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Cadillac ELR compared to the Tesla Model S

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Calvin.K, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Calvin.K

    Calvin.K Member

    Nov 24, 2013
    Stevens Point, WI
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    May 17, 2009
    Las Vegas, NV
    Looks like the link is missing.
  3. AmpedUP

    AmpedUP EV Nut

    Dec 4, 2013
    Herndon, VA
    Wow, what an embarrassing comparison. What is Cadlillac thinking? Is the consumer supposed to choose the car with 84 hp over the one with 362 hp because it is $5000 cheaper? This is before you get to anything else different between the two cars.
  4. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

    Oct 31, 2011
    #4 Jeff N, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
    The link doesn't work on my iPhone but the ELR is rated 157-181 hp in "EV" mode and up to 217 hp in hybrid mode since the battery pack is used in addition to the 84 hp gas engine when it is on. That's still a lot less than the 302 hp of a 60 kWh Model S. On the other hand, the ELR is 400-600 pounds lighter (4050 pounds vs. 4484 pounds for the 60 kWh or 4647 pounds for the 85 kWh).
  5. palmer_md

    palmer_md Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Sacramento, CA
    wow, look at all the options they added to the BMW. And its still $20k less expensive. Pretty much sold me on the BMW if I wanted a car that had a gas tank.
  6. Adm

    Adm Active Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Fascinating... the ELR has no fuel injection, so I have to assume it has a carburator? lol

    Obviously they have never used Google, or they would have found the EPA numbers of the Model S too together with a picture of the competition. I am sure BMW and Tesla would have been happy to send someone over with a picture for them to scan and put on their website if Google isn't an option.

    It is disappointing the Model S can not start the gas engine it doesn't have remotely, but you can heat the interior using an app... wait, wouldn't that be telematics?

    I guess this says one of two things: 1) They think their clients a morons 2) They are incompetent morons.
  7. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Apr 3, 2009
    definitely an interesting page... They didn't make their case as to why I'd buy an ELR
  8. Takumi

    Takumi Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Cadillac isn't doing the thinking here. They contracted it out to a company who is using Chrome Data. Seems like GM doesn't really care if this car sells or not.
  9. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Dec 19, 2008
    Sad. Why any company would do a comparison like that on a product they want to sell is beyond me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm going to go with option 2.
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Nov 10, 2011
    You're assuming they want it to sell.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Queue Chad's post about compliance cars, etc.
  11. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

    Jan 18, 2013
    Simi Valley, CA
    What kind of comparison is that? most random comparison i've seen. ELR vs. Model S vs. 4 Series

  12. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

    Dec 25, 2011
    Wait...BMW has a 4-series? ;)
  13. Lithium

    Lithium Banned

    Feb 9, 2015
    Memphis TN
    Cadillac ELR Verses Tesla S – Just The Straight Facts

    Cadillac ELR Verses Tesla S – Just The Straight Facts


    Electric cars – what’s not to love, they are fun to drive, powerful and helping to clean the earth’s air. Most important, electric power is contributing to slay those thieving “Gasoline Demons” who have been killing us at the pump for years! Isn’t it amazing, just as electric cars begin to take hold, they lower the price of gas to lure us back to the pumps!

    Electric or hybrid’s cars are not new, long before “The Prius” way back in the early 1900’s, there were electric powered vehicles, in fact one of Jay Leno’s favorite cars is his; 1909 Baker Electric, an electric powered car which sold new for around $1000. The Baker could reach a speed of 25 mph with its 9-speed controller drum. The car used rechargeable “Tomas Edison” batteries, producing 96 amps. This great early example, showed the feasibility of electric even back when gas cars were just taking a foothold in the U.S.


    More recently in the 70’s, a Mr. Victor Wouk and Charlie Rosen formed Petro-Electric Motors, a company where they took a Buick Skylark frame and built an electric hybrid car. Wouk’s predictions were that hybrids could reach up to 80-mpg. Mr. Wouk’s demise would be the EPA, who had hundreds of reasons why the car would not meet their guidelines and therefore rejected it. The project ended in defeat but primarily because fuel was 28 cents a gallon, Mr. Wouk felt no one would consider a hybrid car until fuel was at least one dollar a gallon! Oh Well. . . .


