General Motors is betting you will. It’s put a $75,995 price tag (including the $995 destination charge) on the Cadillac ELR — what’s essentially a two-door Chevrolet Volt with a handsome exterior and a leather-lined cabin.
The same T-shaped, 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack in the Volt finds its way underneath the creased sheet metal of the ELR, as well as its 1.4-liter gasoline-powered range-extending engine. That allows the Caddy to motor along on electric power alone for up to 35 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in to juice up the pack and keep the ELR going for a claimed range of 300 miles.
Cadillac is touting the ELR’s 8-inch touchscreen powered by its CUE infotainment system — which two years in is still a buggy mess — along with a range of safety and convenience features, including lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and a 24-hour concierge service to answer questions. There’s also a “regen on demand” feature that allows the driver to boost the brake regeneration, slowing the vehicle and recouping energy by pulling on the flappy paddles behind the steering wheel.
GM’s bean counters are quick to point out that depending on what federal and state tax incentives buyers are eligible for, the net pricing could be as low as $68,495, but that’s still a tough sell considering you’re basically getting a Volt with more presence and less practicality.
By comparison, $70k will get you into the entry-level — but absolutely excellent — all-electric Tesla Model S, with a 208-mile range from its 60 kWh battery. That makes the ELR almost impossible to justify what Caddy is demanding. Here’s hoping we’re wrong. We’ll find out when sales begin in January.
So to answer the writer's question...No. GM can claim they have technology that could potentially be better than what Tesla has, but their execution of the product is their biggest problem as they continue to cut corners. The Volt and ELR both use most of the same design cues from their standard combustion engine cars. When someone buys an electric car, it's not because they want to save money on gas, which doesn't happen due the extra cost of the car. They want to be environmentally conscious while driving something different than the rest of the combustion engine cars so that they can stand out to make a statement. This is why even hybrid cars have failed to catch on except a few select models like the Prius. Until they design a car from ground up that is different from their existing models, it's never going to be as appealing as a Tesla. Even the ELR interior is no where near as sexy as Tesla's 17in touchscreen dashboard.