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.
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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.
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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.