Cadillac Says All-Electric Car, 2nd Generation ELR Is Coming

3 years ago by Jay Cole 100

Cadillac Elmiraj Concept Shows Direct For New Larger CT6 - Which Will Have A Plug-In Option

Cadillac Elmiraj Concept Shows Direct For New Larger CT6 – Which Will Have A Plug-In Option

We have to hand it to General Motors, we never saw 3 plug-ins in Cadillac’s near future, especially with the addition of notoriously anti-EV frontman Johan de Nysschen being chosen to take over the reigns for the brand late this summer.

2nd Generation Of The ELR Is Coming - But With Perhaps A Couple Extra Doors

2nd Generation Of The ELR Is Coming – But With Perhaps A Couple Extra Doors

Of course to be fair, he did only start in August – so any plans announced today were certainly put into motion many months, if not years, before his arrival.

As part of a decision to expand the brand to 10 nameplates, the Cadillac boss said an all-electric car will be added past the plug-in version of the CT6 in the fall of 2015.

At the same time deNysschen has confirmed to Reuters that a next generation ELR is also being developed, but perhaps will not be a coupe for the 2nd gen edition.

What size class will this new all electric car be?  What range will it have?  No one is saying right now.

Interestingly though, there has been a lot of hints lately that GM is looking to take Cadillac into the smaller-sized sedan and CUV segment to compete against the like of the 1-series from BMW.  A small CUV is expected from Caddillac in 2017 and a 1-sized sedan shortly thereafter.

So, it may be that GM’s confirmed new 200 mile EV under the Chevrolet badge could also be repurposed here as a Cadillac.  Such as decision just makes sense to us.

And while we are excited to see Cadillac embracing much more of a plug-in future, the decision to market a luxury, fully electric car against the likes of Tesla in 2017/2018 will be a tough road indeed, as upscale electric is certainly in Tesla’s wheelhouse.

Tesla currently offers the following:

  • Tesla Model S 60208 miles of range/0-60 in 5.9 seconds from $71,070
  • Tesla Model S 60D (AWD)225 miles of range/0-60 in 5.7 seconds from $75,070
  • Tesla Model S 85265 miles of range/0-60 in 4.2-5.4 seconds from $81,070
  • Tesla Model S 85D (AWD) – 295 miles of range/0-60 in 5.2 seconds from $85,070
  • Tesla Model S P85D (AWD)275 miles of range/0-60 in 3.2 seconds from $120,170
Cadillac Looking To Get Into The CUV Business Against BMW

Cadillac Looking To Get Into The CUV Business Against BMW

Add to those, the Tesla Model X SUV will be arriving in April, and the inexpensive Model 3 scheduled to debut in 2017 with “200 miles” of range for “35,000”ish thereafter.

Considering the 37 mile, extended range Cadillac ELR was priced well out of the market norms at $75,995, we believe GM will have to sharpen its pencil considerably if it wants to sell any of these cars in any volume whatsoever.

But then again, it might be more about the brand image than volume sales in this case, as the ELR is undeniably a good looking car (and recently ranked amongst InsideEVs staffers favorites for appearance) that is a welcome addition to the front of Cadillac showrooms.

Reuters

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100 responses to "Cadillac Says All-Electric Car, 2nd Generation ELR Is Coming"

  1. John in AA says:

    “the ELR is undeniably a good looking car”

    “Undeniably”? I deny it. To me, the entire Cadillac product line looks like it was beaten with an ugly stick, then taken out and beaten some more. Pretty much the anti-Tesla, stylistically. But to each his own.

    1. Assaf says:

      Haha, +1 from me.

      But then, I also couldn’t figure out how the “Whale Mouth” Ford Fusion PHEV was chosen by site contributors as the best-looking non-purpose-built EV.

      I guess we are in the minority 🙂

      1. Mikael says:

        +1

        I know taste is different in different places and for different persons. But it’s hard for me to understand how anyone could look at the ELR and not find it pretty ugly.

        It jus shows the importance of having designing teams from the local market(s) when doing a model for different places.

        1. kdawg says:

          It actually won a lot of awards for its great looks. I think you are very much in the minority.

          Note, many of the Cadillac designs, including the Converj/ELR were done in England, not the US.

        2. tedfredrick says:

          I love the looks

    2. John Hansen says:

      I know it’s a subjective thing, but I think Cadillacs are some of the prettiest cars on the road today. Frequently when I see one I do a double take because it’s so attractive. The XLR is absolutely stunning.

      On the other hand, Mercedes, BMW, Lincoln, and Lexus are all so incredibly dull that I can hardly distinguish them from Hyundais.

    3. Spec9 says:

      Yeah, me too. Cadillacs look like land-barges from the 1970’s with slight modification to make them a little more ‘modern’.

  2. ct200h says:

    I think its great that GM build a 200 mile range EV, but any brand hoping to compete with Tesla must consider the supercharger effect. A 200 mile ev isnt very usable if you have to stop for hours at an L2 or at best 1 hour at a CCS unit if you can even find one.

    1. AddLightness says:

      I completely agree. I would replace my 75 mile Leaf with another 75 mile Leaf before I would spend the extra money on a 200 mile car with charging capabilities that are nowhere near Supercharger speeds. I would gain very little value from the extra 125 miles of daily range. It’s amazing how a lot of people don’t understand that.

      1. Big Solar says:

        “I would gain very little value from the extra 125 miles of daily range. It’s amazing how a lot of people don’t understand that.”

        Understatement of the month!

        1. GeorgeS says:

          It all depends on your driving profile.

          I have a 70 mile round trip (in the winter). I had an order for one of the original Leafs but I cancelled it and I’m glad I did.

          Now I have a Volt and it does what I need and love the car but am near the end of my lease.

          It will be between a Gen 2 Volt or a 200 mi EV from GM. I don’t have the big bucks to be an elite Tesla owner (or a non elite one is more like it in my case LOL) so Tesla is probably out.

          You guys watch. By the time Elon gets done charging for every little last option the gen 3 Tesla will still be too damn expensive (for me at least). Also I’ll bet that GM’s 200 mile EV will be out before Tesla’s Gen 3.

