Despite the financial ties between Daimler and Tesla Motors, at least one Mercedes exec thinks the electric automaker doesn't have a bright future. And over at Cadillac, the message is that Tesla doesn't pose a threat but offers the luxury arm of General Motors more of classroom experience.

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]?"

"Treehuggers do not buy new luxury cars" – Uwe Ellinghaus

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.

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.
Show full PR text
Cadillac and ChargePoint Bring EV Customer Luxury Driving Experience
World's largest, most open electric vehicle charging network available to ELR drivers

2014-04-16

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.

About ChargePoint

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

About Cadillac

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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      Jesse Gurr
      • 2 Months Ago
      "a great opportunity and a learning exercise for all of us, and will help us traditional manufacturers to think twice about electric mobility." Does he mean "think twice" as in "If you knew about the consequences of your actions you would think twice about it"? Or, Santa thinking twice about his naughty/nice list. Well, check twice, you get the idea. Think twice about being sure they get it right. Sounds like the first one.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Months Ago
      ftfy: Treehuggers do not buy Cadillacs. I am an environmentalist. I haven't bought a Tesla yet(key word), but the lease on my leaf will be up next spring and I am looking for a pure electric vehicle with more range and fast charging. I will never buy a Cadillac because GM will never make the car I want to buy.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Months Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        @ paulwesterberg Like you, I'm an environmentalist. However, I would seriously consider buying a Cadillac ELR. I guess it depends on your location and personal usage. I maybe wrong, but I suspect your dislike of GM is more political, than environmental.
          Grendal
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          I sat in one. Very nice. If the money is not an issue then I'd get one. It's got a nice sporty coupe feel to the car. Good luck.
        Ray Blackburn
        • 2 Months Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        I do not like big oil, that is why I purchased a Tesla and will never buy a gas car again. Tesla will go everywhere I need to go and fuel is free. GM is waiting for the CA mandate to go away again so they can stop making EV's. This article proves how out of touch they are. Insolent little bastards they will learn the hard way. Americans are dumb so maybe they won't take GM to task but I will. Why executives make decisions like this. The Volt is selling crappy so lets make a Volt car that costs twice as much. They are dinosaurs and you just can't help them, with thinking like this they are bound to become extinct. They truly do need Carlos Goshen at their helm to have a chance of surviving but he refused GM and the good old boy network that lives their Their aren't enough Marco's in the world to make this pig with lipstick profitable..
          Spec
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Ray Blackburn
          No, GM is not going to stop making EVs if the CA mandate changes. They can see the writing on the wall. They've invested even heavier into the Voltec platform. Yeah, they just have the Spark EV compliance car for now but they'll build pure EVs eventually.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Ray Blackburn
          @ Ray Blackburn, Ray, there comes a point where enthusiasm for something virtuous, becomes tainted by the much darker emotions of hatred and fanaticism. I don't hate "big oil", it's a huge and absolutely essential global industry. Nor do I hate GM, which employs millions of people world-wide. I don't even 'hate' ICE vehicles. Companies like GM are not on a 'moral crusade' nor are they bound to listen to the dictates of a few critics. Do you think calling other peoples choices "pigs with lipstick" , will endear them to your point of view ? Or do you think it just makes it more difficult for moderates like me, to persuade people to try EV technology ? Volt owners, love their vehicles. In your endeavour to support one brilliant example of US technology, why must you denigrate another ? Why be so offensive to all those EREV owners, whose circumstances may just be different from yours ? In Australia, I have a farming neighbour. Recently, he suffered a life threatening condition and couldn't be flown by helicopter, but needed to be transported 280 klm, by ambulance, to the nearest hospital that could save his life. The Ambulance was built by GM and powered by gasoline. The escorting Highway Patrol vehicle was made by GM and powered by gasoline. No EV could have saved that man's life. I'm sure he and his family, don't hate GM or 'big oil". The Tesla you drive, uses oil products for lubrication. The steel it's made from uses oil both to mine, and transport. It's plastic components and electronics, need oil products. It's batteries are shipped to America using oil, the black-top your Tesla drives on, is the product of " Big Oil ". Last year, America alone bought 16 million new vehicles, how many were pure EV's ? Gaining accolades from a few fellow GM or "big oil" haters, isn't very productive, if you alienate so may more more with intolerant fanaticism. ( How about playing revisiting an old McCartney /Lennon song, " Revolution", and actually listening to the lyrics :).
        Rotation
        • 2 Months Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        I think you have a different definition of treehugger than this person does. It is also my experience that treehuggers don't buy Teslas. They seem to favor much smaller cars. The kind of person who buys a Tesla is a person with quite a bit of money and perhaps likes to think of himself as an environmentalist. But not a person who is willing to "do without" to save the planet. And that's why they're not treehuggers. Ray Blackburn: What are you talking about? The Volt sells almost as well as the LEAF. And there is no evidence GM is looking for the mandate to go away. They sell 3 plug-in cars!