    Today’s electric cars are expensive and rightfully so, lithium cells are still in they’re infancy with regard to affordable manufacturing. While there are many different battery technologies, all are expensive. The lithium AA cells used in the Tesla are the most economical - while no one knows for certain other than Tesla, word is their cost is around $350 per kilowatt. Other electric car companies use custom made cells for their cars, which are considerably more expensive. In any case, when you look into electric powered vehicles, there is a much higher MSRP, to help absorb the expense of lithium cells and the billions spent on research & development.
    Along with new technology there is a lot of unknown, so there’s a media frenzy on these new electric cars - I’ve gotten to the point where I almost avoid watching promotional videos on new electric cars – most portray this perfect “Make Believe Electric Car World” where we just drive our “battery only” cars and just plug in almost anywhere to re-charge instantly, however this is not the case.
    The biggest problem with electric vehicles is the majority of the charging stations are located in larger cities and places where most drivers would rather not be. To make matters worse, most are not within range of each other. With this in mind, “battery only” cars even today, still remain unsuitable for anything other than local driving.
    With this in mind, the perfect electric car is one that is capable of providing mileage for local every day use, which can be charged in the safety of your home. No driver willfully wants to be stranded at a remote charging station for hours on his or her journey.

    While on the subject of charging stations, one thing is certain, when you’re driving a luxury car you want to be selective just where you stop. After all this is 2015, and it’s just not safe to sit idle at some unknown location in a metropolitan city while you’re charging your $120K+ luxury car, especially as some low-life’s pull up in a old rusty pickup to buy beer and lottery tickets, all the while gazing at your wife and car and you can’t get out of there!
    The question is; why would anyone want to expose themselves and their family to be essentially stranded and defenseless for up to hours at a time at an unknown location. Recently an owner was charging his car behind a Chili’s restaurant and was robbed of his valuables and his Tesla S, at gunpoint. This activity is becoming commonplace since thieves know of these charging stations and the caliber of the clients who frequent them.


    While in due time our electric network will evolve, for now, we have to face reality that we’re still living in this “gas pump” world and driving your electric car a long distance, is a challenge rather than a convenience. As I mentioned, charging needs to be done in the safety of your home - and not on the streets of our major cities. So my point is; we’re not quite ready for “battery only” cars. If you’re presently considering an electric car, the most important option you can get, is a gasoline powered range extender. While you’ll seldom need it, the RX is your lifeline when you fall overboard and your batteries are depleted.

    Best Value – When a new buyer enters the electric car arena, it very confusing. While there is a vast amount of smaller electric cars in the market that all seem to perform well, which I’ll cover in an upcoming article, I’ll concentrate this effort on high-end electrics, so let’s look at two models with different technology; the popular Tesla S, a luxury “Battery Only” powered sedan, and the Cadillac ELR, a luxury “Sports Coupe” that is also battery powered but incorporates a gas engine generator or “RX” to provide current to the motor, as well as charge the batteries.


    Tesla Motors - Tesla began business in 2003, their first release was an “electric only” roadster, which proved the company had the know-how to produce an electric car for consumers. In 2009, Tesla unveiled the “Model S” a luxury sedan concept car powered solely by lithium batteries with no range extender. A few years after, in 2012, they delivered the first Model S a long-range electric model. Tesla has since continued to develop their “battery only” models with many advancements such as an all wheel drive model.
    The Tesla S 60kw base MSRP is $69K, the base model comes with basic interior, features, wheels and electronics, therefore the buyer has to purchase a number of options to reach luxury levels of other competitor electrics. To bring the Tesla S to the standards of other luxury electric cars, such a Porsche Panamera or ELR, the Tesla’s price prices at around $100,000.

    Cadillac ELR – The ELR made its first appearance in 2009 at the Detroit Auto Show. After years of development and proven use, in 2013 Cadillac began production in the same Detroit plant that produces the popular Chevy Volt electric. By combining electric batteries and an efficient gas powered generator concept, the ELR has managed an EPA rating of 82 MPGe, just 2 mpg shy of the battery only Tesla S 85Kw, which is rated at 85 MPGe.

    The Cadillac Converj - Concept Car that inspired the ELR


    The ELR offers a 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery capable of up to 40-45 miles of range, in warmer climates; ELR’s are getting up to 50 miles. This range is generally enough for the average daily commute with zero emissions. Research shows that 80% of daily commuters travel 40 miles or less each day.
    Unlike the Tesla, the ELR also incorporates a 1.4-liter range-extending gasoline engine, capable of 35-40 mpg. This engine drives a generator to supply extra current for the electric drive as well as the capability to charge its own batteries in route. Should the ELR’s batteries reach a lower level of charge, the gas motor kicks in automatically and the car is driven in a normal manner for 340 miles on one tank of fuel, or even thousands of miles by refueling.

    Price Comparison - Before we go any further, lets examine the price of a fully loaded ELR and Tesla S. The ELR offers only two upgrade package options totaling $3,690. Therefore, a fully loaded ELR with every option has a MSRP of around $75K before dealer discounts.
    To get a comparable equipped Tesla S, and reach ELR levels of options the buyer will have to spend around $30K for options over and above the $69K base price, which raises the Tesla to a price of $100K. This price does not include any crash avoidance system, or any advanced cruise control features included in with the ELR.

