A critical take on the Cadillac ELR Coupe

  • Cadillac's dramatic luxury coupe with extended-range electric vehicle technology. (08/17/2011)
It's safe to say that Mark Modica at the National Legal and Policy Center is no fan of the Chevy Volt. He calls sales of the vehicle "horrible" and says that publications like Motor Trend have lost credibility in praising GM's plug-in hybrid.

Now that the General has announced that the Volt will get an upscale cousin in the form of the Cadillac ELR Coupe, is it safe to assume that Modica is not a fan? Yes:

The decision to clone the Chevy Volt is perplexing. There is not enough demand for one Volt badged under the Chevy name, why add a Cadillac version?

Modica voices suspicion that creating the plug-in Cady will require a lot of taxpayer dollars in the form of green energy grants and loans. He also cites those federal dollars as the reason why GM hasn't kicked about rising CAFE requirements. Modica states that the decision to build the ELR coupe must be political and, "could not be based on economic considerations."

Of course, it could be that GM made the calculation that potential Cadillac owners are more willing to cover the cost of the technology involved in a car like the ELR than the average Chevy buyer. Offering another plug-in model could expand the pool of buyers and actually drive down the cost of batteries and other expensive components. GM might also feel that the car is an attractive proposition to high-end green shoppers who might otherwise purchase a Tesla Model S.

These are all options, right? Nah, must be politics.

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