Can a green car be both green and fun? Cadillac may have the answer in its Regen-On-Demand system, giving drivers fingertip control of the regenerative braking system.
The Cadillac ELR is an extended-range electric vehicle, built on architecture similar to its cousin, the Chevy Volt. Beyond that, it is a very different animal. Sporty and aggressive styling don’t evoke “electric vehicle,” much less “green car,” even though we know that electric vehicles are more fun to drive. Inside is everything you’d expect of a luxury car, including leather interior and wood paneling, as well as electronic safety and smart navigation systems.
Charging and driving the Cadillac ELR will reveal the true extent of this green car, but it’s performance shouldn’t leave the heart wanting in either direction. Most vehicles today are made with automatic transmissions, which leaves some people wanting for more. To give these people back their driving experience, specifically more control over shift points and gear changes, many vehicles feature electronic manual shifting, forcing the automatic to ignore it’s programming (within limits, of course).
Cadillace ELR’s Regen-On-Demand mimics this feeling of down-shifting, resulting in a more fun-to-drive experience. Tapping Regen-On-Demand kicks in regenerative braking, slowing the vehicle significantly for better control than simply using the brakes. At the same time, the car’s forward momentum is converted to electricity, which is stored the ELR’s 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack for the next acceleration.
“Regen-On-Demand is one of the key systems enabling the Cadillac ELR to merge performance with efficiency in a dynamic new way. Putting regenerative braking at the driver’s fingertips supports the ELR’s 340-mile total driving range while also adding a fun-to-drive element to the premium luxury coupe,” said Jim Vurpillat, Cadillac’s director of emerging markets.
Cadillac ELR’s Regen-On-Demand system is the winner of Green Car Journal’s 2014 Green Car Technology of the Year Award, which was announced yesterday, January 22, 2014, at the Washington Auto Show. (You can see my pick here, which I’m somewhat disappointed wasn’t correct. Oh well.)
Image © General Motors