    Basic Tesla $69,900

    Battery Upgrade 85Kw – ELR Not Needed – Tesla $10,000
    Navigation Tech Pkg. - ELR Included – Tesla $4,250
    Super Charger Enabled- ELR Not needed – Tesla $2000
    Wheel Set – ELR 20” Included – Tesla $2,500
    Premium Interior Leather – ELR Included – Tesla $3,500
    Parking sensors – ELR Included – Tesla $500
    Dual Chargers – ELR Not needed – Tesla $1,500
    Sound System - ELR Bose 10 spk Included / Tesla $2,500
    Upgraded Headliner – ELR Included – Tesla $1,500
    Accent Interior lights – ELR Included – Tesla $1000
    Exclusive Rear Bucket Seats - ELR Included – Tesla $2,000

    Here’s an actual quote from the Tesla site for the Tesla 85 model, which come to $98,570. This is not the high-end P85D model, which is an additional $24,600. When considering this high cost, it would seem logical for Tesla to include some type of range extender as other manufactures offer for their customer’s peace of mind.


    New ELR Factory Incentives – With GM’s new lower price of their remaining 2014 ELR inventory, it makes the ELR “hands down” the best buy of any luxury electric car in the market, until they are gone, you can buy a fully loaded ELR for less than $50K. A dealer in Atlanta had eight ELR’s last month and he’s now down to 2 cars and just raised them up $10K from last week.


    Looking back - The ELR’s original MSRP pricing (before discounts) wasn’t that far out of line when compared to other electric vehicles, they were $25K less than a comparable Tesla, and 15K less than a Porsche Panamera. Regretfully, due to poorly informed gasoline reviewers, who knew nothing of electrics, followed by bad threads from the “Forum Trolls, the ELR did not sell as expected even though the car “hit the ground” mechanically perfect and performed as advertised.

    I presently own three electrics; a BMW I8 – BMW I3 RX, and a Cadillac ELR. Before I purchased my ELR, I looked into owning a Tesla. After spending months researching the charging networks on the web and social media, I found we’re years away from any reliable network, plus I’m not going to expose myself the misery of sitting in some unknown parking lots out of town. Finally after evaluating the technology the Tesla offered, combined with my experience at the Tesla dealer, I decided on the ELR, after all it was half the coat of the Tesla and I had no range anxieties to worry about.

    On my first Tesla ride, I found myself disappointed with the overall common looking interior of the car. Maybe I’m old school, but if you’re happy driving down the road with what looks like a Sony flat screen TV turned sideways on the dash then fine, myself, I want my interior to have the look and feel of a luxury car, I did not feel that in the Tesla.


    Regretfully, with the over sized monitor, Tesla deleted almost every single button and knob which forces their drivers to smudge their fingers on the screen using menus to access everyday common used features. If you unexpectedly end up in fog or a dark tunnel, there’s not even a headlight switch on the dash. Minimal tasks like closing the sunroof requires switching screens, followed by moving a slider or poking a button on the monitor. I don’t know about you guys, if I’m too hot or cold, I just want to grab the old proverbial knob and turn it. If my windows are fogging up, give me a little “mini windshield button” to push, if the radio is too loud, you have to give me a dedicated knob to turn the thing down, almost every auto manufacture has discarded the sliders and went back to the common “volume” knob again. Tesla needs to put those buttons and knobs back where they belong, we all like monitors, but not for everything in the car.

    Here’s a comparison of the ELR and Tesla dashboards.



    Interior - Another thing that bothered me was when the salesperson told me the base model, ($70K) had no leather, she said; “you get vinyl seats, vinyl door panels, cloth headliner, which was unexpected, this is a luxury sedan right?
    Making matters worse, there was no interior storage in the console or door pockets, just “plain Jane” front bucket seats and an event-less back seat. To makes matter worse, she informed me the car only comes in black or white as standard colors. As we walked over to the “Dreaded Board of Options” on the showroom wall with all the pretty wheels and options, she quickly disclosed that everything, and I mean everything, was thousands of dollars in upgrades. Much to my surprise, the base Tesla is exactly that; “basic” the car comes essentially stripped for $70K. As I left the dealer, I began to wonder if they have ever sold just a basic car yet!


