This past weekend I went electric, on the road that is. My Buick Enclave was in for some maintenance at Scranton Motors in Vernon and they offered me a 2014 Cadillac ELR as a loaner, you know the electric Caddy? This swank coupe was most certainly not my father’s DeVille.
It’s not fully electric, but a hybrid. The first thing you notice when you drive the ELR is the sound. It is non-existent. It runs on a battery that you charge when you plug in. It’s very simple. I plugged it in at home, at a garage at a shopping center, and at work, where I juiced up alongside a Chevy Volt owned by one of my colleagues, WFSB Meteorologist Mark Dixon. There are several places to get a jolt in Metro Hartford.
Mark has long sung the praises of driving green and after three days with the ELR, I’m a believer, too. The Caddy was easy to charge, and goes about 40 miles on a single charge. It’s fast and in most ways was just like a gas powered car. It also looks very cool, unlike some other foreign made hybrids that look like an appliance whose primary purpose is to suck up crumbs. The ELR is manufactured in Hamtramck, Michigan, just outside Detroit.
My loaner attracted lots of attention. People wanted to know what it was and how it worked and a few valets marveled over it when I dropped it off. A guy with a Tesla asked me some questions about it, as did a buddy of mine who drives a Tesla. The Caddy also has these cool green lights that go on when it is charging in the dark.
The ELR is not cheap. A $74K price tag will be reduced by a rebate and incentive, and you will reduce your gas bill dramatically or perhaps eliminate it all together. It really is a great car and I loved the idea of being environmentally friendly, but I’m waiting for another electric vehicle that GM likely has in the pipeline: the Buick Electra. Seriously, is there a better name for a hybrid?