When the Chevy Volt launched with a $39,995 sticker price, critics shouted down the plug-in hybrid as too expensive. Since then GM has slashed the price of the Volt by $5,000, which I had hoped meant the Volt-based Cadillac ELR would be priced in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. But nope, the starting price of the Cadillac ELR is a ridiculous $75,995.
That is more than the Tesla Model S, which GM’s CEO wants to Cadillac eventually to compete with. It seems quite ballsy of GM to more than double the price of the Volt, without really differentiating it besides adding some additional technology and luxury features. Is there really $40,000 worth of extras in the ELR? I seriously doubt it. The MSRP is $75,000, not including a $995 destination fee or any options. Ugh.
I understand that GM basically lost money on every Volt it built, and it’s built a fair number of Volts right now. But there is a huge, unfilled gap for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in the $40,000 to $60,000 price range. The BMW i3 is the only other competitor in this price range that could compare to the ELR, and it would have really opened the Cadillac up to a lot more buyers.
It’s a real shame, because the Cadillac ELR is a great-looking car with an awesome drivetrain, but I just can’t see the justification of the pricing.