    Tesla GPS - You would think with that monster monitor, the Tesla GPS would be earth shattering - but it’s not. The GPS is very basic, it uses “free” Google maps, but you need an optional Garmin upgrade for navigation, and so unless you shell out a whooping $3750 for their upgrade package, you’ll have to use your Smart phone to navigate the car.
    Even at that excessive option price, Tesla still does not provide a real “Electric Car” Nav system, like the BMW I3 or I8 offers. With a BMW Nav, when you route to a destination, it uses real current highway topography; hills, mountains, traffic and the best roads to calculate the power and route most effective for your electric car. The computer also adjusts the remaining range miles displayed, for that destinations terrain and distance. In addition, the BMW system shows a “battery range overlay”, so you can instantly zoom back and see a ghost image of where your actual battery range will take you with the different ECO modes, to include traffic and weather and charging stations all without any calculating.

    BMW Advanced GPS System


    High Voltage Batteries - Another feature of the Tesla that troubles me is the batteries - I’m just not comfortable driving an electric car around with “7000” batteries, yes, there is seven thousand sort of “AA” size lithium battery cells that were originally designed to power lap top computers in the Tesla. Regretfully, this equates to 7000 possibilities of a battery failure or thermal runaway or about 6000 more cells then most other electrics cars. Unlike most manufactures, which build their battery modules specifically for electric car use, at a higher cost, Tesla has a monopoly to purchase these PC laptop cells by the millions and uses them for power. The part that bothers me is the fact it takes an unbelievable; 14,000 battery connections to wire these up to the system. Unlike the Tesla with this slew of batteries, the Cadillac ELR, only has 288 cells. Even if the ELR matched the Tesla in 60kw battery capacity, it would still only have 850 cells; 6000 less cells than the Tesla!


    Network Of Dealers – Unlike ELR, you won’t have a thousand of Cadillac dealers for service. While Tesla prides itself with good service, where they come out with a roll-back, unload the loaner and pick your car up should you have a problem, regretfully, there isn’t a lot of Tesla dealers and service centers as of yet. In addition, there is an absence of Tesla dealers in remote areas.
    Another reason I swayed from buying a Tesla was after reading there is a petition to state regulators for legislation to ban Tesla dealers and revoke their license for selling direct to consumers in Georgia. I understand there are now many states that have already barred Tesla from selling direct. I’m not saying this is right or wrong, but it something to be concerned with.

    Range Anxiety - When comparing the Tesla to other high-tech electric drive systems like; BMW I8, I3, ELR, Porsche and others with RX capability, you’ll find the Tesla design remains very basic with batteries, converter and motor drive, with no options in the event of depleted battery other than a tow truck. Our Tesla dealer led us to believe we could just drive anywhere, plug in when needed and travel state to state without any concern of battery depletion. However, its common knowledge the charging networks are not in place and range anxiety is a real concern among Tesla drivers. Recent predictions show we’re still some 5-10 years from having any kind of reliable network for “state to state” travel in remote areas.

    Charging Stations - All those fancy promotional videos with the cute girl with the cut off dress smiling, as she plugs in her car is a fantasy, if you’re lucky enough to find a charging station, more than likely someone will have the cord stuck in their car or parked in front of the station while they are out riding around in his friends gas powered car. The chances are pretty good you might have to sit there for hours waiting for someone to show up and get a minimal charge.
    I live in North Georgia, over here they are just now figuring out what gas stations are, much less some high tech charging station. I pulled into a Shell station with my I3 and asked the attendant if there were any electric car charging stations in town, and he gave me directions to the local dinner; he said “they have 110v plugs on each table” Hello!

    This is an all to common scene at charging stations – bad neighborhood & waiting!


    Don’t let these so-called; promotional “Supercharger State Crossings” fool you into thinking you can travel most anywhere – you cannot! These trips are carefully orchestrated and routed with timed connections where owners are stopping at pre-planned Tesla dealers and charging depots to include eating, chatting, talking and fondling cars, sleeping, etc. These are rally’s, which does not simulate “real world” traveling.
    At least for myself - when I’m traveling, I hate to stop for anything - I mean it bothers me to wait 5 minutes to fuel up, what are these drivers doing? Most sessions with waiting and charging can be up to hours. Myself - I would go absolutely nuts, give me a range extender or something to get me back on the road!

    Technology – Lets compare the Tesla to the Cadillac ELR. You don’t have to be an engineer to quickly see the technology of the Cadillac ELR is considerably advanced of that of the Tesla. The ingenious design of the Volt and ELR’s; engine - generator is unlike any other drive system. In brief, it uses a traction motor and a generator motor controlled my the onboard processor, the ELR looks at requirements and has the ability to turn any of the two motors into a traction or generator motor modes depending on needs. As an example, on a long down hill run, instead of just using the generator to re-generate power for the batteries, it also uses the traction motor as a generator for additional regeneration.

