This Electric Car is Named After a Girl

Toyota has its plug-in Prius. Tesla has its Roadster. Nissan, its Leaf. Renault, meanwhile, has recently announced its upcoming ZE (that’s Zero Emission) vehicle, dubbed Zoe, during the 2009 Frankfurt Auto show. The Zoe Z.E. is one of four concept electric vehicles that Renault is developing, and is planned to be out in the market by 2012.

The Zoe ZE is certainly a looker. And Renault doesn’t scrimp on performance, either. It should accelerate from zero to 62 MPH in about 6.7 seconds. With a 100 mile range from a full charge, you surely could go places. But with all the great things attributed to being green and packing a punch at the same time, you wouldn’t think people would complain about the simplest of things. French parents are complaining because of the use of the name Zoe, which seems to be among the most popular names for female children in France recently.

Personally, I don’t think this should be a concern. People are giving boy or girl names to their cars, anyway (I named my old car Lightning McQueen and the new one Sally). However, historical precedence says that such a commercialized use of a name would eventually contribute to the decline in its popularity with parents. Take Mercedes, for instance. While still a popular Spanish name (with its religious roots), the motorsport and automotive connotation can be polarizing, though–most parents would shun it, but some would think it cool.

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