization is extremely helpful for EV adoption, as short driving distances and charging ports in a concentrated area coincide for an optimal EV environment. In fact, most car owners in Iceland travel roughly 38 km (23 miles) per day.
A Favorable Opportunity
In all, Iceland’s very favorable climate for EVs makes it a perfect candidate for GM to launch the Chevrolet Bolt EV there. With the trademark application for the Bolt EV nameplate filed, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the small EV is introduced in the Nordic nation.
However, given The General’s decision to abruptly withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Europe and Iceland a few years ago, a re-entry will not be without its challenges. The automaker will need to convince customers and stakeholders, and particularly dealers, that it won’t suddenly pack up and leave the market like it did before.
GM is on track to introduce a bevy of battery-electric vehicles in the next few years, with the automaker promising 20 new EV models by 2023. The effort started with the Buick Velite 6 Plus and Chevrolet Menlo EV for China, and will be followed by the Chevrolet Bolt EUV – a slightly larger version of the Bolt EV.