    ELR’s 4-cylinder Range Extender Engine



    The Cadillac ELR is a smart car, it monitors thousands of operations and makes millisecond changes, so as you travel down the road, the suspension, steering, handling and battery management is changing as needed. The ELR’s gas powered range extender transparently fires up without you even knowing it. In retrospect - if you want to get involved in driving, the ELR lets you select from four distinct “management modes” that actually do something.
    You the operator determine how you share the engine or battery use. The ELR’s “Touring Mode” lets you drive your ELR in perfect silence with a smooth ride and comfortable steering. Switch over to “Sport Mode” and the suspension, steering and throttle response all change for a more hi-tech feel on curves and maneuvering at high speeds. In this mode, the ELR monitors speed, lean, distance from the tire to fenders and in milliseconds and makes needed changes for improved handling. Want to switch from electric to gas power - there are two options; by selecting “Mountain Mode” the ELR fires up the engine and runs it at a slightly higher RPM so as you reach the bottom of the hill, you have both the batteries and the engine generator current to climb and sustain speed, an option not found on “battery only” cars.
    If you’re driving along and your battery is low and you need it for some upcoming city driving, by selecting; “Mountain Mode” again, the high-powered generator on the engine will quickly within minutes re-charge the high voltage battery in route to a pre-set SOC, so you have a reserve of electric power for use at a later time.
    The ELR also has a “Hold Mode” this enables you to run the engine at a slower speed to power the car and save your battery for a later leg of the trip, say perhaps for stop and go city traffic.

    Even the ELR’s fuel system is high-tech - GM realized that most ELR owners would seldom put fuel in the their car, so they use a high pressurized fuel tank system to help preserve the fuel. In addition, the processor has a built in “engine exercise mode” where the engine will run on occasion to keep things lubricated and provide the need of fresh gas in the fuel system.

    There are many other advanced ELR features such as the heating and cooling of the cabin and batteries. There are three separate heating / cooling systems in the ELR; One for the gasoline engine, one for the batteries and lastly for the electric drive motors.
    Everyone knows that below freezing temperature’s drastically reduce lithium battery performance, so GM designed a unique feature exclusive to ELR to cope with it. During extreme cold weather driving below 32 degree’s, the ELR’s processor will automatically fire up the engine at idle speed and run it intermittently to maintain the engine coolant temperature from 118 degrees to 145 degrees, which circulates through the batteries to provide “summer like” battery performance and to additionally heat the cabin interior thus avoiding the high current draw of an element heater or the reduced performance of a heat pump system during frigid weather.


    Take a minute and look at the ELR and the Tesla with the body off – these images leave little doubt which chassis cost more to manufacture or is more advanced than the other? Clearly the ELR is a refined piece of equipment years ahead of Tesla’s “battery only” technology.



    Your Security - The range extender option in an electric car is what makes electric driving an experience and avoids the possibility on every electric car owners mind of being stranded somewhere with no battery. Unlike “battery only” technology, you won’t find yourself sitting in some charging station in; Chicago, Atlanta or Miami in the middle of the night waiting to charge up, or find yourself spending the night in a motel waiting for morning to find a safe place to plug in.
    With the ELR, it’s the driver’s decision where they go and when they go. You don’t have to make special plans or detours or un-scheduled stops for hours at major cities looking for a charging station.
    If you wish to drive your electric ELR from Miami to LA, you just go. You have a Hybrid car that re-generates power while your driving and an engine that gets 35-40 mpg that will last the life of the car. You’re driving an electric vehicle and you don’t have a care in the world about being stranded. AS I stated earlier – “Charging should be done at home where it’s safe and not on some public street”.

    Standard 110 Volt Charging – With the ELR, you get 35-40 miles on a charge, generally enough to drive to and from work, do chores, eat, etc. When you get home, you just plug her in any 110-volt house circuit, by morning the “LED Charging Status Mirrors” quit flashing and you’re ready to go again. On a trip, or visiting a friend, just bring the supplied cord with you and “grab a few miles” before you head home.
    While the ELR easily charges its empty battery pack overnight on a 110-volt household plug, charging a depleted battery on the Tesla on 110 volts can take up to “76 Hours” to fully charge. That’s “3 days” of charging! While of course there are faster charging options to shorten this time, it involves considerable cost of a high output charger and an electrician to wire up a 220-volt circuit. While all homes have a 110-volt outlet within reach of their car, you’ll seldom if ever find a 220/240 outlet.