        2. John Hansen says:

          I disagree. When I take “long” trips, they are typically in the 100-200 mile range. On the rare occasion than I need to drive more than 200 miles, it isn’t by much more, and I wouldn’t mind stopping for an hour at an L2 to top off. I make trips > 200 about once per year.

          Now if you make many 500 mile trips, then it wouldn’t work for you. However, I find that most people who make lots and lots of 500 mile trips tend to be EV skeptics, and when EVs have 500 miles of range, then will start taking frequent 1000 mile trips, and so on. 🙂

          I would certainly STRONGLY PREFER super charger support, but saying that 200 miles isn’t much better than 75 miles is a little bit absurd.

          1. Ocean Railroader says:

            I think if they had a mix of 120 mile to 150 mile range EV’s mixed in with lots of quick chargers it would make most trips of 200 miles to 400 miles viable.

            As of now a 75 mile EV could work but it would get a lot of complaints of being limited. If there was away to upgrade the 75 mile to 62 mile EV’s batteries to say a 120 mile to 150 mile EV battery I would do it if it was $2000 to $5000 if I liked driving the existing low range EV.

    2. JRMW says:

      I disagree that a 200 mile EV isn’t very usable without a supercharger network.

      I haven’t driven more than 170 miles in a day in 5-6 years. I may never drive more than 170 miles in one day the rest of my life. (I might in 20 years when I retire or something).

      Many Western families have 2 cars. they can simply use the 200 mile BEV for 99% of their driving, and their second car can be an ICE or PHEV or similar for the rare road trip.

      Or do what BMW is doing: they allow free use of a loaner ICE BMW for the very few days per year that a family does a road trip.

      The Supercharging network is great. But most people really will only use it rarely

      In addition:
      Once non-Teslas put more BEVs on the road you will see more Charging stations. Kind of like cell phone chargers. Today, you see outlets for cell phone chargers in every major Airport. 10 years ago that was not the case.

      And lastly:
      as people switch more and more to BEV there will be more and more battery options. 200 mile range not enough for your daily life? Then buy 300 mile range. Eventually even 400-500 mile range. but slowly people will start to really see how rarely they use 500 mile range, and thus won’t need to/want to pay for that extra range.

      It’s like horsepower. We all don’t need 700 hp engines to go 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, so most of us only get 100-200 hp engines and survive with 0-60 in 8 seconds.

      1. Rob Stark says:

        I think that is the point. A 200 mile BEV without a supercharger network is still a second car. It can’t be your only car.

        While a 200 mile BEV can handle 99% of driving for most people an 84 mile BEV can handle 85% of driving for most people.

        In both situations you need another car for the balance. Regardless if it is 1% or 30% you need another car.

        1. Assaf says:

          No, it’s your first car.

          And if you are one of the majority of people, who only drives 200+ mile days once in a year or even less often

          – then, guess what? You can rent.

          Owning a car just for that irregular once-in-a-blue-moon usage, is dictionary definition of Waste, economically and environmentally.

          1. kdawg says:

            So what is your accepted percentage of over 200-mile trips that a long range BEV is not a “waste”.

            1. Assaf says:

              Kdawg,

              You are misreading my comment.

              I was referring to the idea that you keep an ICE car to be used solely for those 200-mile trips.

              It’s one thing if it’s a beater car that doesn’t cost you anything and is better off sitting around doing nothing, than guzzling gas at some other household (that’s where we’ve ended up doing).

              It’s a totally different thing, if you buy/maintain a relatively new one just for that mission.

              But by definition, regardless of that ICE car’s market value and fuel efficiency, it is nowhere near a “first car”, which was what my comment started with.

              1. kdawg says:

                That makes more sense. Personally I have no desire to own 2 cars. If I had a Model S 85kWh, all my driving would be covered. But prices are too high at this point, so the Volt allows me to own 1 car and drive 87% electric. Haven’t bought gas since March.

              2. tedfredrick says:

                I live in Los Angeles California and you can’t own a beater car without paying $100 a year for registration and $60 a month for insurance and the chapest car that runs is $5000. That is $800 a year for a extra range. That is why I need the extra range vehicle. A beater over the 10 year life of my vehicle would cost me $8000 tax and insurance and $5000 for a total of $13000 that is why I want a car that will give extra range.

          2. sven says:

            “- then, guess what? You can rent.”

            “Owning a car just for that irregular once-in-a-blue-moon usage, is dictionary definition of Waste, economically and environmentally.”

            So says the man who owns an ICE as a backup vehicle for when his EV can’t get him where he wants to go.

            Sounds a lot like the pot calling the kettle black. 😉

            1. Assaf says:

              1. I would never call the 2001 Santa Fe our “first car” and the Leaf our “second car”. The only way in which this is true, is how long we’ve had them.

              2. The Santa Fe sits except for special missions, and for most of the year costs no insurance either. So its cost is minimal.

              3. If and when the Santa Fe breaks down, we’ll donate its remains and subsequently opt for the rent-as-needed solution.

              4. Thank you for being such an avid reader, memorizer and referencer of my posts 🙂

              1. Assaf says:

                …and the comment I was responding to, was defining a 200-mile BEV as a “second car”, not an 84-mile BEV.

        2. Big Solar says:

          84 mile car is my only car…

          1. nate says:

            That is cool. I’d like if I was in that same situation. Could you perceive the possibility that there are others out there that live in households that have different needs?

            Winter range was a factor in why I did not buy a Leaf. I didn’t trust I could count on the full 84. While 90% of our driving is predictable and we know at the beginning of the morning exactly what it will be, but there are times when we have obligations that cause that to change, and it is not always feasible for us to switch mid-day. Something with 150 miles in cold conditions would be a different story. I am sure I am not the only one.

        3. JRMW says:

          Rob:
          2 things
          1)
          as of 2009:
          59% of US households has 2 OR MORE cars. Thus, a majority of us don’t need one car to do everything
          Only 38% of US households has 1 car (and 9% has no car)

          2)
          Your complaints (about a car not working 100% of the time) is not BEV specific and is the reality for MOST ICE cars on the road as well. Few/no cars can handle ALL of a family’s needs.

