Test Drive Results Cadillac ELR Plugin Hybrid Electric Car

The innovative Cadillac ELR Plugin Hybrid Electric Car is a new Concept. It’s a dramatic luxury coupe with extended-range electric vehicle technology. This was moving GM forward as a production car called the Cadillac ELR. THIS CAR ROCKED!

Cadillac ELR’s paddle shifters enable the driver to temporarily regenerate energy and store it as electricity in the battery pack for later use. The ELR is Cadillac’s first electric-powered vehicle and goes on sale in early 2014. Source: General Motors


This Cadillac ELR plugin hybrid electric car (PHEV) has an electric range first of at least 30 to 50 miles. Then as a partial hybrid EV it gets well over 300 miles. Besides the range, it was the most comfortable drive for a long trip. Because for a PHEV it’s to the enhanced suspension system included in the vehicle.

However, the vehicle was tighter inside the cabin than some coupes. Yet it’s pure luxury and comfort made up for the close quarters.

Driving and Drivetrain

The Cadillac ELR plugin also offers four driving modes:

Tour mode, Sport mode and mountain mode. However, the ELR was more of a hybrid EV when not all electric. The Chevy Volt was only gas when not electric. This is a new advancement on the ELR for a hybrid drive when the all electric mode is drained.

The batteries total 16.5 kWh of lithium-ion battery packs located underneath the center of the car for perfect weight distribution and efficiency. However, based on the 16.5 kWh pack, the vehicle was able to accelerate and stay at high speeds for quite some time in all electric.

While the ELR rated to have a “total driving range in excess of 300 miles”, the test drive was over 400 miles. Because the battery has a rated range of 35 miles. However based upon my personal tests driving cycles: the range came out to be 45 miles.

Finally, one of the greatest energy saving technologies added was the Active Regenerative Braking through steering wheel paddles. More energy was generated back to the battery from the paddles than with the brakes. This has already won the Green Car 2014 Technology Award.


The Cadillac ELR is a very luxurious PHEV. Without question, the leather is genuine handcrafted leather. It includes a real wood grain and chrome trim. The vehicle also includes carbon fibers, jet black cashmere and LED accent lighting. This is their “ultra-premium Opus semi-aniline leather” we are talking.

See: Source: General Motors

The Cadillac ELR features an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium ion batteries. That’s an electric drive unit and a four-cylinder engine-generator. Therefore, it uses electricity for about 53 miles. Yes folks as its primary source to drive the car! Aka without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. So when the battery’s energy is low, the ELR switches to extended-range mode. Aka the gas hybrid mode. That’s easy enabling you to drive for another 238-250 plus miles.

Cadillac selected the name ELR to indicate the car’s electric propulsion technology. That’s in keeping with the brand’s 3-letter international model naming convention.

The Converj Concept sparked the idea of combining the desirability of a grand touring coupe with electrification. That was said Ed Welburn, GM vice president, Global Design.

Cadillac ELR

Cadillac also recently announced it will add two new vehicles to its product lineup in 2012, the XTS large luxury sedan and an all-new luxury compact sedan codenamed ATS.

Let’s talk about these special paddles on the steering wheel now!!

Luxury coupe’s Regen on Demand redefines the role of paddle shifters  
DETROIT – Paddle shifters take on new meaning in the Cadillac ELR, the brand’s first electric vehicle with extended range capability that goes on sale in early 2014.
Unlike traditional performance vehicles where the steering wheel-mounted paddles allow drivers to upshift and downshift the

 Cadillac ELR’s paddle shifters enable the driver to temporarily regenerate energy and store it as electricity in the battery pack for later use.

The ELR is Cadillac’s first electric-powered vehicle and goes on sale in early 2014. Source: General Motors
mechanical transmission, Cadillac ELR’s paddle shifters enable the driver to temporarily regenerate energy and store it as electricity in the battery pack for later use.
ELR’s Regen on Demand feature is unique to the compact luxury coupe and builds on Cadillac’s performance-bred heritage.

To engage Regen on Demand, the driver simply takes his or her foot off the accelerator and pulls back on either the left or right steering-wheel paddle to begin regenerating electricity. When engaged, Regen on Demand provides vehicle deceleration that is more than what a typical vehicle experiences while coasting, providing control and dynamic performance characteristics similar to downshifting in a manual-transmission vehicle.

So the feature does not bring the vehicle to a full stop.

 Cadillac ELR Dynamic Battery Pack display
Source: General Motors
Releasing the paddle disengages Regen on Demand, allowing the vehicle to coast normally. The driver can engage and disengage Regen on Demand as desired and as traffic conditions allow.

During regenerative braking, the system converts the vehicle’s momentum to electrical power and stores the energy in the T-shaped battery pack located underneath the center of the car.
ELR includes a blended regenerative braking system that will recapture a majority of the energy in a vehicle’s momentum rather than losing it as heat in the brakes, which is common with conventional vehicles.

When the brakes are applied, energy is recaptured, as the vehicle slows. If more brake force is applied, ELR automatically blends in friction brakes to apply greater stopping power for more urgent stops.

The system has a standard 4-channel anti-lock braking system and includes electronic Brake Force Distribution, which uses independent rear control for improved stability and braking during cornering, as well as more effective use of the rear brakes as vehicle loading occurs.

Finally and also, the disc brake system features vented front and solid rear Duralife rotors. All with Ferritic Nitro-Carburizing (FNC) finishing technology. All to reduce corrosion and deliver longer life.

Cadillac, April 12, 2013, 9 a.m. EDT

Published by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.

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