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          I see them pushing the Voltec technology but not the EV technology. They just comply, they do nothing to drive down prices through mass production of EV's. Put the same pack in as all the others and charge the same price. Like Ford they charged more at first but then they realized they wouldn't sell their compliance EV if they asked to much for it. Tesla and Leaf will lead the way, GM, Chrysler and Ford will follow kicking and screaming not leading. Foreign car corps lead, first Prius, now Leaf, Americans car corps follow. Then they do this Caddy thing. They won't put the Voltec technology where it is grossly needed because they already sell a ridiculous amounts of PU's. Bottom line is energy is still not expensive enough for Joe Public to pay attention to it. Their for GM does not have to pay attention either. Volt has helped people see the light, it has done it's job introducing people to what it is like to drive a EV. EV parts remain high because they are not being produced on the scale of ICE's. ICE parts remain low because they are being massed produced. GM will do it's part to make sure it stays this way for as long as possible. For as long as people demand nothing better and create change using their wallets to buy leaders. GM sells two hybrids and a EV. They sell their second hybrid application in such a weird way only the very strange will buy it thus limiting it's sales which is exactly what the CEO wants implemented. Make a big pretense that look like they are trying to implement EV drive trains. Their not. See Nissan. GM is nearly back to their scary EV1 commercials. They spend money on EV BS and yet, funny thing, they never seem to get much accomplished. It is a great way to get that cheap government money coming in and yet really don't make much headway in the EV sector. The mandate could go away today and you would see all these compliance cars go away just as quick. Tesla and Nissan would still be their. When the next gas crunch hits for whatever reason, you will see the Americans once again caught with their pants down needing more government money to develop efficient drive trains as their gas guzzling PU's sit on lots. Look at their attitudes, "we know the EV is a big mistake". They are going to get pants-ed again and with the comments above they deserve it. Tesla will just keep on taking luxury market share and they will keep saying they are smarter for not competing against them. Mr Musk is doing it right, he will force these morons to build luxury EV's.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          I agree that from a Treehugger perspective the biggest thing wrong with the Tesla is its size/weight(and price). And in EPA testing the Model S 85 gets "only" 89mpge, while many smaller EVs get over 115mpge. Small vehicles are more efficient in that the ratio of person/vehicle weight is better and less energy is wasted moving dead vehicle weight from place to place. The thing that is often lost on the small-is-better smart-car crowd it that longer vehicles can have much better aerodynamics which improves highway mileage. And the model S does get better highway mpge while most EVs are more highly rated for city driving. From an environmental perspective anything that costs a lot probably requires a lot of energy(mostly from fossil fuels) to manufacture. The Model S costs a lot because building it requires paying a lot of high tech salaries - and those people will probably go on big fancy vacations or purchase consumer goods whose manufacture requires a lot of energy. Many years ago I drove a Dodge Intrepid and when its transmission died I actually test drove a new Intrepid but didn't buy it because it felt too big and unwieldy like a crown vic. The nearest Tesla store is a long drive from where I live I haven't yet had the chance to Test to test on. I am afraid that it may ruin me for all other vehicles. I am an environmentalist willing to make sacrifices - On nice days like today I usually bike to work(20 miles round trip), and my wife gets to drive the leaf.
        Spec
        • 2 Months Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        GM might make the car you want someday. Don't write them off. The Volt and the Spark EV are both great.
      • 2 Months Ago
      Why would big boy Multinational MB be disparaging Tesla if it wasn't a threat? And Government Motors' Fatillac's Tree Hugging comments show how out of touch with reality they are.
      • 2 Months Ago
      This is like Michael Dell saying Apple should be sold and money given back to their shareholders. If I was an auto manufacturer, I'd be shitting in my pants. You're competing with a guy that has bigger balls than Steve Jobs and a team of literal rocket scientists behind him. Oh, and he doesn't have franchise laws to hold him back either. The beauty of a Tesla is minimal maintenance, unlike Mercedes who has their dealerships charge you $400+ bucks for an oil/filter change. Tesla makes their margin on the actual car, not on parts.
      BipDBo
      • 2 Months Ago
      Tesla's response: We don't have nearly as much of a service network because our cars don't need nearly as much service.
        Rotation
        • 2 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        That'd be an enormous lie. Teslas have not been as reliable as comparable cars so far.
          bluepongo1
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Since I looked up info up on edmunds.com the scum dealers have been spamming me, NOT legit at all!!!!!!!!!!!
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Your source for this information?
          dgaetano
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          "The first six months of cars made ALL killed at least one 12V battery each, many of those resulting in cars that had to be towed." My Leaf has done that, twice. Last time the alarm messed up and the car had to be towed. There's some issue where if you leave a Leaf plugged in it won't charge the 12V battery. "And if you had one during the period of the bad firmware upgrades, you had problems with your door handles not popping out or the rear doors just popping open on their own, thankfully only with the car stopped." And if you owned an original firmware Leaf a harmless spike in the AC voltage would strand the car. Ask me how I know. And let's not forget the hot battery issue, it doesn't affect many people but those people aren't happy. I totally love my Leaf, but let's not pretend the start of production with new vehicles isn't glitchy for everyone.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          I was hoping for something more substantial than anecdotes and incidents that are only newsworthy because Tesla is under a bigger spotlight than any other automaker.
