General Motors quoted a 250-mile range claim for the European version of the Chevy Bolt electric car ahead of the Paris auto show, then significantly upped that to 310 miles at the show.
Why? Because GM says it knew French maker Renault was gearing up to claim the crown of first affordable long-range electric car for itself with the 250-mile Zoe subcompact.
So GM sandbagged.
"Until Paris, we had told the world the [Opel] Ampera-e had 250 miles. Renault matched that number. Then we kicked that number's ass with 310 miles," GM's head of EV development, Pam Fletcher, told Automotive News on the show sidelines. "They didn't shoot high enough."
The almost identical Bolt is rated at 238 miles in the U.S., but the current European test cycle is much more generous to electric cars on quoted range (something that gets fixed next year), so no one questioned the low-ball European claim ahead of the show. Then, when the Ampera-e had been unveiled, GM went in and changed all the figures in the pre-show press releases.