New Cadillac ELR Coupe Gets Paddle Shifters to Control Regenerative System [w/Video]


Cadillac today announced that the 2014 ELRbattery-powered coupe will feature paddle shifters, but not the kind you get on a conventional car. Cadillac says the ELR’s paddle shifters have a different function than what we’re accustomed to and more specifically, they “enable the driver to temporarily regenerate energy and store it as electricity in the battery pack for later use.”
This new system is called "Regen on Demand" and will be an exclusive feature of the ELR, the brand’s first electric vehicle with extended range capability thanks to the petrol-powered 1.4-liter gasoline engine that acts as a generator.
“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,” said Chris Thomason, ELR chief engineer. “This allows the driver to take more active role in the electric vehicle driving experience.”
How does it work? To engage the function, the driver simply has to take the foot off the accelerator and pull back on either the left or right steering wheel paddle to begin regenerating electricity – this tells us that both paddles have the same function, unlike in conventional cars where the left paddle usually shifts down, while the right paddle shifts up.
When engaged, Regen on Demand provides vehicle deceleration that Cadillac says is more than what a typical vehicle experiences while coasting. It’s basically similar to downshifting in a manual-transmission vehicle. Regen on Demand can be disengaged by releasing the paddle. During regenerative braking, the system converts the vehicle’s momentum to electrical power and stores the energy in the battery pack.
Using only the energy stored in the battery, the ELR delivers a range of about 35 miles (56 km) of pure electric driving. Charging the battery can be done with a 120V electrical outlet or a dedicated 240V charging station, in which case full recharging takes around 4.5 hours.
By Dan Mihalascu




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