          If you have a little car, you may need to rent a truck to haul stuff the rare times you haul stuff.

          If you have a big pickup truck to haul, you may need to rent a car or minivan for the rare time you have 4-7 people in your car.

          If you have a regular sedan, you may need to rent a Van for the rare times you take that baseball little league trip to Akron Ohio.

          and so on.

          So a 200 mile BEV would work for all but 38% of Americans
          And some of those 38% would still do fine because either
          -they don’t drive >200 miles (like me)
          -they can rent or borrow an ICE for the rare time it’s needed.

      2. Jason says:

        “The Supercharging network is great. But most people really will only use it rarely.”
        You couldn’t be more wrong with this statement. The last statistic Tesla shared was that ~11% of the Model S’ miles driven were powered by electricity from the supercharger network. This has also steadily increased, from low single digits, as their network has grown. Assuming most Model S owners are pretty price insensitive, this would show behavior from driving needs rather than saving a few dollars.

        1. JRMW says:

          Jason:
          an interesting stat.
          However: what percentage of Tesla users are using the Superchargers? Is it a small number of users who use the supercharger a lot, or do most Tesla owners use it a little?

          Obviously, another way of interpreting your stat is that 89% of electricity used by Teslas is NOT coming from a Supercharger.

          More importantly, there are far more non-Teslas on the road than Teslas, and those non-Teslas have both less range AND no superchargers to use.

          And yet, if the price is right, they sell.

          I am not arguing against future Supercharging as a great option. I’m arguing that the Average American is really not going to use Supercharging that much in their daily lives IF the AER is good enough, and that 200 miles is good enough.

          I actually think 125-150 miles REAL WORLD range is good enough. That means 200 miles x 80% charge x 80% due to loss of efficiency due to driving style/winter which is 128 miles real world range.

          If I had a choice of
          -increased BEV range
          or
          -increased Superchargers…

          I’d choose increased BEV range in a heart beat.

          Luckily, we can have both.

          What will really be interesting is when the OEMs start offering the same make/model with multiple battery pack sizes.

          You see it in Tesla. Almost everybody chooses the biggest battery pack. Will the same happen in the entry-level field too? (I suspect yes).

        2. Spec9 says:

          So 11% is not rare? Seems pretty rare to me.

      3. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        I recently took a 4000+ mile round trip on my motorcycle. I had to fill up roughly every 200mi, and each time I rested and stretched for between 15 and 60 minutes, including fill up time. That is what I would consider acceptable (though minimally) for an EV as an only vehicle for general purpose use. Only Tesla comes close, and only Tesla will do so for at least 1-2 more product cycles, if the weak sauce from the incumbent competition is any indication.

    3. mustang_sallad says:

      Important point for sure, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say a 200 mile range isn’t worth the upgrade from an 80 mile range without supercharger-level recharge rates. Long trips in a Leaf are really annoying, stopping for a 30-minute charge every 60 miles is tedious. Don’t forget all the overhead that goes with each stop. Bumping that up to a 60-minute wait every 150 miles would take it from tedious to mildly inconvenient (while I would argue that Supercharger stops probably aren’t inconvenient at all for most people who don’t drive with diapers on).

      I think a $50k 200-mile range Cadillac actually makes more sense than a $35k 200-mile range Chevy based on a Sonic.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        I think a $50,000 Cadillac with 200 miles of range would do really well and knock some sense in to Tesla. In fact I think they should have listed the Chevy Volt as a low cost Cadillac in the first place. In that to me a Chevy should cost no more then $32,000.

        Another thing if a Cadillac became a EV it would get rid of most of the parts that are what make Cadillac high repair cars like the transmission, Another big high repair needs thing in the 1990’s Cadillac is the oil plan. So when you take out most of the ice parts you are getting rid of the parts that can doom the car.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          “Chevy shouldn’t cost more than $32,000.”

          Maybe, but when the volt was released as a 2011 model and absolutely everyone was complaining about the price, Bob Lutz said,

          “Hey, this car costs us $80,000 a piece. In time the price will come down, but currently people are getting an $80,000 car for $45,000. What’s wrong with that?”

          Current stripped version of the volt are much, much cheaper, around $35,000. To me, that is a BIG price reduction, even if the 2015’s have fewer options than the original. You also get about 10% more electric range. So, as Mr. Lutz might say, “What’s wrong with that?”.

    4. nate says:

      For a road trip, the Supercharger network does not appeal to me without a car with closer to 350-400 miles of range. Why?

      –Rated range is less in winter

      –You can’t expect to charge with exactly 0 miles left, unless you have some kind of range extender. You have to leave yourself another buffer in addition to the winter range.

      –I’d rather not stop every 2 hours to recharge or refuel. If there is a kid that is asleep I’d prefer to keep driving for another 1-2 hours.

      However, a 200 mile EV does appeal to me much more than an 90 mile EV. I doubt I am the only one.

      1. nate says:

        In addition, you don’t even get a full 100% charge in 20 minutes. This, along with the other reasons listed why you don’t get the full 200 miles mean that Supercharger road trips on a car rated at 200 miles may not be all we’d hype them up to be.

      2. Bloggin says:

        200 mile is the EV sweet spot. More than enough range for 99% of daily driving without ever having to charge away from home.

        Which means it can be an only car, while being a perfect fit in a home fleet. Or just plan to rent a car for longer road trips once every few years or so.

        Also by 2017 the cost of a 200 mile EV from the big automakers will cost about the same as the current 100 mile EVs, with a lease that should be about the same.

    5. nate says:

      On my last road trips, I’ve passed WAY more CHAdeMO stops than Superchargers. I’m not betting my car choice based off hoping I predict if CHAdeMO, CSS or Supercharging networks win out. I hope that gets sorted out soon, and then I’d be more confident in making that a factor in my purchase. At this point the (full 100%) charging time and AER for even a Model S would still affect total trip time and the routes I would take, so Supercharging access is low on my list.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        What I would like to know is could it be possible to build a universal transformer or current converter into a car or have two quick charger ports. The universal charger would take power in form both Chamo or CSS.

