The Mercedes story runs like this. Mercedes-Benz USA president and CEO, Steve Cannon, said at the New York Auto Show last week that Tesla has "no network" and only offers "little shops that don't have service capacity." He also said: "Folks are buying a Tesla now because they're kind of cool, but if you're a Tesla buyer, you have to have multiple cars. With Mercedes, you have a whole network. You've got no worries. ... Tesla is great, but you've got plenty of well-established brands that mean luxury, like Porsche or Mercedes-Benz, and how long do you think we're going to wait and let Tesla be out there alone [selling premium electric cars]?"
For Cadillac's global chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, Tesla's EV success represents little other than "a great opportunity and a learning exercise for all of us, and will help us traditional manufacturers to think twice about electric mobility." He added that, "I am not afraid of Tesla. ... There is no willingness to really sacrifice on the traditional qualities of a luxury car. These are not cars for treehuggers, as treehuggers do not buy new luxury cars." Ellinghaus made the comments during a panel discussion at the 2014 Automotive Forum.
"Treehuggers do not buy new luxury cars" – Uwe Ellinghaus
Perhaps the lesson of Tesla's offer of free Supercharging to Model S owners is what led to Cadillac to recently announce a deal with Chargepoint that gives ELR drivers access to that company's 16,500 charging stations. Read more details on that below.
World's largest, most open electric vehicle charging network available to ELR drivers
NEW YORK – Cadillac today announced a partnership with ChargePoint, the largest and most open electric vehicle-charging network in the world. The collaboration brings Cadillac ELR drivers immediate access to more than 16,500 charging locations on the ChargePoint network.
The ELR electrified luxury coupe went on sale at the end of 2013. It embodies Cadillac's Art & Science design philosophy, combining provocative design with progressive technology. All 2014 and 2015 ELRs include a ChargePoint Driver Kit in the owner's manual, providing access to its 16,500 EV charging stations. Many are located where EV drivers work, eat, shop and play.
"ChargePoint is thrilled that Cadillac, a marquee brand in the luxury car industry, has developed an electric vehicle for its customers," said Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint CEO. "With the ELR, Cadillac is helping drive the rapid growth of EVs by offering an innovative and premium vehicle. We are confident that as more EV options come out, more people will make the switch to electric."
By choosing ChargePoint as a partner for the ELR, Cadillac ensures that car buyers know there is a robust charging network to support the growth of electric vehicles. The ELR has a total range of 340 miles and an all-electric range of 37 miles – which more than covers the average daily commute.
By providing a ChargePoint card with every ELR, drivers can immediately sign up for free and get access to ChargePoint's network.
"We strive to provide Cadillac buyers with the highest level of customer care and ease of use for their vehicles, which is why we chose to partner with ChargePoint for the ELR," said Uwe Ellinghaus, Global Cadillac chief marketing officer.
"ChargePoint's large network with advanced technology ensures the smoothest charging and greatest driving experience for ELR drivers," he said.
ChargePoint users have helped combat global warming by saving over 3.8 million gallons of gas and over 25 million pounds of CO2 emissions.
ChargePoint is the largest and most open electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the world, with more than 16,500 charging locations and a 70%+ market share. Ranked #1 by leading independent research firm, Navigant Research, ChargePoint makes advanced hardware and best-in-class cloud based software. ChargePoint's open network is utilized by many leading EV hardware makers and encourages all EV charging manufacturers to join.
ChargePoint's real-time network information including the availability of charging locations throughout the nation is available through the ChargePoint mobile app, online and via the navigation systems in top-selling EVs. Every 10 seconds, a driver connects to a ChargePoint station and by initiating over 4.4 million charging sessions, ChargePoint drivers have saved over 3.5million gallons of gasoline and driven 89 million gas free miles. For more information about ChargePoint, visit www.chargepoint.com
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com. Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com.