When the 2014 Cadillac ELR debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last year it briefly knocked the world of electric cars off of its axis. Here, finally, was a beautifully-sculpted, battery-powered coupe built by a major automaker under the banner of its well-respected luxury brand. It seemed like the future had finally arrived, that the training wheels were off, and that mass-market acceptance of GM's Voltec EV technology was mere moments away.
And then, just a short time later, they revealed the Cadillac ELR's price: $75,000, or roughly 2.5 times the cost of a new Chevrolet Volt with which it shares its drivetrain.
It's been a tailspin of bad press and miniscule sales ever since for the ELR, a vehicle whose outstanding first impression has been overcome by the distaste of premium buyers unwilling to pay supercar money for a very pretty automobile that drives well but doesn't match up, performance-wise, with the expectations engendered by its lofty MSRP. After having spent several days behind the wheel of the Cadillac ELR, I can only add my voice to the growing chorus calling for GM to drop the price of entry for this marvelous electric coupe so that more than just a handful of well-heeled early adopters can experience its charms.