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Cadillac's plug-in EV comes with a hefty price tag

In recent months, General Motors has made it known that it has Tesla Motors in its sights and plans to take on the EV manufacturers with fresh electric vehicles from Cadillac. “If you want to compete head-to-head with Tesla, and we ultimately will, you want to do it with a Cadillac,” said GM CEO Dan Akerson last month in Washington, D.C. 
“But I do think when the (Cadillac) ELR comes out late this year, early next — it’s certainly in the same postal code as Tesla, but now we’re going to move up. It’s not going to be a mass-produced car.”
When it comes being "in the same postal code", Akerson definitely wasn’t joking — at least when it comes to pricing for the Cadillac ELR. The base Model S with a 60 kWh battery (230-mile range) stats at $69,900 before a $7,500 federal tax credit is applied. GM just revealed today via Cadillac’s website that the ELR plug-in luxury coupe will start at a lofty $75,000 before the tax credit is applied.

GM is currently accepting reservations for the vehicle and it will officially launch early next year.
Official specs for the vehicle are hard to come by, but GM’s preliminary figures suggest that the vehicle will travel 35 miles on battery power alone and will have an overall driving range of 300+ miles. When it’s all-electric range is exhausted and the 1.4L gasoline engine/generator is operational, GM says that the vehicle will return the equivalent of 30 to 35 mpg (premium unleaded gasoline is required).

In addition, the ELR will have a top speed of 100 mph and the 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack can be recharged in 5 hours with a 240V connection.

Sources: Cadillac, GM

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Avoid the cataract
By DukeN on 10/11/2013 2:45:58 PM , Rating: 3
All their cars look the same for the last 5-7 years.

Nothing technologically impressive here like the Tesla Model S.

What a joke

RE: Avoid the cataract
By foxalopex on 10/11/2013 4:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I would say the ELR is more advanced technologically than the Telsa S. The Telsa is simpler. About all it has is a bigger battery and motor. Building a system that uses electricity and gas when it runs out is far more difficult to design and build. I learned a lot owning a Volt in a snowbelt in Canada. You find out that cold weather pretty much halves the battery life of any EV. A gas engine which the volt has is useful for heating your car and a Telsa would never make a 3000 mile cross country trip up here where there are no superchargers.

RE: Avoid the cataract
By StormyKnight on 10/12/2013 12:11:00 AM , Rating: 3
But it doesn't make it BETTER. While I'm not a fan of hybrid vehicles, pure electric should be the way to go but not at the prices that Tesla or GM are listing. These are not 'everyman' cars. When the electric car can fully charge in 5 minutes or less, get comparable mileage and pricing of an ICE vehicle, I'll consider one. Until then they are niche cars for the guilt-ridden, greenie rich.

RE: Avoid the cataract
By Mint on 10/13/2013 12:28:07 AM , Rating: 2
Why should pure electric be the way to go? If a Volt can electrify 10k+ miles with only a 16 kWh battery, does it make sense to use 70 kWh additional battery to electrify the last 3-4k miles?

The ELR is priced high because it's the only luxury plugin that can refuel in a few minutes at a gas station. GM is milking that market while it can.

But the Volt is hardly a toy for the rich at $27.5k after credit. Equally equipped cars are only maybe $3-5k less.

RE: Avoid the cataract
By StormyKnight on 10/14/2013 10:47:58 PM , Rating: 3
The Volt is a puny puny car for the price. What do you pay at the dealer? Oh, full price? You only get a $7500 tax credit at the end of the year? No thanks. The $25K I paid for my Malibu was too much and it is a far more comfortable car for my family of 5 than that eco-tincan. I can count on one hand how many Volts I've seen on the road in the last two years. They're too expen$ive.

RE: Avoid the cataract
By Argon18 on 10/13/2013 1:27:56 PM , Rating: 1
Pure electric is NOT the way to go. Internal combustion is far superior in every metric. IC is a durable, reliable, proven technology. Electric is a possibly maybe tech that just isn't there yet.