      2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Of course you need more, since the cars that use them have inadequately-sized batteries and charge too slowly.

  3. Mike says:

    Biggest drawback for the ELR is that its tied to GM and its dealer network – any new caddy will still be “Car 1.0”.
    Its all they know how to make.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Oh I disagree with that….. Getting service for my Roadster has been so much of a time consuming chore that I could have easily invoked NY State’s Lemon Law if I was so inclined, so I didn’t because I basically like the car and didn’t want to give it up, I just wanted to get it fixed which I finally did. But it took months and months.

      The nice thing about a dealer is that you have someone you can complain to in person. Its amazing how effective that is when a person just cannot walk away from a reasonable request.

  4. JRMW says:

    I’ve often wondered if it was the “Chevy” tag that was partially holding the Volt back.

    A Cadillac Volt or EV may sell better just due to rebranding. We see it all the time. Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, and Audi all sell for more than comparable Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and VW… even though many of the these products are nearly identical with only mild cosmetic changes and rebranding

    My last VW Passat was in many ways nicer than the Audi A4 and even some A6. the interior was nearly identical. But the different badge meant my Passat was a lot cheaper.

    Thus, make the Cadillac. But I hope they also make an affordable long range BEV to keep the price down.

    And Cadillac absolutely cannot price their offering anywhere near a Tesla. There is no competition between the two in terms of brand desirability.

    1. kdawg says:

      Given the choice between an $80k 85kWh Tesla, and an $80k 85kWh Cadillac, I would choose the Cadillac every time.

      Cadillac knows how to make cars. Tesla is still learning. You also have the backing of a worldwide corporation. I also think the interior on the ELR makes the Model S look like a kit car.

      The *only* thing that might give Tesla the edge, is the SC network.

      I’m hoping by the time the Model 3 is out, Tesla has progress further on the car building curve, since I will seriously be shopping that car.

      1. JRMW says:

        kdawg:
        interesting point.
        I think some of it comes down to expectations.

        The problem is that thus far GM has not shown the interest (or ability?) in doing what Tesla is doing.

        They priced the ELR with its miniscule 16 kwh batter similarly to Tesla with its 60kwh battery.

        They better not do that again.

        IF they are able/willing to do an 85 kwh battery option, THEN they could potentially price that in the Tesla price range.

        but it’s not going to cut it to underperform Tesla and then try to price in Tesla Range.

        this is why I think that the X5, XC90, and Cayenne PHEVs will sell slowly at most, because they’re priced in Tesla X territory with inferior stats. (low AER)

        Having PHEV won’t save them if the AER isn’t high enough. If they bring an 80-100 mile AER PHEV, that’s a different story.

        1. kdawg says:

          If GM is going to build a 200 mile AER Cadillac, it will have to have something around 85kWh of battery. This article suggests that is what is coming. What I don’t know is what kind of performance GM will put in it. Will they try to match the Model S P85, or P85D, or neither, but instead spend the $ on a plush interior and better suspension? Or just go for a price less than the Model S?

          1. Taser54 says:

            I disagree. They can easily produce a 200 mile Cadillac with 60kwh pack or less, using more advanced engineering to create a lighter car with more efficient drivetrain than Tesla. The CT6 (3500lbs) and the Spark EV (power and efficiency) foreshadows this.

            1. Tim says:

              Of course they can, they just choose not to do it because…ummm…well…just because.

              You know when I’ll believe that other manufacturers can build 200+ mile BEVs? When they do it.

              1. kdawg says:

                True. Everything is just talk at this point. Until we see them in the flesh, it doesn’t mean much.

              2. QCO says:

                Actually, there is enough evidence to suggest GM is currently working on a long range (200 mile?) BEV platform for an everyman price ($35k?).

                They may not have decided what brand or style yet, but GM is acutely aware of the Tesla gen 3 promises and does not want to be caught with their pants down in their bread and butter market segment.

                Goes to show Tesla really does drive the market, but the Volt also shows GM is capable of some clever engineering when needed.

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  I agree.

                  I also used to criticize GM for crushing the EV1’s and heavy handed tactics with leasees.

                  But the VOLT has been such a proven great car, and added SO MANY all electric miles to the nation’s highways, that all previous sins most people are willing to forgive and forget.

                  The volt is, of the Electric Car family, the safest from what I have seen. People walk away from traumatic crashes where Insurance company adjusters say they have never seen a car so mangled where there HAS NOT been a fatality. And of course, the battery system apparently is very well behaved, and quite fire resistant, something other manufacturers cannot always claim.

                  1. Bill, have you ever wondered if GM could/would bring back a 2 seat car that closely resembles the EV1, with today’s modern technology of Materials and Batteries, put it in the Cadillac Lineup, give it 250 mile all electric range, and take orders on it ahead of selling it, like Tesla Did with their Roadsters, could it be a winner?

                    I have sat in an EV1 in Wisconsin, at Madison – their University’s car was donated at the end of the EV1 departure, and at 6’3″ I think – that if GM could maintain the styling and bring it up about 10% in Dimensions for a bit more cabin room, and with today’s batteries could narrow the tunnel in the long part of the ‘T’ section, to give it more hip and elbow room, and if they said in their marketing – that – “The EV1 is Back, but better than ever!” – I would be willing to bet a Pay Check that it would be taken up by almost everyone that owned one first, and a lot more people! [If they SOLD it – not just leased it!!!]

                    Of course – I could be wrong, and Tesla Might already have eaten their lunch, and the Roadster 2.0 they plan to build after the Model 3, might just be that exact car – but with more range that even that!

    2. Spec9 says:

      I certainly think the Chevy badge has harmed the Volt a bit. Sadly, GM has no better badge for EVs though.

  5. James says:

    A whole lot of EV folks still don’t see Tesla as “our only hope” of transportation electrification. They still look to Nissan and GM, to BMW and others to lead the way.

    When an ICE company feels forced to do something, it’s like a teenager who is told he cannot use an electronic device until they finish their homework. Tesla is literally dragging everyone but Nissan into the 21st century.

