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Cadillac EV Steering Wheel Lets Drivers Regenerate & Store Energy [Video]

Paddle shifters in the vehicle enable power to be kept as electricity in the battery pack for later use.

Emma Hutchings
Emma Hutchings on April 19, 2013.

The Cadillac ELR is the automaker’s first EV with extended range capability, which will go on sale early next year. The vehicle’s steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters will enable drivers to temporarily regenerate energy and store it as electricity in the battery pack for later use.

This ‘Regen on Demand’ feature, which is unique to the compact luxury coupe, is engaged by taking your foot off the accelerator and pulling back on the paddle. It provides vehicle deceleration more than what a typical vehicle experiences while coasting, providing control and dynamic performance characteristics similar to downshifting in a manual-transmission vehicle.

Cadillac EV Allows Drivers To Regenerate And Store Energy [Video]

Releasing the paddle disengages Regen on Demand, allowing the vehicle to coast normally. The driver can use the feature whenever they desire, as traffic conditions allow. During regenerative braking, the system converts the vehicle’s momentum to electrical power and stores the energy in the battery pack. Chris Thomason, ELR chief engineer, said:

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. 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.

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