    0-60 Speed - I sometimes wonder why there is such importance on how many seconds it takes to get to 60 mph. Isn’t the whole thing about electric cars to conserve the batteries for more range? Like driving a gas-powered car, we all know there’s a fuel cost penalty for stomping the throttle.
    If a guys buying a Corvette, Porsche, or BMW sports car, I can understand the need for speed, but for the life of me I can’t understand why anyone driving a Tesla or Buick family sedan needs to go 0-60 in 4 seconds, I’m just not getting it. Regretfully, you’re going to see a lot of accidents form this “Trigger Pedal” throttle. Most Tesla owners are older group and many have no idea how to handle this type of acceleration. The only thing this 0-60 speed thing contributes to is more elderly-people crashing through the front of shops and restaurants! He’s an example!


    While on the subject let’s examine the 0-60 speed of the ELR and the Tesla S 60 kw. The ELR clocks it right at 7 seconds and the Tesla at 6 sec, so the ELR is a little over a second slower than the Tesla. However, when considering the "Per-Capita" amount of batteries each car has available, the ELR is the more efficient system since its only using one-third the batteries of the Tesla. The ELR has 16.5 KW battery set and the Tesla has 60 KW battery set, therefore the Tesla has around "three times" the amount of batteries and amperage as the ELR, yet it’s only a second faster. In addition, the ELR also has to carry the weight of the 4-cylinder gas engine, generator and a tank of gas. Therefore, obtaining a similar 0-60 speed with only 1/3 the batteries, shows the ELR has the more efficient driveline. Also working against Tesla is the extra battery weight, making it 600 pounds heavier than the ELR.
    Remember - just because a car has a quicker 0-60 speed does not necessarily mean it’s more efficient or more powerful. There are many factors such as; electric motor size, gearing, tire size, ratios, electric motor design, windings, etc. You also have to consider the cars aerodynamic design, weight, etc. Don’t make your decision on an electric car based on just the 0-60 specs; it’s just a small part of a big picture.

    Comparable Mileage – When considering the cost of operation, both the Tesla and the ELR they are amazingly close. The Tesla’s model S 85kw’s EPA rating is 85 MPGe, and the Cadillac ELR is at 82 MPGe, which means ELR owners with an onboard RX can enjoy similar operating costs without being limited to where and when they travel as you are with the Tesla.

    Interior Design – While both cars advertise premium interiors, when I sat in the Tesla, I instantly felt there was something missing. Not certain if it’s the absence of the buttons & knobs, the ordinary seats and trim or what, something is missing.
    The ELR’s interior comes standard with leather, on the Tesla they charge $3,500 for their leather package - then another $2,000 for what they call “Executive Rear Seats”. That’s $5,500 for the same thing you get in the ELR as standard equipment. I also heard there’s a $1000 charge for an upgraded headliner. Anyway you look at it, when you compare the images below; there is a world of difference between the interior of the Tesla when compared to other electrics such as the ELR, BMW I8, or Porsche Panamera.

    Cadillac ELR Interior design




    Tesla Interior Design



    BMW I8 Interior


    While on the subject of interiors - other luxury “plug in” Hybrids such as the Porsche Panamera, with a supercharged engine / generator, and electric drive producing 416 hp, air ride suspension and loaded with every option available has a street price of around $90K. The Panamera has technology far and beyond even the Tesla 85D and sells for $40K less. The looks and interior on Panamera sedan, is nothing short of outstanding – no shortage of buttons or knobs for Porsche.




    Getting The Best Value - While we all accept the fact electric technology is expensive; we still want the most electric car we can get for my money. When you weigh the advantages of the Cadillac ELR with its 40-50 mile range, sleek styling, features and standard luxury interior combined with the security of an economical range extender that can go Miami to LA – there is nothing else in its class.

    In conclusion, while Tesla continues to advertise they are “state of the art” in electric vehicles, the Model S, falls into just a basic “battery only” category, missing a range extender to give their owners piece of mind and the ability to “charge at home” instead of the unsafe public charging “restrooms” for electrics.
    Simple logic dictates you can’t just keep adding batteries to get more range, at a certain point the complexity of the additional batteries and their weight, overwhelm the gain in range. The “Battery Bloated” Tesla is an example of too much of a good thing does not always work. Logic tells us; we don’t need more batteries, we need more efficient batteries!
    Most important - the ability to build a state of art electric car is earned only after years of auto manufacturing experience, Tesla remains a young company, where its technology comes from recruiting talent from other major manufactures.
    Electric technology is not something that is earned in a few years, it takes decades, testimonial is Tesla spent years with failed attempts to produce a workable 2-speed transmission, when in contrast the BMW I8 hybrid not only has a 2-speed transmission for the electric powered front axle, it also uses a 6 speed transmission for the twin turbo gas engine on the rear axle, which works seamlessly and shifts so perfect it is undetectable by the driver.