    The “all hail BMW”ers tout the “i” cars as evidence an established ICE-maker is going electric. Their ears are dulled to BMW and GM execs still calling those products “halo” and “in response to international mandates”.
    Instead, they look to those companies to challenge Tesla – and that, my friends, is afar of as of today.

    GM, BMW and others are struggling with how they can make a profit with lithium batteries stuffed into a chassis. The 200 mile EV for GM may or may not eventually roll as a Chevy or Caddilac. We all realize Volt should have debuted as a Cadillac, and most-likely wouldn’t have been so widely panned for it’s $44,000 MSRP. GM was bankrupt and had to laud Volt as a Prius-fighter while no $40,000 Prius existed. They were pretty much forced to put Volt out as a Chevrolet, or “everyman’s car”.

    GM still is calling Volt a halo, and that doesn’t speak well for the mass success of Volt v.2. If they don’t market it to Prius buyers and potential Prius buyers, they’re sunk before they even get started. Let’s hope they do – and realize the savings of mass production. 100,000 battery packs surely will make an impact on price vs. marketing EVs to doctors, lawyers and sports agents.

    ELR as Converj was a beautiful artpiece. The edge design philosophy has it’s limits, in my opinion – but that is a matter of taste. The new CTS is beginning to get a Darth Vader, stealth fighter look, and that doesn’t speak luxury as much to me. It’ll be interesting if the softened taillights of new CTS begin a softer more classic approach to design, or if that will require a complete makeover of Caddy’s current design-speak.

    The only way EVs will make their way into the public consciousness in a big way is for the price to come down and the average range to go up. This can only be done by mass production, not models that sell in the 10s of thousands as is the case today.

    I believe we have to be realistic, and look to the only manufacturer that has pledged NOT to build gas cars in their lineup. And that manufacturer is Tesla. We are impatient, and the hurdles for Musk and company are legion. But if he is able to pull off his big-picture plan to affordable EVs – it’s him and him alone we should place our hopes in.

    1. Lustuccc says:

      +1

    2. JRMW says:

      “They still look to Nissan and GM, to BMW and others to lead the way.”

      No.

      We look to Tesla to lead the way overall and challenge the legacy auto manufacturers, which forces the legacy auto manufacturers to improve.
      However: current and future Legacy Manufacturer offerings forces Tesla to be better too.

      It’s called “competition” and it works.

      BMW does seem to be leading the way in terms of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic. They’ve also made advances in REx technology.

      Nissan is leading the way in terms of making Affordable BEVs

      GM Leads the way in terms of making Affordable PHEVs

      Mitsubishi leads the way in terms of AWD in the EV/PHEV space.

      VW leads the way in terms of offering numerous different energy distribution systems in one platform (ICE, BEV, PHEV, hydrogen, etc)

      This competition makes everybody better. For instance, it won’t be enough for Tesla to make a Cheap BEV. It will need to be BETTER than whatever GM and Nissan come up with, and at a competitive price.

      Going forward, Tesla can learn from the mistakes AND ALSO the successes of VW, Nissan, GM BMW and so on.

      Current Tesla’s have benefitted from safety advances in the other Legacy Carriers (where do you think self-parking and lane departure warnings originated? not with Tesla!)

      A future Tesla may use BMW’s Reinforced plastic, VWs innovative cross-platform design, Nissan’s work on efficiency, or Mitsubishi’s work on AWD. Hopefully they’ll use and maybe improve some of these!

      Tesla understands this too. It’s one reason why they opened up their patents to their competitors

      They CANNOT do this alone.

      1. I agree with this assessment except for “Mitsubishi leads the way in terms of AWD in the EV/PHEV space.”

        I think we can conclude that Tesla has taken the leaD in AWD.

        1. JRMW says:

          I really used Mitsubishi’s AWD efforts to show that each manufacturer is indeed making strides and helping the EV cause.

          Mitsubishi has had production models out for 19 months now (since Feb 2013). Tesla won’t have the AWD S out until February 2015.

          Tesla will undoubtedly claim the AWD leader crown in 2015 (they better, since their AWD offering is 2x the Outlander price!). But I can’t give them the prize until they have PRODUCTION models out there and until we see how the Porsche Cayenne performs

          For instance: the Tesla P85D can’t tow. The Outlander can.

          But my primary point is that Mitsubishi’s efforts raise the bar for Tesla. Tesla will need to put out a great car (which they will) that is worth 2x the Outlander price. The better the Outlander, the better the S and X need to be.

        2. James says:

          How can ANY of these legacy ICE manufacturers be “leading the way” as you say, when the models you quote sell in the 1s of thousands up to low 10s of thousands compared to 100s of thousands of their traditional vehicles?

          I don’t call that “leading the way” in any order whatsoever.

          I think they are all following mandates, some complaining publicly ( Fiat, Audi ) and others grumbling like said teenager and doing the minimum required using existing platforms.

          I will give it to BMW for inventing new platforms. Hopefully, they’ll expand on those platforms and not make 1 unobtainable supercar and one quirky mini-minivan with a very limited range and ability.

          1. JRMW says:

            You gotta start somewhere.

            regardless if they sell more ICE or not, Nissan sells 2x the numbers of cars that Tesla does. That is leadership. They also have done something Tesla hasn’t: Put out an affordable BEV. again, leadership.

            As I’ve told you before, I agree with you that we can’t let the pressure up off of the legacy Car Manufacturers as there is a risk that they’ll slide back into their old patterns, ESPECIALLY with the recent slide in gas prices.

            I also agree with you that Tesla is pushing the legacy manufacturers further than they would have likely gone without Tesla. And Tesla has changed the hearts and minds of many Americans as well.

            But I disagree that this is a game that Tesla is doing alone, AND I disagree that Tesla is on the forefront of everything. They are unarguably the leader in many facets of car electrification. But they are where they are today in part due to past efforts of the OEMs, in part due to their own ingenuity, and in part due to current legacy carmaker efforts.

            In addition, I don’t think Tesla CAN do it alone.

            Luckily, they don’t have to.

            I won’t take any credit away from Nissan, GM, or BMW because Tesla put out a car that outperforms theirs but costs 3x as much, or because Tesla put out a press release about what they’ll probably due in 2017 +/- 3 years delay.

