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Staff photo by Mike Pare / Volkswagen's ID.4 electric SUV has a range of about 250 miles before recharging, according to the automaker.

This story was updated on Monday, March 29, 2021, at 5:27 p.m. with additional information.

As Volkswagen invests heavily in electric vehicles, the automaker in America appears ready to change its name to "Voltswagen," according to USA Today.

An official at Chattanooga's Volkswagen dealership on Monday said an apparent plan by the automaker to tweak its name to Voltswagen in the U.S. "sounds pretty creative."

Brian Johnson, Village Volkswagen of Chattanooga's general sales manager, said it's a matter of whatever it takes to help sell the battery- powered vehicles which the automaker is steering toward in a major way. But, he said, he hadn't heard about the potential name change before Monday.

"It's news to me," Johnson said.

The company put the announcement on its media site on Monday, USA Today reported. But it said the site apparently released the information before the company was ready for an official rollout of the change and VW later took down the item.

It said electric models would get an exterior badge with the name "Voltswagen" and gas-powered vehicles would have the standard "VW" badge, though it wasn't immediately clear whether any details of the plan are still subject to change.

Volkswagen of America did not immediately return a request for comment on Monday.

Village Volkswagen last week delivered its first electric SUVs to a trio of customers as the automaker launches the ID.4 in the United States.

"It's hugely significant for us," said Mark Gillies, senior manager for product and technology communications for Volkswagen of America, last week. "We're repositioning ourselves as an EV company."

The battery-powered ID.4, the first global EV produced by Volkswagen, is aimed at buyers in the traditional compact SUV market, he said. The ID.4 will go head to head with such big sellers as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV, which are part of a segment making up about 24% of all U.S. vehicle sales, Gillies said.

VW is investing $800 million in its Chattanooga production plant to build the ID.4 in 2022. Currently, ID.4 vehicles are made in Germany.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen of America on Monday unveiled a new advertising campaign to connect what it calls "the world-changing aspects" of mass EV adoption to personal life-enhancing benefits of ID.4 ownership.

"Our new ID.4 campaign focuses on the incredible potential this vehicle has to make electrification relevant for all – an eSUV that meets everyday needs and is really fun to drive," said Kimberley Gardiner, senior vice president of Volkswagen brand marketing.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

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