IC beats electric for ease of refueling
IC beats electric for range, distance
IC beats electric for speed and performance
IC beats electric for durability & longevity
IC beats electric for maturity of the tech
IC beats electric for initial cost and maintenance cost

Sorry, but pure electric is a joke today. Only granola heads and nuts in California are buying into it, because, well, they typically don't have much in their craniums and are quick to jump on anything labelled "green", whether or not it meshes with reality.

RE: Avoid the cataract
By Mint on 10/13/2013 9:42:12 PM , Rating: 1
Pure electric won't work for everyone, or even most people, but a substantial minority of people can use it. There's no need to tell blatant lies:

"IC beats electric for durability & longevity"

Industry says the opposite. EVs will prove the same once they get enough years on them. Electric motors have no chemicals flowing through them, are 90% efficient vs. 20-40% efficient resulting in less than 1/5th the heat for equal power output, don't need a transmission, have far fewer moving parts, etc. It's not a fair fight.

"IC beats electric for initial cost and maintenance cost"

Maintenance cost? Please. EVs beat ICEs by a mile.

Current EVs have one single problem: Range (and perceived need of more). Lifetime cost is lower than ICE already, so cost is already in EV's favor for those who lease, and can be a non-issue for others by adopting a cellphone sales model.

RE: Avoid the cataract
By synapse46 on 10/14/2013 11:24:51 AM , Rating: 2
Replacing the 800-1200lbs li-ion battery costs less than oil and spark plugs?

RE: Avoid the cataract
By piroroadkill on 10/14/2013 8:54:29 AM , Rating: 3
Nah, electric motors are always going to be more powerful than internal combustion engines of the same size.

There's a reason why locomotives are electric to the wheels, and the diesel is there to generate for them.

RE: Avoid the cataract
By StormyKnight on 10/14/2013 10:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
Hence my:
When the electric car can fully charge in 5 minutes or less, get comparable mileage and pricing of an ICE vehicle, I'll consider one.

RE: Avoid the cataract
By Alexvrb on 10/13/2013 12:40:48 AM , Rating: 2
The ELR is definitely a more complex vehicle. That can be a bad thing, but really it's a pretty slick design. A pure electric is dead simple by comparison. That's a good thing in many ways, but the downside of a pure electric is greatly reduced flexibility. Cold weather, hot weather, stuck in traffic with the heat or AC cranked up? Yeah kiss your battery life goodbye.

So it's a tradeoff, but anyone who thinks the Tesla is straight up utilizing more advanced technology hasn't looked into the Voltec drivetrain much. It took a lot of work to get it to perform well in a variety of conditions, on gas or electric (and sometimes both).

RE: Avoid the cataract
By Dr of crap on 10/14/2013 8:40:18 AM , Rating: 2
And you think this statement is a valid reason to BUY one of these?
"So it's a tradeoff, but anyone who thinks the Tesla is straight up utilizing more advanced technology hasn't looked into the Voltec drivetrain much"

Yea it's MORE advanced engineering, doesn't make it better. Just more that can break!

RE: Avoid the cataract
By Alexvrb on 10/14/2013 10:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say you should buy one. You're funny.

Anyway, the Voltec platform is quite robust. Note I still didn't say to buy one... or a Tesla either.

300 Miles?
By Gunbuster on 10/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: 300 Miles?
By foxalopex on 10/11/2013 3:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
I would guess that's because it has a small gas tank.

RE: 300 Miles?
By Nutzo on 10/11/2013 5:51:07 PM , Rating: 1
My Camry Hybrid (40mpg) can get over 600 miles on a tank of gas, on the highway or in town, but then the Volt's gas only mileage has always been rather poor for a car it's size.

RE: 300 Miles?
By superstition on 10/11/2013 11:39:48 PM , Rating: 2
My Passat TDI SE was getting amazing highway mileage but since I took it in for the 20,000 mile servicing, the mileage has plummeted. I wonder if it's related to the Castrol oil they put in, which is not what was in it before as far as I recall. Or, maybe one of them messed around with the tuning?

