2014 Cadillac ELR Electric Car Will Be Built Next To Volt, GM Confirms

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Cadillac ELR

Cadillac ELR

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Color us, oh, not very surprised at all.

General Motors confirmed yesterday that it would build the 2014 Cadillac ELR range-extended electric luxury coupe at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant, on the same line that builds the ELR's Chevrolet Volt sibling.

While this had long been discussed in the industry, GM made it official with an announcement that said preparations for ELR assembly "will soon be under way," and that production itself would begin late next year.

The announcement was made by Mark Reuss, president of GM North America.

The company's press release pegged the cost of adding the new model to Detroit-Hamtramck at $35 million, bringing GM's total investment in the plant since December 2009 to more than $560 million.

As well as the Volt, Detroit-Hamtramck builds the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan, one of two sites to do so.

The plant is now being tooled up for production of the 2014 Chevrolet Impala full-size sedan as well.

GM's release also noted that the Cadillac ELR will be the first two-door car built at the plant since the 1999 Cadillac Eldorado.

The 2014 Cadillac ELR is the production version of the Cadillac Converj concept first shown at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. It was approved for production in August 2011.

It is expected to use an upgraded version of the same Voltec range-extended electric powertrain as the Chevy Volt.

A lithium-ion battery provides 30 to 40 miles of all-electric range, after which a range-extending internal combustion engine switches on to turn a generator that provides electricity to the motor that drives the front wheels.

2011 Chevrolet Volt Production Line at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant

2011 Chevrolet Volt Production Line at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant

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Unlike plug-in hybrids from Toyota, Ford, and others, the Volt runs entirely on electric power until its battery is depleted--its engine does not switch on for those first 30 to 40 miles.

The lithium-ion pack for the ELR will be assembled at GM's Brownstown, Michigan, battery plant, as the Volt's is now.

Today, Detroit-Hamtramck produces the Chevrolet Volt, the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera, and the Holden Volt--all minor variations on the same vehicle.

Collectively, those three vehicles are exported to 21 countries.

The ELR will be the first new body style for the Voltec powertrain since the December 2010 launch of the Volt itself.


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Comments (21)
  1. That is great news. I can't wait to see one on the road.

  2. Fox News will claim that this is a failure again since the first ELR just cost "tax payer" additional $35 Million in loss...

  3. I hope the ELR has better performance (than the Volt) to back up its "more stylish and sporty look"...

  4. If the production ELR looks as good as the concept I might consider one.

  5. That car looks fantastic, GM seems to finally be getting it.

  6. Why is Green Car Reports still calling plug in hybrids "electric cars" when they should know better?

  7. I agree, GM came up with the EREV ploy and now some people are excepting them as another type of electric car. But electric cars are only powered by batteries and motivated by an electric motor and most importantly electric cars do not use gasoline period. But if you are going to use gas they are the best way to go.

  8. @JRP3: Because we differentiate between those cars propelled exclusively by electric power (Fisker Karma and Volt, albeit with an asterisk for the Volt under some circumstances) and those cars that are no more than parallel hybrids with larger packs that can be recharged from the grid.

    This question has been argued--with some degree of heat--in the Comments sections of many different articles.

    We understand there are some people who believe that the presence of a gasoline engine disqualifies a vehicle from ever being considered an electric car.

    We don't share that belief.

  9. I think you are damaging both EV's and plug in hybrids by the continued mis-characterization. The Volt has been called an overpriced EV with a 40 mile range, but that's not what it is at all. The Volt and Karma are plug in hybrids, and the ICE will come on in different situations. That can simply never happen with a real EV. Having the ICE available is seen as a positive to some and a negative to others, but ignoring it's existence and calling it an "EV" seems counter productive to all. Technical and legal definitions correctly label the Volt and Karma as hybrids, GM and Fisker marketing are trying to claim them as EV's, while saying they are better than EV's because they have an ICE. Can't have it both ways.

  10. @JRP3: I think you credit Green Car Reports with far, far more power than we actually have. :)

  11. I was using "you" in the collective sense, as in you and all journalists who apply terminology that promotes confusion in the general public. I would think it desirable to distance yourself from the likes of Fox News who claimed the Volt is an EV that ran out of charge in the Lincoln Tunnel after only 19 miles, and other such nonsense. At GCR you know better, and I would think clarity of message is more important than some sort of philosophical stance. I spend too much time trying to explain to the general public that the Volt is not an EV with a 40 mile range, but actually a hybrid that can run on electricity and gas.

  12. I am going to start a new term for cars such as Leaf.

    It is called "BV". Battery Vehicle.

    Vehicle such as Honda Clarity is called "Fuel Cell Vehicle".

  13. @Xiaolong: The term you're referring to is conventionally BEV, or "battery electric vehicle."

    We use that term on this site when describing all-electric cars and distinguishing them from range-extended electrics and plug-in hybrids, depending on how much context is required.

  14. "We use that term on this site when describing all-electric cars and distinguishing them from range-extended electrics and plug-in hybrids"
    So you acknowledge the difference on the one hand yet then feel it's proper to use a term that causes confusion between them. "Range extended electrics" are plug in hybrids because you are "extending the range" by making it a hybrid with a gas motor, gas tank, and twice the complexity of an EV or an ICE.

  15. John, Volt is also a parallel hybrid. The gas engine can turn the wheels mechanically when the clutch engages.

  16. @Dennnis: How nice to see a comment from you that doesn't concern the delightful merits of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid!

    Yes, I'm aware that under certain (relatively limited) operating conditions, a Volt clutches in the engine to contribute torque along with the traction motor.

    It didn't seem particularly germane to the article, since unlike all Priuses, it's impossible to tell when that happens. For the record, we've always viewed the original "GM Lied!" article that kicked off that discussion two years ago to be much ado about nothing.

  17. Please keep the PHEVs included in the EV section. I know it disappoints the purists, but with limited options for pure EVs, still, vehicles that can be driven 50-100% in ECV mode still make sense to include, IMHO.

    I respect the views of others, but I also hardly think this is an issue worthy of the controversy, either. To claim that the "mischaracterization" harms EVs is a bit of a stretch, at least to me personally.

  18. So you think no harm to EV's, (and the Volt), has been done by those who call the Volt a 40 mile "EV" that "ran out of juice" in the Lincoln Tunnel, and other such stories? As I mentioned when I talk to people in person and they ask about my home built EV and they say how it has better range than the Volt, I have to explain to them that no, the Volt is a hybrid with an ICE and doesn't just stop after 40 miles. Calling the Volt, and any plug in hybrid, an EV is spreading misinformation that only confuses the general public. This has nothing to do with any EV purity, just accurate product labeling. I am quite mystified with people who think mislabeling products helps anything. By definition the Volt is a hybrid, why deny it?

  19. Well, Volt's main drive system is electric motor with power electronic motors. Its main energy source is battery and electric generator. So, in a "simple" view, it is an EV (despite the 70mph limit where in the extended range mode that ICE can assist in acceleration).

    Maybe you should confine your "EV" definition to "BEV" or "battery only" EV.

    Will Honda's Clarity be considered as "EV"? If Not, is it b/c its fuel cell power? Well, if that is case, then your "EV" should be called a "chemical battery" car instead of "EV"...

  20. Would you rather people call your "EV" a "battery car"?

  21. It's very simple, common usage by the general public equates "EV's" with BEVs. Since my purpose is to provide simple, clear definitions to the general public, EV is the proper term for a BEV, but not a HFCV or Plug in hybrid. Especially since most HFCV's are really hybrids, with batteries and a fuel cell.

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