When the price of the 2014 Cadillac ELR range-extended luxury coupe was announced last October--it's $75,995--the gasps and shrieking could be heard throughout the plug-in electric car world.
Yesterday, Cadillac sweetened the pot a bit: It said it would offer a "complimentary" 240-Volt Level 2 home charging station, and the installation to go with it, to "early buyers" of the 2014 ELR.
We've reached out to Cadillac to get more clarity on exactly how it will define who qualifies as an early buyer--whether it's limited to a specific time window or to a specific number of vehicles delivered.
[UPDATE: Brian Corbett of Cadillac clarified that the offer applies to the first 1,000 buyers of the 2014 Cadillac ELR.]
"Professional installation of the fastest home-charging unit is a natural way to mark the introduction of ELR to the luxury market," said the brand's chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus.
The ELR's 16.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack takes up to 9 hours to recharge on 120-Volt household current; a Level 2 charging station can cut that to 4.5 hours or less, depending on circuit amperage.
Many owners of the $35,000 Chevrolet Volt, which uses the same battery pack, never bother to install a Level 2 charging station, and it's debatable whether ELR drivers will do so--especially those who only plan to lease the car for three years.
The two cars share a powertrain, although the Cadillac's power is higher, at 207 horsepower against 149 hp for the Chevy. The EPA rates its electric range at 37 miles, and its fuel efficiency in range-extending mode at 33 miles per gallon on the combined cycle.
High-end luxury cars are leased at a much greater rate than lower-priced mass-market vehicles, and Cadillac is also offering what it calls an "ultra-low-mileage" 39-month lease on the ELR, for $699 a month and $5,999 down.