          Rotation
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Joeevicoe: What are you talking about? My friends are huge fans of the car. They are not making up problems. The problems they've had are real. You call it anecdotes, but there are clear patterns. The problems with eating real tires are near ubiquitous. The first six months of cars made ALL killed at least one 12V battery each, many of those resulting in cars that had to be towed. And if you had one during the period of the bad firmware upgrades, you had problems with your door handles not popping out or the rear doors just popping open on their own, thankfully only with the car stopped. Honestly, I don't know why I even posted the info I had. Typical internet commentors aren't looking for information to inform their opinion, but instead looking for excuses to disregard info that doesn't jive with what they already believe. And as to edmunds.com, they have these long term tests for many kinds of cars. And they report all the problems. The difference here is not that Tesla is somehow hounded, but that they have had a lot of problems with their Tesla. You're off you're rocker if you say their problems are only notable because Tesla is in a spotlight. They have 20 or more long-term cars a year. None in the past few years has had anywhere near the kind of problems that their Tesla has given them.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Nobody is denying problems exist. But you have shown nothing to suggest they are having more problems than other "comparable cars".
          Rotation
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Joevicoe: I have DOZENS of friends with Model Ses. I hear the good and the bad. Like I said, I do hear that they love their cars. But the problems are real, not invented. And again forget about your spotlight thing. Edmunds reports everything that happens to their cars. The reason this one gets more problems reported is because it has more problems, not because of some spotlight. A spotlight didn't make the tires wear out within 8,000 miles.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          The reasons why anecdotal evidence is such a poor way to get objective results should be clear. You will obviously receive more negative, than positive. Because positive is not as vocal. And as others have mentioned... as soon as you shine a spotlight on another automaker, you will find similar problems under similar conditions.
          Rotation
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Joeeviocoe: I have dozens of friends with Model Ss, and all have had more problems with their cars than I have had with my Cadillac or my LEAF. Oh, and then theres Edmunds' insideline. Start at this link: http://www.edmunds.com/tesla/model-s/2013/long-term-road-test/2013-tesla-model-s-is-the-third-drive-unit-the-charm.html And there's plenty more in there. The car has been decent for a small-run first effort from a company. But if you compare it to any comparable car from a major company, the quality/reliability just isn't there. I'm sure the next one will be better, the Model S was a huge step up from the Roadster in quality.
          bluepongo1
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/edmunds.com ........SORRY !!! I forgot the o in my comment above. If you look at their other sites: Edmunds has too many conflicts of interest and too much to lose to be credible.
          bluepongo1
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          http://www.alexa.com/siteinf/edmunds.com.............. (look at: " What sites are related to edmunds.com) It will be funny when the Model S computer shows signs of abuse, like Broder & Montgomery / Smegma
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        Cute. But even with far less service trips, I still wouldn't want to drive it forever to get to a service station.
      bluepongo1
      • 2 Months Ago
      http://insideevs.com/in-2013-tesla-model-s-outsold-mercedes-benz-s-class-bmw-7-series-audi-a8-lexus-ls-and-porsche-panamera/............ LOL !!! :-D " No network " seems to work better than massive overhead (Daimler) . BTW Does " learning exercise " mean they will reverse-engineer and bloat Tesla products like they did the Prius?(GM)
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Months Ago
      FEWER!!! FEWER!!! Dammit.
      Jim1961
      • 2 Months Ago
      Hey Steve Cannon, Tesla buyers don't want your network of sleazy car dealers who make tons of money servicing your gasmobiles.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Months Ago
      I don't like luxury cars because the level of pollution is proportional to the price. Praise the little econobox that consume less gasoline, less oil, less metal, less tires, less space in parking lots but last as long as luxury cars and run at the same speed. My dodge is as technologically advance as a Mercedes and less complicated than a hybrid. This luxury is slavery and frequent visit to the repair shops. The story is that most just want to brag their superiority. In winter I see a lot of suvs getting off of the roads. The parts of luxury cars for repairs are difficult to find and when problems occur the dealership recommend to instead rent a new car and the scrap the old ones. That's why we don't see old Mercedes or old tesla. Tesla will do the same and put their tesla to the scrapyard after 5-6 years causing huge pollution. But if you look at the number of old neon, civic and corolla, that's huge.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 2 Months Ago
      You don't have to drive far, they come to you.
      Grendal
      • 2 Months Ago
      I got to see an ELR the other day. It's a very good looking car in person. I'm still buying a Tesla.
        Grendal
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        I'll steal the line from Joeviocoe: This is what disruption looks like!
      gslippy
      • 2 Months Ago
      In 3 months, Cadillac has sold 100 ELRs. Tesla sells that many Model Ss in half a day. Cadillac can take their wisecracks somewhere else.
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