With the Cadillac ELR we saw the company blend luxury with electricity in a vehicle ready for sale in early 2014 - this week we're being introduced to the vehicles Regen on Demand feature. This feature allows you to regenerate energy and store it as electricity for later use in the vehicle's battery pack. This is done with the vehicle's paddle shifters, an alternative to traditional performance vehicles use of steering wheel mounted paddles for upshift and downshift of their mechanical transmission.
With this new system, the driver will be taking part in the driving experience like never before - imagine being able to extend the length of time you'll be able to drive without stopping to refuel or re-charge your car while you're driving. How unimaginably far we've come from the crank-start cars of the past - how long until we just hop in and the car brings us wherever we want to go, no effort included?
"Regen on Demand enables ELR drivers to actively re-capture energy when slowing down, such as when approaching slower traffic or setting up for a tight turn. This allows the driver to take more active role in the electric vehicle driving experience." - Chris Thomason, ELR chief engineer
Engaging Regen on Demand is simple: the driver simply takes his or her foot off of the accelerator and presses one of the vehicle's two steering-wheel paddles. These paddles both generate energy and begin to decelerate the car - Regen on Demand will not bring the car to a full stop, but this feature is meant for coasting or, as Thomason mentions, setting up tight turns. This is also known as regenerative braking.
"Pulling back on the paddle to slow down allows the ELR driver to keep their foot close to the throttle, ready to accelerate. It provides a more engaged, satisfying driving experience, and when you consider the added benefit of re-capturing energy, it’s also a smart thing to do." - Thomason
In addition to the Regen on Demand paddles on your steering wheel, you've also got a blended regenerative braking system. With this system you'll be recapturing energy when your brakes are applied and your vehicle slows. At the point at which you need a massive amount of brake power, this vehicle blends in friction brakes so you can stop quick.
The Cadillac ELR works with an estimated range of about 35 miles (56 km) of pure electric driving and uses an advanced electric drive unit capable of 295 lb-ft of instant torque (400 Nm). The energy is stored in a lovely T-shaped battery pack, this pack charged up by the Regen on Demand system you're reading about today, a standard 120V electrical outlet, or a dedicated 240V charging station. Depending on outside temperature, you'll be able to completely recharge your battery in about 4.5 hours using a 240V outlet.
Have a peek at our Car Hub as well as the timeline below for more Cadillac excellence through the future - and keep on regenerating that electricity with the power you already generate. Let nothing go to waste!