There is a one-of-a-kind feature offered on the 2014 Cadillac ELR range-extended electric car that boosts its efficiency. It is dubbed “Regen On Demand.” By pushing on a button, one of two paddles is held behind the car’s steering wheel. This enables the powertrain to recharge the battery pack with power regenerated from the electric motor.
The Cadillac ELR drivers are able to proactively decide to catch energy when the car is already slowing down. Activating the Regen On Demand will decelerate the ELR in the same way as changing down a gear in a traditional car. Drivers who are going down a hill, nearing a tight turn, or approaching a red traffic light can pull the paddle to capture extra energy in the battery pack.
By releasing the paddle, the ELR can coast just like a normal car. Because of regenerative braking, the drive motor turns into a generator, enabling it to convert the car’s kinetic energy into electrical energy in the battery.
In a statement, Cadillac ELR chief engineer Chris Thomason said that by pulling back on the paddle to slow down, the driver gets a “more engaged, satisfying driving experience” and it’s actually wise to do it due to the additional benefit of getting back energy. The 2014 Cadillac ELR is based on the Chevrolet Volt but it features an electric motor with more power (with an output of 207 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque).
There’s a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack placed under the rear seats and cabin floor that offers sufficient power for the vehicle to be driven around 35 miles of all-electric driving. Just like the Volt, the ELR uses a 1.4-liter gasoline engine that recharges the battery for long trips as soon as the battery charge has run out. The two-door Cadillac ELR features upscale styling taken from other models, such as the CTS coupe. It also features a lavish interior with leather and wood trim, 20-way power seats, and carbon-fiber trim. It is likely to start selling in 2014 and is priced at $70,000.