It would be hard to tell since the service department is so disorganized and slipshod that it almost can be described as being incompetent.

Volkswagen Passat TDI Smashes World Record With 78 MPG On U.S. Trip

RE: 300 Miles?
By lelias2k on 10/14/2013 8:03:02 AM , Rating: 1
Fantastic. Now what is that good for? Driving on the moon where there are no gas stations?

Let's get real here. Who can drive for 500+ miles without a quick pit stop? Your legs don't get tired? You don't need to use the restroom? You never get hungry?

I think the longest I ever drove without a stop was 250 miles.

Is it possible to do it? Sure. Recommended? I don't think so.

RE: 300 Miles?
By Gunbuster on 10/14/2013 9:42:02 AM , Rating: 2
You would be surprised how nice it is not having to stop for fuel. It goes a long way towards the feeling of luxury. Heck I could rationalize the diesel markup to myself for only having to fill it up every other week.

Sure on a 500 mile trip you have to take a stop to eat and use the head but it sure is nice not having to pair that up with a sleezy gas station all the time.

RE: 300 Miles?
By Nutzo on 10/14/2013 2:32:10 PM , Rating: 2
It lowers my gas cost to be able to only have to buy gas when I make my occasional trip to Costco. They are usually 10 cent (or more) cheaper than other tier one gas stations.

RE: 300 Miles?
By Keeir on 10/17/2013 11:39:21 AM , Rating: 2

With a Voltec vechile, lets say on average you drive 50 miles a day. If 35 miles are electric, that means only 15 miles are on gasoline. With a gas tank capable for 300 miles, then you ought to feel comfortable driving 250 miles between fill up. Or ~17 days or 850 miles between stops. 850 miles is as long as a Diesel goes...

Typical Daily Mileage - Total "Range" between fill-ups
<35, infinate
50, 850
100, 384

As stated many times, Voltec technology in the Volt and ELR anyway is intended for people who drive between 25 to 50 average daily miles. I have a Volt, I drive ~37 miles daily (between 25-100 typ spread) and fill up roughly every 1,500 miles.

No car technology has yet been designed that is "perfect" for all users

Pure electric are great for people who tend to drive daily ~25-50% of EPA mileage and can afford to own or rent a second car

Voltec type are great for people who tend to drive daily between 50-150% of EPA mileage and need to flexablity to drive "forever"

Hybrids are great for people who drive alot of miles in stop and go traffic or in the city.

Diesels are great for people who drive alot of steady state relatively "fast" miles.

Standard gasoline are great for people who drive less than 30 daily miles and like to have a new car every few years.

By avxo on 10/11/2013 1:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
How is a plug-in hybrid two-door coupe in the same "zip code" as a four door large executive sedan that is all electric?

RE: Uhm...
By Flunk on 10/11/2013 1:45:25 PM , Rating: 3
Price wise only.

RE: Uhm...
By kwrzesien on 10/11/2013 2:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not even sure what "the same zip code" means...houses are completely different from one street to the next in Atlanta, the zip code doesn't mean anything (other than maybe how long your commute is - would that imply range?).

RE: Uhm...
By Totally on 10/13/2013 5:22:10 AM , Rating: 2
Figurative speech. OP was pointing out that the differ so much too much that they don't even fall in the same areas for comparison. Hence, they would in different zip codes if what they had in common with one another directly inversely proportional to the physical distance between the two.

-- Capt. Obvious

But does it break the roof crush test machine?
By chmilz on 10/11/2013 2:23:51 PM , Rating: 3
It's a regular Cadillac with some hybrid thrown in. It's not the incredible engineering marvel that is a Tesla S.

Also, it's overpriced because you have to buy it from a dealer.

RE: But does it break the roof crush test machine?
By bigi on 10/11/2013 2:48:27 PM , Rating: 1
Why is it even compared to Tesla Model S ???

Different propulsion, different engine, different system, less space.

It does get pretty amazing that many want to compete with Tesla by introducing crap product which is worse in ALL aspects of design.

Remember F... Karma?

