Clearly a Volt is a better choice (range, MPG, interior room) than the ELR with a straight up cost comparison. But, the fact that more and more PHEVs are hitting the market is a clear indication that the public is ready to step into the shallow end of the EV pool. I saw an ad for the Porsche Panamera Plug-In just last night!
How can anyone bash Caddy for this luxury EV when Tesla took DOE loans too and came up with an $80-$110k vehicle!?
Cadillac is dipping their toe in the waters of EV's, no doubt. Their hope is that their typical customers are already used to paying too much for a car calling it luxury. Green does appeal to some, no doubt. Some of that premium price is in the name, Cadillac. As a car, the ELR may do well (at least for their sake I hope they don't have problems), but this high sticker price is more indicative of Cadillac being realistic with how many they think they'll sell. I think Cadillac wants to get as much profit as they can from each unit sold. This isn't the car for the mass market.
Rich, you and many of the readers have put their fingers on a problem that's likely to dog Cadillac. This car is virtually twice the price of the Volt, which already has a pretty high pricetag. Cadillac explained to me that the chassis, body structure, body panels, interior touches, seating, instrument panel, infotainment system and on and on are all exclusive to Cadillac. It really is a different car than the Volt. But the powertrain is the Volt's, and consumers are likely to keep asking the question you did. As our distinguished analyst, Thilo Koslowski, pointed out, it smacks of Detroit's old re-badging practices.
Caldwell of Cadillac is correct when he says the battery and engine are the same as the Volt's. Because the ELR is a plug-in hybrid, it uses a 1.4-liter, inline 4-cylinder engine, along with the battery, electric drive motor and motor-generator. It's essentially a series hybrid, so the engine spins a motor-generator that charges the battery.
I think it's a good attempt to get an ignored consumer interested in the EV market. This doesn't compete with the Model S. Those are two completely different consumers.
Cadillac's base is older and aging. Although many have embraced SMART cars, EV's are too "odd" for most of them. This is a good compromise and a great introduction to get what would have been a lost market. The grandkids will be slightly impressed.
Luxury SUV owners never cared that they're just driving pickup trucks with different body styling. Calling this a "snazzy Volt" won't deter the target market. It's a smart move but just a first step.
GTOlover, you nailed it. In recent articles about how well the Tesla S was selling in California it was noted that the taxxpayers were subsudizing rich drivers. This is always the case with EVs. Except for a small number of people electric vehicles have to be second (or third) vehicles. The specs on this car are not that impressive, and if it being sold as a sporty car, then I think people will be dissiapointed. It looks nice, though.
TJ makes an important point that this is the Volt with a snappier body. In another comment thread we discussed the difference in engineering teams between luxury models and standard models at car makers. It seems that the engineering difference here is only with the body.
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