Mention buying an electric vehicle, or even an extended-range electric vehicle, such as the Cadillac ELR, and there are some other considerations, such as, “How far can you go?” and “Where will you charge?”
For those familiar with the convenience of the Chevy Volt and her decidedly upscale cousin, the 2014 Cadillac ELR, the answer the first question is obvious, “As far as you like!” This is one of the specific advantages of the Chevy Volt / Cadillac ELR powertrain, which is equipped with a 16.5 kWh battery pack and a gasoline-powered generator. After an EV-Mode (electric vehicle) range of about 37 mi (59 km), the range-extender kicks in to charge vehicle systems and power the electric motor-generators.
That is certainly a blow for range anxiety, but it turns out that EREV owners rack up even more electric-vehicle miles than pure EV drivers do. While the official fuel economy rating is around 35 mpg (6.7 ℓ/100km), actual usage reflects fuel economy more in the range of 230 mpg (1 ℓ/100km). Some Volt owners, in spite of having fossil-fuel backup, boast over 5,000 mpg (less than 0.05 ℓ/100km)!
Of course, the only way to make such fuel economy possible would be making full use of the battery pack, reserving the range-extender for “special occasions.” Many people would immediately say they can recharge at home or on the run, which is true, but can be expensive. Indeed, most EREV buyers get some kind of home charging station installed, because the standard 120 V 12 A charging cable would require between 12 and 18 hours to fully charge the battery pack. A home LII 240 V charging station cuts that charge time to just five hours, perfect for off-peak late-night or early-morning charging, but can also run upwards of $3,000.
Early adopters of the 2014 Cadillac ELR in Canada, however, will like this little bit of news, then. The press release states “Cadillac is offering a complimentary 240-volt home charging station and installation to early buyers of the all-new 2014 ELR electrified luxury coupe.” We love the word complementary, not only for the charging station itself, but also for installation. Cadillac ELR is already a stunning piece of machinery, a highly fuel-efficient premium coupe. Adding a complementary home charging station is just icing on the cake, especially now that some tax incentives have already run out in Canada.
Image © Dave Pinter