By flyingpants1 on 10/11/2013 3:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's supposed to share the Volt platform, which may mean no center rear seat. Translation: It's not a luxury car.

The funny thing is, this was supposed to keep costs down.. And for the extra $40,000 or whatever it is exactly, they could have at least doubled the electric range to 70 miles...

Except the Volt platform cannot accomodate the size and weight of another 500lbs battery. LOL.

By Mint on 10/11/2013 9:19:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's supposed to share the Volt platform, which may mean no center rear seat. Translation: It's not a luxury car.
So the BMW 6 series, Mercedes CL/CLS, Porsche Panamera, etc are not a luxury cars?

The ELR may be ridiculously overpriced, but it's a proper luxury car.

Volt Owners Opinion
By foxalopex on 10/11/2013 3:40:47 PM , Rating: 1
I have to admit it is nicer looking than my Volt but from what I understand the performance is only slightly better. Still performance isn't the only things folks look for. Look at some of the Lexus series luxury vehicles. There's one that's basically a upscale version of a Prius and no one complains about that!

This car is more about looks and luxury than performance. The Telsa S admittedly looks a bit sparse inside for a vehicle in its price range.

Given the option, yes, I would still have bought my Volt. I can't afford something in that price range and to me anyhow the Volt is already a very nice car compared to the Corolla that I use to drive.

RE: Volt Owners Opinion
By Gunbuster on 10/11/2013 3:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
The luxury customer will be looking for more heat if its anything like the Volt when their freezing in the winter.

On electric the volt pretends the heat is on by activating the seat heaters...

RE: Volt Owners Opinion
By foxalopex on 10/11/2013 3:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite. I own the Volt and took it through one of our brutal winters in Canada and the heat works just fine. What the Volt does is turn on the seat heaters to try to save power because attempting to heat the cabin in the winter uses battery like you wouldn't believe. The issue is a 5-10 kilowatt heater draws as much power as it takes to push the car at normal speeds in the summer. So the trick is you turn the gas engine on. Gas engines are supper inefficient at moving cars but VERY good at producing lots of heat. It's why I'd never buy a pure EV in my parts. Battery life would drop horrifically without a gas engine to keep you warm in the winter.

RE: Volt Owners Opinion
By Mint on 10/11/2013 11:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
This and the Volt are plug in hybrid. You do what you can in electric mode and let gas do the rest. No need to ration energy.

RE: Volt Owners Opinion
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 10/11/13, Rating: -1
By flyingpants1 on 10/11/2013 3:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
First BMW releases a $40,000 Leaf with a lawnmower engine as an option!

Then GM releases a $75,000 Volt, presumably the standard leather seats in the ELR cost an extra $45k over the regular volt!

I hope GM has something better up their sleeve for the future, I really do.

By foxalopex on 10/11/2013 3:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
The ELR has a whole lot more than just leather seats over the Volt. I believe it has electronic self-adjusting suspension, LED headlights and tonne of other bells and whistles to somewhat justify it's price. It isn't the type of car for me but for some folks it might be. Besides if you just wanted performance an Ariel Atom does 0-60 in 3 seconds but it sorta lacks the qualities of a normal car for most folks. :)

By Pneumothorax on 10/11/2013 2:54:50 PM , Rating: 1
Amazing that Cadillac was able to make a Cimmaron 2.0

And just like the original, they made it from a Chevy.

By GulWestfale on 10/11/13, Rating: -1
RE: ouch
By Brandon Hill on 10/11/2013 1:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
RE: ouch
By Souka on 10/11/2013 1:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
1.4L motor gets only 30-35MPG on premium gas? Plus it adds $15K to price?


RE: ouch
By Flunk on 10/11/2013 1:44:56 PM , Rating: 3
This vehicle isn't really comparable. It has a lower top speed than a Honda Civic (130mph). The CTS-V has a top speed of 198mph.

Not to say that it's a not a reasonable price, compared to the Volt it's a significantly more premium vehicle. I personally think it looks great and the promised performance/fuel economy tradeoff is reasonable. But I think what we're really looking at here is a halo product that will sell very few units.