            1. nate says:

              JRMW, I agree with your post. It is clear from his comment that he wants Tesla to be the only one successful with plug-ins, or he has completely unrealistic expectations.

              1. See Through says:

                James and some others here are just Tesla trolls. In their minds, Tesla is the only car company that is saving the planet, by making P85D for 0.001% people.

      2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        REx is poor and crippled by CARB on top of that. Yet another off the shelf crap motor, like the Volt’s lump. REx should have been Atkinson/Miller with turbo generator and Turbosteamer.

        1. QCO says:

          Agreed. There will never be a range that satisfies everyone (real or perceived needs), therefore range extenders are a realistic and practical solution.

          But we need to see some novel extender power plant approaches rather than just conventional engines.

          1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

            Turbines and free-piston linear motors are the most interesting IMO, until hydrocarbon SOFCs get down below $50/kW. But those SOFCs are likely 20 years out, FPLMs 10+ years out, turbines could be done now but not by the big manufacturers. Atkinson/Miller motors with turbocharger/generators could be done pretty much right now.

        2. Bill Howland says:

          “Like the VOlt’s lump”.

          An exceedingly ignorant comment. After breakin, traveling down the highway at around 70 mph, I get a marginal 39-40 miles per gallon of 91 octane petrol. To me that is unbelievable efficiecy, and shows all facets of the car, including the atkinson cycle valve timing, and air streamed body, as being very carefully enginneered.

          I wasn’t even aware a car as large and comfortable as the volt, which can also heat the car while all this is happening in cold weather, could get such performance (39-40 miles out of only 125,000 British Thermal Units heat content of Petrol), while still having spirited, luxurious performance in reserve.

          1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

            The Volt’s rubbish off-the-shelf european lump is suboptimal, and should be an aluminum block with Atkinson cycle at the very least. 40mpg is an embarrassment, it should be at least 50, given that 70mph in a Volt on level ground is only about 25-30kW.

            It _really_ should be a purpose-built 1l 3cyl Atkinson/Miller cycle with electric turbocharger/generator that can run lean most of the time (say 30-40kW in Atkinson mode while using the exhaust gas energy to generate power rather than boost) but can kick into Miller mode by adding fuel and using the turbo for boost, say up to 100kW in that mode.

            1. Dan says:

              And yet the Volt’s rubbish off-the-shelf lump is still better than any competitor’s option.

              Voltec is a better drivetrain than any other PHEV or EREV on the market, and it’s not really even a close comparison.

              1. Spec9 says:

                He’s just talking about the original Volt’s iron block 4-banger. The Voltec PHEV system is very nice. But they grabbed an off-the-shelf ICE for it that was not well-suited for the task. It was too heavy and not well-tuned to run extremely efficiently at a single RPM. It more than did the job needed . . . but that is the point . . . it was overkill. A different engine will be able to do the job more efficiently.

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  That’s inaccurate. The engine is required to operate over a range of speeds, and horsepowers.

                  So the question is, since you are not conversant with the car’s design requirement, why are you so quick to criticize the design?

              2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

                Honda’s new Accord Hybrid has a superior range extender: more power yet 50+ mpg highway.

            2. Bill Howland says:

              DR. you usually come out with well thought out comments.. But this train of thought is the exception.

              I don’t care that the car is not the absolute latest technology. I care about that the car gets DOUBLE the gas mileage under equivalent conditons than the car it replaced (I had a much larger Amante before, admittedly).

              And the point is the engine is so rarely used anyway, by the typical volt owner. A bit early to say, but there is every likelihood the longevity of this car will be fantastic. Those are what I, and most buyers care about. GM (or, I should say, BOB LUTZ steered them in this direction) is giving customers what they want: an all purpose very reliable, very safe, very long lasting car.

              When has detroit come out with another vehicle that has the volt’s claim to fame. It also incidentally logs HUGE amounts of miles from electricity alone, cutting gasoline consumption in my case an order of magnitude. That is a whopping decrease in any book. And it has no impact on the “GRID”‘s loading, since it recharges substantially with after midnight baseload electricity.

              To whine away that there is not the latest technology in the car is silly.

              The motor in my Tesla is, with the exception of no babbit bearings, just like those 120 year old 4 pole induction motors that George Westinghouse made.

              I don’t see anyone overly criticizing Tesla for using such old fashioned equipment. Its so old fashioned it doesn’t need any rare earths.

              1. Bill Howland says:

                “No Grid Impact”. TO flesh that out a bit, every car on my middle class street could be replaced by a VOLT. Figuring about 100 cars, that’s roughly 95 kw of loading at the Volt’s standard, recommmended charge rate.

                If every single car on my street were to ditch their gas guzzlers and replace it with a Volt or ELR, no utility infrasructure would have to be changed in the slightest, although multiple car families might be advised to add an additional outlet in their garages.

                One plain 20 amp circuit can simultaneous charge two VOlts at the same time, so if a particular house had 4 volts, they would only need 2 separate 20 amp 110 volt circuits. And no electric service changeout.

              2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

                And the point is the engine is so rarely used anyway, by the typical volt owner.

                All the more reason to make it smaller and lighter!

                Brand-loyal fanboys tend to bore me, if I’m a fanboy for anything it’s for rapid advancement in technology. The only interesting things out there IMO are Tesla and BMW’s CFRP development, Volt 1.0 was interesting in 2009-2011 but then became the boring benchmark for GM and others to surpass. I hope Volt 2.0 changes that, but I’m too pessimistic about GM corporate backsliding into politicking mediocrity to have much hope there. Nissan may field a Model III competitor that costs $10-15k too much in a few years, and charges too slowly. The other Japanese and Germans are hopeless AFAICT.

                Tesla’s just killing it, and by the time other manufacturers catch up to where they are today, they’ll be another generation or two ahead, at least 5 years. Plus, they’ll NEVER catch up to Tesla’s infotainment and systems integration, because the ala carte procurement and “integration” model they suffer under can never compete with a vertically-integrated system. No manufacturer that sources various bits and bobs from Bosch, Panasonic, Delphi, Siemens, etc. and then bashes them together will ever make something that can beat Tesla’s systems.

