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New Details On Cadillac ELR Extended-Range Electric Car

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Last August Cadillac confirmed for launch a new extended-range electric car based on the technology found in the Chevrolet Volt.

That new electric car will be the 2014 Cadillac ELR, the production version of 2009’s Converj concept car, and will most likely be revealed for the first time in production trim sometime next year.

The only official details we have on the ELR is that it will be a luxury coupe packing an electric drive unit, a four-cylinder range-extender and a T-shaped lithium-ion battery.

So far the ELR sounds like it’s just going to be a two-door Chevy Volt, but according to Car and Driver there will be some key differences.

Being a Cadillac, the ELR will obviously feature a much more luxurious interior and even more technological goodies. While this will add more weight to the platform, the higher pricetag of the ELR, estimated to be somewhere in the mid-$50k range, will mean Cadillac’s engineers will be able to employ more expensive lightweight materials to circumvent the issue.

Some of the features that will reportedly be fitted to the ELR include increased sound-deadening materials, active engine mounts and radar- and camera-based monitoring systems. Despite all of the extra features, the ELR’s curb weight should only be around 100 pounds heavier than the 3,800 pounds of the Volt thanks to the weight-saving measures.

A more powerful engine than the Volt’s 1.4-liter unit is also likely to be employed. The most likely option will be a new four-cylinder engine developed by Opel and displacing about 1.8 liters. This should allow for faster charging of the ELR’s battery and stronger performance when the internal combustion engine is sending drive to the wheels.  

The battery, too, should be more powerful than the unit in the Volt, with capacity likely increased to 17.0 kWh or more in the ELR versus the 16.5 kWh in the latest 2013 Chevy Volt. This will likely be done by adding more prismatic lithium-ion cells to the Volt’s T-shaped battery.

Whatever Cadillac has in store for its 2014 ELR, we should know more soon as prototypes are already testing near GM’s headquarters in Detroit.
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Comments (8)
  1. The beginning of the end for the Tesla Model S (and Tesla as a manufacturer).
     
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  2. greenflag, it's clear you are ignorant on the topic. The two cars are considerably different. I recommend you read up on the differences between battery-powered electrics and electric-range extended vehicles, then come back and comment.
     
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  3. Damien, I totally understand the difference. However, because of battery cost, weight, range and longevity limitations (which won't be solved for decades) gasoline range extended EVs (basically EVs with on-board electricity generators) will win the marketing war. In addition, Cadillac (and then MB, BMW, Lexus, et al) will introduce their luxury versions. C'mon, you think Tesla stands a chance without taxpayer assistance?
     
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  4. Tesla has already achieved what no major automaker has. It has also made the U.S. a leader again in a very crucial segment.

    A Model S with a 160 mile range is $50,000 after rebate. For this money, you also get a 7-seat luxury sedan, 19-inch wheels, a 17-inch screen interface and a nice body. There are plenty that can and will pay this. There already your cost and range argument is shot.

    As for longevity, Tesla is offering an 8-year warranty on its batteries.

    I see Tesla becoming like the Apple of cars. It may remain a niche brand for years to come, but it will be a leader and others will attempt to follow.

    The best part is that no more dollars have to be paid to foreign nations for their oil.
     
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  5. 1) That 160 mile range (if believable) will be under ideal conditions - no heater in winter, no a/c in summer, no wipers in the rain, ICE off, downhill with a tailwind.

    2) No way Tesla's build quality can compete with EVs/hybrids that Cadillac (GM,) never mind Audi, MB, BMW, Lexus will make, nor will the Model S have the prestige which luxury buyers require.

    3) So Damien, you'll believe whatever you want to believe, but when Tesla goes belly-up in 3 to 4 years you might remember our little exchange of posts.

    4) However, Tesla can save itself by using its innovative motor/battery technology in some form of hybrid (serial?)that allows better efficiency and more range, until battery technology radically improves in, say, 20 years from now.
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  6. Greenflag, you are criticizing a company that hasn't been given a chance to prove itself yet? What do you want from them?

    The EPA has already given the Model S with the 85 kWh battery a 265 mile range, so what's not to believe about 160 miles? Why would I want to lug around a second powerplant in an EREV.

    You just don't see the bigger picture. Tesla is giving the U.S. a chance to become a technological leader in a field that may dominate the auto industry. We have a head start here. A genuinely amazing product.

    I base my decision on the facts. It is clear you have already made your decision. Feel free to send your thousands of dollars to those German companies. I'll be buying one of these Model S sedans when they're available in my area
     
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  7. I have spoken with a Tesla engineer. Greenflag is correct. The 85 kWhr battery will give the Model S only a 200 mile range at a constant 70 mph. Even with the new "super charger" technology from Tesla, waiting at least 1/2 hour for another real-world 100 miles (Tesla claims 150 miles, but not at 70 mph!) of range is still not practical. If GM can give the Cadillac ELR 50 miles of real-world all-electric range, they will haved a real game changer. Using the highly efficient Opel 1.8 liter and at least a 22 kWhr battery would give the Cadillac ELR the performance, comfort, and all-electric range that would make for one extremely desirable high-tech machine. JMHO. Dr. H.
     
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  8. Note to GM: Please give the Cadillac ELR at least a 22 Kwhr lithium ion battery. To make this car really practical (and enjoyable!) we need a real-world 50 mile all electric range...not 35-40 miles. At least give buyers the option of a slightly larger battery as Tesla is doing with the Model S. With a real-world 50 mile all-electric range, GM would have a Tesla killer. JMHO. Thank you. Dr. H.
     
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