    While I’m not trying to compare the I8 to the Model S, one still has to respect the amazing technology that has poured into the BMW I8. It’s the worlds first offering of a feather-weight carbon fiber life module, 4 wheel drive using both electric & gas combined, true concept car design and aerodynamics with the lowest coefficient number of any car in its class. The best part is the I8 sells for a $140K, and is only replicated by two other car manufactures in the world, and both are priced in the one-million dollar range. The I8 remains “hands down” the most advanced electric car in the world!



    Time for Change - Tesla’s present marketing plan that offers a stripped down sedan for $70K is both confusing to new time buyer and does not represent what most would expect from a luxury car. Tesla needs to market their cars like other high-end manufactures such as; Porsche, Cadillac, BMW who offer a luxury electrics, with equipment consumers are expecting and quit offering $30,000 of options which are being offered as standard equipment on other luxury cars.

    My recommendation as a consumer - is for Tesla to add the expected options; electronics, wheels, leather, upgraded seats, headliner, GPS, etc., then price the car at $100K where other electrics are, and move on. Tesla builds a great car – by charging a respectable price they will remain strong. Also, its important that their customers know the “Plug-in Network” is presently not in place, nor will not be for years to come and “battery only” car owners are and will have issues finding charging stations and the safe use of them for some time to come.

    Major auto manufactures with their millions of loyal users, such as; Cadillac, BMW, Porsche and others with decades of experience who spent billions on “Smart Electric’s” with RX capability, rather than just load a car with batteries and pass it off as a luxury sedan will prevail regardless of how well funded Tesla is. This is a social media world and consumers learn quickly when comparing cars.

    Electric car technology is moving at light speed, even Apple has an electric car in the works, so get ready, in the next 5 years we’ll see new battery technology and range that most of us would think un-attainable. My best advise to consumers is “Don’t move faster than the technology” or you’ll find yourself on the side of the road.


    ELR Electric Hybrid Coupe | Cadillac
  14. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    May 17, 2009
    Las Vegas, NV
    #14 dsm363, Feb 15, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
    So gas stations are always in safe places and crime never happens there either? Should all gas stations have armed guards that make them inherently safer than a Supercharger station? I don't get that leg of your argument. The ELR is a nice but cramped car that bombed in the market. I understand how that would be upsetting to people who own the car but the car proved to be the jack of all trades in the EV world but master of none. The Model S may just a limited range but it's EV range is 5-7 times bigger, holds more people, and is quicker. The ELR is a fine car but much like the Model S isn't tje right car for everyone, neither is the ELR or any PHEV.
  15. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Feb 6, 2011
    Columbia River Gorge
    If I'd followed this advice, I would have lost out on the last 4 years of driving a Roadster.

    Technology always has some new thing 'right around the corner'. Faster, cheaper, better. You can wait for it, but by the time it comes, there are rumors of something better yet. And you will spend your life not jumping in, out of fear of missing out on the next best thing.

    Love my Roadster and wouldn't give up a mile I've driven in it. And I'll love my Model X just as much. And my Roadster will sit beside it, still be driven, even though it is crude in comparison to what is available today.

    But lord. It's just as much fun to drive today as it was when I bought it. And will be just as much fun tomorrow.

    Jump in. Don't keep waiting. That's how life passes you by...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Pssssst. You might want to fact-check a little more closely. Of course you can charge a Tesla Model S (or Roadster, for that matter) at home. It's where most owners charge. And it's not some specialized outlet. Sure, you can install an HPWC - but you can charge off any outlet. (Check Tesla's website to learn more about charging a Model S.)

    Personally, I like waking up to a full battery every morning and avoiding those gas station 'restrooms' that you speak of.

  16. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

    Nov 30, 2013
    South Surrey, BC
    Wow, just wow. Us old farts don't need speed, and besides we have no idea how to handle it anyway. Unbelievable. The acceleration is one of the best things about the car and who cares about a little extra battery juice, it's not gas, no sound, no fumes, just pure, clean fast acceleration. But those things should be reserved only for young people, because we know how cautious young people are with fast cars.

    Nice pictures in the article to see the comparisons in interiors and dashboards. Reading the words is a waste of time unless you need a sudden rise in blood pressure.
  17. the dude

    the dude Member

    Jan 2, 2015
    Olympus Mons
    I think you miss the point about the model S and electric cars in general, they are far less complex than the usual ICE or hybrid, thats why in the long term pure electric will beat all other drive systems
  18. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Feb 6, 2011
    Columbia River Gorge
    I thought the part you quoted was a joke. It's not?? I thought I was going through rear tires because of the fun I have accelerating through tight curves and hearing my passengers scream, 'For the love of GOD, my lungs are compressing, I can't breathe!!!'.