                I hope, in 20 years time, the roads will be covered in Teslas and charged up with power generated in Lockheed fusion plants, and the Americans who ‘get’ the new cheap energy economy will kill their global competition with Silicon Valley design and engineering coupled with Right to Work manufacturing.

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  Seems like a stretch that Lockheed will deal with the Neutron Flux and Deterioration problem of fusion plants in only 20 years.

                  Since the 21st Century is China’s to lose, I hope the Chinese enjoy all their Teslas. In 20 years time we wont be seeing many new ones around here (at least, not compared to China).

                  But in general, we’re still not communicatiing, but that’s ok.

                  I liken the Fusion Power situation similarly to the fact that FP&L doesn’t allow solar panels on Florida homes. Supposedly there is a cold fusion setup in the news that is finally generating more power than it uses and if something like this comes out of left field and is advertised sufficiently before being silenced, then there is a slim chance it might come to fruition if true. But just as in FP&L’s case, there are plenty who don’t want to see them succeed, as can be stated with many other current facets of life.

    3. GeorgeS says:

      James,
      Have you been taking your lithium?

      George

      1. Bill Howland says:

        HAHA, agreed that all the GM haters are attracted to the Cadillac Division.

        I was keeping an open mind toward the ELR, but the car’s deficiencies while sitting in the driver’s and then rear seats (one deficiency I never saw mentioned ANYWHERE, so it proves you must test drive all prospective vehicles by yourself prior to purchase), convinced me that even at a $23,000 discount from list, I should wait for Cadillac’s next try.

        I have always wondered why GM was, at least to the EV blog community, slow to introduce new EV models. I’ve since concluded that, Just as the Nissan Leaf has only recently acheived profitability, so GM must wait until costs are lowered sufficiently to make a profit on their EV families of vehicles. So the waiting is a bit nail-biting, but wait we must, and it is prudent the way GM is handling this.

  6. Assaf says:

    So, are we finally seeing the Mary Barra (trained as an electrical engineer) effect on GM’s EV plans?

    As usual, time will tell. The signs so far have been very mixed.

  7. Stimpacker says:

    Yucks! GM keeps trying to push Cadillac into the “cool” cars market but unfortunately, they won’t ditch the classic Caddy look.

    In the suburbia where I live, Cadillacs are driven by grandpas. I always laugh when I see all these Cadillacs with V8 engines and twin pipes plodding along on the freeway.

    I like EV’s and I am a long time GM supporter. I got my Leaf only because there wasn’t a compelling one from GM. Don’t think I’ll be getting a Cadillac EV that still looks similar to grandpa cars from the retirement village next town over. Maybe Chevy if it’s not a cheap ass looking Sonic.

    1. Ambulator says:

      Well, I think the Elmiraj shown above is at least a move in the right direction, at least compared to the ELR.

  8. codyozz says:

    I see some of us arguing over whether a 200 mile EV makes sense, and I see it as essential. But only essential in the sense that we need OPTIONS and COMPETITION for this market to flush itself out and work correctly. Take my scenario:
    Here on the Big Island, there are none and probably never will be superchargers… so a Tesla S 60, is NOT a great fit… One should get the S 85, b/c you’ve got mountains and 200+ mile round trips and no great place to charge. Even a 200 mile EV could be tough.. HOWEVER, the Nissan Leaf can barely barely make it from Hilo to Kona, and can’t make it the other way b/c the summit of the pass is farther from the Kona side. Basically the Leaf just can’t go out of town without a 100% recharge from virtually non-existent charging units on this island. At least with a 200 mile EV, you could MAKE the journey without sweating (literally and figuratively) and you wouldn’t NEED a 100% charge to make it home.
    You could leave Hilo, hit the summit with about 20kw used.. at about 50% SOC and then begin to regen back down the other side to Kona… You would arrive in Kona with about 70%, and could recharge for a few hours and get up to 90% and then you could EASILY head home. You could do the same in a Tesla S 60, but that’s a $71,000 car… so why not just step up to an 85 and not have to worry?

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Hawaii SHOULD have solar Superchargers, if only for the PR value.

      Still sucks that nobody’s doing geothermal like Iceland (another place that needs 1 SC)

    2. Spec9 says:

      OPTIONS are key. Whatever 200 mile range EV GM makes, they should also make 100 mile and 150 mile version too. Let people pick what is best for them. I’m still disappointed that Tesla killed the 40KWH version. But I suspect that it had some problems such as perhaps not working well with the supercharger.

      1. Spec9, the 40 kWh Tesla Model S, besides not having the option to use the Supercharger – even as an extra cost option, also (because of this difference) would not be able to take advantage of the [still delayed, but now only $450, instead of $1,000] CHAdeMO Adapter. Also – it had a Targeted (by Tesla) Range of 160 miles – so maybe it would have got an EPA Rating of 145 miles Range.

        I know of one owner in the Greater Toronto Area that bought one on the very day that they canceled sales of the 40 kWh Model S, by going online, since they had not removed the ordering option for it yet at that time, and what he got was a 60 kWh model – software limited to the 40 kWh Rated usage: as a result – he never fully charges or discharges the pack – almost like running it as a volt in the middle zones of the capacity, but – should he wish to have the longer range, for a phone call and a credit card with sufficient space, the upgrade can be done in the same day, as I understand him.

        He also got – the acceleration of the 60 kWh model, versus the lower acceleration planned for the original 40 kWh Specs.

        Still – would people want to buy such a vehicle as this today? Now that Tesla is becoming more of a common household name and being in the minds of many more people than the online ordering Early Adopters?

        Would it be good for Tesla to put it back on the list of available options – if they could give it access to the CHAdeMO charging Specs – with the Adapter? Or – since it actually has the 60 kWh Battery – maybe they could also give it the option to use the Supercharger, since that is said to be included for the model 3? Or would doing so – cloud the options for interest in the Model 3?

