GM to Build Plug-In Cadillac

General Motors on Wednesday announced plans to produce a plug-in hybrid electric Cadillac that will use technology similar to the Chevy Volt, which became available for sale last year.

The Cadillac ELR will debut in model years 2013 or 2014. Although GM hasn’t disclosed the price, a person familiar with the plans told Bloomberg it would be less than Tesla Motors’ $57,000 Model S EV.

It will be at least as fast as the Volt and will probably have a longer range on battery power alone. 

Tesla’s Model S can travel 160 miles on battery power alone;  the company says an upgraded model will soon have a range of 230 miles. 

The Cadillac ELR, which will use much of the styling and components developed for the Cadillac Converj concept car, will appeal to the upscale market, which expects to pay a premium price. 

That would overcome a barrier to sales of the Volt – $40,000 is a high price for a relatively small sedan. 

The smallish size could be a drawback for Cadillac buyers, however. GM plans to upgrade various aspects of the Volt’s suspension and other components to appeal to high end buyers, reports Bloomberg. 

GM CEO Dan Akerson said earlier this year he wants to use the Chevrolet Volt’s voltec electric drive technology in at least one car for each of GM’s four brands.

GM is producing about 16,000 Volts this year and 60,000 in 2012. 

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