RE: ouch
By Shig on 10/11/2013 1:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
I can't even defend this one, this is a joke.

The key metrics this car is hitting are woefully inadequate.

RE: ouch
By Brandon Hill on 10/11/2013 1:56:18 PM , Rating: 3
The OP was saying that $75k for a Cadillac seemed outrageous. I was simply showing that it's not without precedent.

I'm not defending the ELR's price

RE: ouch
By kwrzesien on 10/11/2013 2:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it's a $75k Volt. It certainly looks better...

RE: ouch
By Shig on 10/11/2013 2:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm saying it IS without precedent. The negative PR they're going to get is going to make it not even worth having released. The fact that it costs double what the Volt does doesn't even make sense. I could understand 60k, but 75k is ridiculous.

RE: ouch
By Keeir on 10/11/2013 3:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
I concur. It makes the price of the Volt look more reasonable... but only in comparison to this epic failure. The only way this could make sense at all is if they drop in a much much more powerful electric motor capable of sub 6 or sub 5 0-60 times.... but I haven't heard anything like that

RE: ouch
By Alexvrb on 10/13/2013 9:56:36 PM , Rating: 2
It "only" shaves about a second off the Volt's 0-60, but that's with additional weight due to the other major improvements. I'm not going to get into the high end luxury interior and various other luxury improvements. But in terms of performance? It makes HUGE gains in steering, handling, ride, braking, etc.

HiPer struts (with continuous damping control), cross-car brace for the front arms, addition of a Watts link for the rear, upgraded rotors all around, enhanced regen braking to supplement the (upgraded) conventional friction (for example when braking for a nasty turn), fatter tires, and slightly more power.

It's too expensive, but true luxury cars always have high margins, and they spend money on stuff I wouldn't pay for - like super-fancy 300-way magic seats, high-end materials like real piano-black laquered wood (and various other wood/carbon fiber options), fancy interior lighting, etc etc. Anyway it's a good first version, if too expensive. A second gen Voltec platform will likely seek to differentiate more, and give the Caddy variant a bigger boost in power and possibly a bigger battery. The upgrades they made to the chassis could handle a lot more in the future.

RE: ouch
By Mint on 10/11/2013 4:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, GM is playing a dangerous game here.

It'll have it's niche: people who want a luxury coupe, EV ride (torque, silence), zero range issues, and technological wow factors.

But pricing it this high could be really bad for its image. I think this car must have a 40-50% gross margin.

RE: ouch
By GulWestfale on 10/11/2013 3:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
of course it is not without precedent, but if cadillac thinks it will move a lot of units with a 75k volt-clone, then i want some of what they're smoking.

as for the cts-v, i have heard that it is a very fine car, but if you had 75 grand to spend on a car, would you really get the cts-v? i know i wouldn't. slightly used RS6/M5/E63 maybe, but cts? nope.

RE: ouch
By Brandon Hill on 10/11/2013 3:41:33 PM , Rating: 3
I'd take a CTS-V wagon over any of the Germans. And unlike the Audi and Merc, you can get the CTS-V with a 6-speed manual -- even in the wagon.

RE: ouch
By Spuke on 10/12/2013 7:01:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'd take a CTS-V over ANY of those listed. Although it looks awesome in wagon form but wouldn't be my first choice (the coupe would be).

RE: ouch
By Brandon Hill on 10/14/2013 10:02:02 AM , Rating: 2
What do you think about the all-new CTS? Especially the V-Sport :)

RE: ouch
By Alexvrb on 10/13/2013 9:12:51 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Brandon needs to watch his sources (or just read more carefully). The ELR is listed as having a top all-electric speed of "100+". Doesn't say what the final top speed is with the gas engine kicking in. If you know how the transmission in the Volt works, that could very well change the entire situation.

RE: ouch
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: ouch
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/13/2013 5:14:15 PM , Rating: 2

RE: ouch
By cknobman on 10/11/13, Rating: 0
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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