When purchasing an electric vehicle (EV), Pip and I discovered an interesting trend: EV drivers name their cars. Some of these names tend to be fun like “Sparky” or “Nikola” but it’s a thing. Even when you log in to the LEAF or Volt apps, one of the options asked for is the car’s name. When signing the paperwork on the lease, our salesman brought it up. “You might want to think of a name for your LEAF.” So on the way back from the dealership, we started thinking about what would best suit our first electric vehicle.
Naming a car is a bit like naming a pet. You want to do it once and you want it to be appropriate. we agreed that there had to be something in the name about the LEAF’s color. Pip had only one request for the car after we finished the test drive—she wanted the floor model which was a rather sharp shade of red. The dealership called it “Cayenne” but it’s red. So names kicking around included Chief, Big Red, Red Ryder, but nothing was really clicking.
Now, around the same time we picked up the Nissan LEAF, Pip and I were working through previous seasons of AMC’s popular retro-series, Mad Men. If you’re not familiar with the series, there are a few things you need to know:
- It’s set in the 1960’s.
- There’s a lot of drinking on this show.
- Christina Hendricks.
While there is a circle of fans who will always look at Christina as Mrs. Malcolm Reynolds, she has made a name for herself as Joan Harris. Joan starts off as an office manager; but through a series of hard decisions and savvy negotiations, she becomes Director of Agency Operations. It’s an accomplishment concerning the era the show is set in, but hardly surprising if you know Joan. She is a woman with curves in the right places, class in every step, and confidence behind everything she does.
And she’s a redhead.
Joan it was, and it stuck. The name really fit this unassuming car with 100% torque off the line. The LEAF is slightly sassy, very quick, efficient, and dependable. Joan’s also got all her curves in the right places, aerodynamically speaking. Very much like Joan Harris. Or Christina Hendricks. Whichever you prefer.
After my Saturn started to take a turn for the worse, it was time to go shopping, and we had already decided that a Chevrolet Volt was in order. We managed to find a dealership with one on the lot. I crossed my fingers that it was in a color everyone could agree on. We got to the dealership to find a very sharp, very silver 2013 Volt waiting for a test drive. It had some classy touches to it—leather seats (not something I would have asked for, but still very nice), fine lines, and a sleek profile. Considering its color, we didn’t take long to decide on a name—Sterling.
Kind of appropriate if you know the show.
And much like Mad Men’s Roger Sterling, the Volt is rarely seen without a drink as we tend to be plugging in the Volt more often than Joan. I wouldn’t say our Volt has an issue with imbibing. He is just a luxury car in need of a pick-me-up. I’m sure if Sterling could speak, he would say “We can solve this problem with a flask.” Or in our case, a charging station.
Maybe the idea of naming cars isn’t anything new, but why it is so prevalent in the EV community I’m not sure. I can say, though, with our Mad Men theme happening in our driveway, the naming convention does seem to bring out the individual personalities of each our car. So whether you drive an EV or an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine), what do you name your automobile? What’s the story behind your car’s moniker?