General Motors said it recently began shipments of its higher end extended range electric vehicle the Cadillac ELR. The car, pricing around $76,000 before green vehicle tax credits kick in, is an upmarket sibling to the already established Chevrolet Volt.
The ELR’s driving range, according to GM, combines battery-only electric power with a range-extending gasoline-powered electric generator that provides a total possible distance exceeding 300 miles (480 km). Among its many unique features is something known as Regen on Demand, a rather unique spin on brake energy regeneration technology. In it the driver
first removes his or her foot off the accelerator. The car begins to coast. The driver then toggles the paddle shifters on the steering wheel to activate the system. (In most autos, paddle shifters are used to manually row through the gears in the transmission.) Regen on Demand starts converting the kinetic energy into electricity.
Besides Regen on Demand, the ELR comes equipped with standard advanced technology features such as Cadillac CUE with navigation accessible through a large, eight-inch, full-color capacitive-touch screen, light-emitting diode, or LED, front and rear exterior lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and the Safety Alert Seat. Interior touches include handcrafted leather complemented by authentic wood grain and chrome trim.
The factory the ELR is coming from, the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly facility, was without Cadillac production for two years prior, with the DTS large sedan from 2006 to 2011 being what was built there prior. It has also served as the staging point for “some of GM’s best-selling and most important cars. The first vehicle produced for sale at Detroit-Hamtramck was a Cadillac Eldorado, which came off the end of the line on Feb. 4, 1985. Since then, more than 3.5 million Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet cars have been built there.”