        Tesla sold this car to my friend – at the price of the 40 instead of at the price of the 60, in that they got ~$10K less from him, so – offering such a car today – would reduce their direct revenue (but give potential for a future revenue upgrade to them, and each customer has an upgrade path built right in!).

  9. nate says:

    Judging by the comments here, it seems like the majority of people commenting on InsideEvs would prefer there were just one or two choices in the market for an EV.

    I’m of the opinion that the more plug-in choices available the better. So, if a manufacturer announces another new model, it is GOOD news, not bad news. Having a one-size fits all approach will result in a car that is either way to expensive, or mediocre in all areas. More diversity in models is needed, and until that is the case, plug-ins will be a niche.

    1. kdawg says:

      It’s just that article GM/Cadillac related brings out the naysayers. The more plug-ins the better.

    2. James says:

      More is not better if the choices are all overpriced ( for their segment ), 80 mile BEV commuter cars that have an ice cube’s chance in Haites of finding mass appeal.

      Who will make proprietary EVs, PHEVs and EREVs that have the capability and price that can persuade the common auto buyer to take a look at electric?

      Now THAT is the question we should be asking. So far, Tesla and Nissan seem to be the only answers in that the Tesla has the capability to be an only car – even in climates that require AWD traction, and Nissan’s LEAF in that it is affordable and has the ability to replace that second car used primarily for errands or local commutes now existing in many people’s garages.

      1. nate says:

        “Who will make proprietary EVs, PHEVs and EREVs that have the capability and price that can persuade the common auto buyer to take a look at electric?

        Now THAT is the question we should be asking.”

        No, I think it would be depressing to think that it will be one or two automakers that might make a vehicle that works for my needs and I can afford. I think that all manufacturers should be attempting to improve our plug in choices. When Chrysler announces a PHEV minivan, or someone else announces a 200 mile EV, or when VW invests in platforms that can do both, it is a good thing.

        More choices the better. Simple as that. Some choice will be better than others but if you increase the number of choices the chances that the right ones will become available get much better.

        1. What if: All Car Makers said – they can make 3-4-5 Car Range Options (similar to what Tesla Did), and they can do this with Either a BEV Platform, or a PHEV/EREV Platform?

          Imagine AER:
          PHEV Range BEV Range
          45 Miles 90 Miles
          75 Miles 125 Miles
          100 Miles 160 Miles
          150 Miles 225 Miles
          180 Miles 400 Miles

          So – if they could make these kinds of options available for 3-4 different model style and function types (Coupe, Sedan, Hatchback, Wagon, etc.), in short order they would get a Good data set on which product is of most interest to the buying public! They could analyse price/performance points, and if they were not afraid – they could also remove the lower sellers off the product lineups, and see what the comments changed to as a result! (They killed the EV1 at GM, the RAV4 EV (nearly twice now) at Toyota, and the Honda Plus at Honda, so they all proved they can take cars away!

          They could even take them away – as they do a ‘refresh’ on them to see if that works, if they figure out how to make more common BEV/PHEV or EREV Components, so they could do range or performance upgrades easier!

      2. kdawg says:

        “More is not better if the choices are all overpriced”
        —————-
        How else do you think prices will come down? The more players, the more competition.

      3. nate says:

        “Tesla has the capability to be an only car ”

        Even if I was interested in spending 3×4 time more than I’ve ever spent on a car, the Model S or even X would not be the ideal only car for our household. A PHEV minivan with 25-30 miles AER would work better on the typical days, on days we haul large items, or on week long family trips.

        Our child safety seats say not to install them in backward mounted seats in a Model S. So, if we take the neighbors kids along that are in the same age range that works in a Minivan, but not a Model S.

        If a 4-6 year old can operate the Falcon doors w/out hitting themselves in the head, and if they do not extend farther out from the side of the vehicle than a sliding door does, then all be impressed. If I can slide a dishwasher (still in the box) into the back as easily as I can then in a Van then I’ll be impressed. My hunch is they chose style over utility with the X. We’ll see..

        The supercharger network is still to thin, AER still to low, and the time it takes to do a 100% recharge is still to long to make me really want to do the same trips I’ve done before in a Model S or X.

        So, I’m sure someone will say a Tesla is still what I should want because I could just rent something when it doesn’t work for me. Having a only car but renting the car you regularly use is just shifting ownership to the rental company.

        Now some may still disagree and tell me that the things I want in a car are dumb and I should really want x y z. Someone else well say we need a b c. Good luck with that sales approach. I believe more choices are needed.

    3. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      I would LOVE to see other choices in 60+kWh EVs with 100kW DC charging, especially in midsize CUV formfactors. Who’s building them?

  10. Spec9 says:

    GM Exec 1: “Hey, the Cadillac ELR was a huge failure! So what should we do?”

    GM Exec 2: “Let’s double down on it!”

    SMH

    1. kdawg says:

      How is doing what you predicted a “huge failure”?

      1. Spec9 says:

        They predicted selling just a handful of cars? I don’t think so . . . they would not have built so many ELRs that are just gathering dust if that is what they predicted.

        1. kdawg says:

          Yes, that was their sales goal. Approx 2000 to 2500 over 2 years. And that is what they are doing.

  11. Taser54 says:

    A manufacturer who produces a 200 mile BEV along with a number of plugin EREVs for longer total ranges will be well positioned in the market.

    As battery costs drop and power density increases, that manufacturer will merely make iterative adjustments.

    GM will be one of those manufacturers and it will not require a proprietary supercharger network.

    1. Rob Stark says:

      It will require access to a nationwide fast charging network to be successful in the BEV space.

  12. Hov says:

    ELR is not good looking. It’s design is way too angular and and the shape is still volt like.

    The Elmiraj looks a million times better than it

    enough with the ELR appearance praise plz lol, easily take a red volt over it

    1. Spec9 says:

      It is not a bad design for the Cadillac audience . . . but that is the point, the Cadillac audience is NOT a plug-in audience. The Caddy audience is largely 80+ year olds that want to drive a USA land-barge.

      Tesla hit upon the right design . . . a sleek European looking car that steals from Audi & Maserati. And that design has allowed them to steal sales from BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and other European sports sedan buyers. A younger demographic than the Cadillac demographic.