    But obviously it can't be that, because I obviously would have no idea how to handle real acceleration. -snort- I need to talk to the tire company because I'm obviously getting defective tires.
  19. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

    Jun 9, 2013
    Dallas, Texas
    @ Lithium:
    Oh my goodness.
    Maybe I should have waited and gotten an ELR.
    Or wait longer for a 2016 Volt.
    Or wait even longer still for a Bolt.
    Well, I didn't wait, and I am thrilled and humbled to be able to own and drive a Model S.

    I have almost 33K on my Model S since June of 2013, and have been to BOTH the Atlantic Coast (with ZERO Superchargers in 2013) and the entire West Coast and Canada (almost ENTIRELY Supercharged trip in July 2014).

    EVERY vehicle made has some sort of mileage and operational constraint.
    Eventually everyone needs some sort of fuel or recharging.
    You learn your vehicle's strengths, and drive accordingly.

    Just before the end of last year, I looked to see how well Tesla was doing on its promise: the Supercharger Network was to serve 80% of the US population.
    Here is a quick summary:

    My understanding is that over 50 percent (actually 52%) of the US population lives within 50 miles of an ocean, and in 20% of the country's land area (excluding Alaska).

    So in reviewing the current Tesla Supercharger MAP:
    ** The East coast is covered by Superchargers, except for the upper part of Maine's wilderness (pop. 1,328 K).
    ** The West Coast is covered by Superchargers. Period.
    ** The Gulf Coast does have some spots that need to be filled in, and Tesla has a couple underway that may still be completed before the end of the year.

    IF we are using the criteria that the ALL current 4 major sports leagues locate their team franchises in cities with populations large enough to support them, I notice ONLY three US cities that are currently not served by the Supercharger NETwork: New Orleans (Saints and Pelicans), Memphis (Grizzlies) and OKC (Thunder).
    (My apologies to several (4) Canadian cities with NHL teams that are currently not connected, but the established criteria is US population).

    Since the above was written, on Dec. 4, 2014, New Orleans is now on the Supercharger Network (well at least the Texas Island portion of the
    So, you happen to live on one of the two major metropolitan areas (Memphis and OKC) that are NOT currently being served by Superchargers.
    By the end of 2015, that situation will be fully resolved, and 98% of the US population will be served by Superchargers.

    Cadillac is moth-balling the ELR, and GM will spend significant sums of money trying to re-introduce it and make it a viable competitor to the Model S.
    It failed to meet the public's criteria for the level of design, performance and efficiency (and cost).

    A guy in my office who has a Volt wanted to buy am ELR at a greatly reduced price.
    Not because it is a great car, but @ less that $45K, it would be a good price (and priced accordingly).
    Actually two guys in my office wanted to buy an ELR, but the Cadillac dealer still wanted too much money, so those two units are still sitting on the dealer's lot.
    Oh, and regarding "elderly drivers", the local Cadillac Dealers are always sold out of Escalade SUVs.
    To elderly drivers.
    Go figure.

    BTW, the above
    photo of a white Model S is very out of date: that is a pre-production model.
    I'm sure if you searched for a bit, you can find a photo of a current S60, S85, S85D or P85D.

    Your pricing analysis is a bit off: If you order any 85, you do NOT need to spend an additional $2,000 for access to the Supercharger Network.
    IF you ordered a S60, you have the Option of enabling the car to use the Supercharger Network for $2,000.

    The Supercharger Network makes the Model S an unbelievably viable road car.
    No other manufacturer has thought of, much less executed such a massive undertaking.
    Oh yeah, BMW has a couple of charging ports: at their dealership.
    Same with Nissan, a couple at their dealership.

    I hope you are able to travel to visit a nearby location that has test drives, and you get a chance to drive a Model S.
    Any of them, even an S60.
    They are THAT good.

    If you want to think that all luxury cars need to comply with the same design criteria, then the Model S is not for you.
    There are many, many ways to tie a pair of shoes.
    If you instead review the Model S as a complete package that is something new, exciting and at the cutting edge of design and technology, you will be surely impressed.

  20. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Los Angeles
    More complex is not necessarily more advanced.

    A billion buttons is not superior to a touchscreen.

    Two is not necessarily better than one.

    A two tone watch is not superior to a solid gold watch.

    Adding a secondary full size ICE engine is not superior with all that entails. Fluids,filters,spark plugs, timing belts,
    complex transmissions,catalytic converters, exhaust pipes,and mufflers.

    A superior drivetrain only car is better than one with an advanced and one complex antique drivetrain.

    17000 American deliveries are better than 1300 sales( At $20k+ off MSRP to boot.)

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