As General Motors wraps up a full month of selling the Cadillac ELR, one of the features that we get asked about quite a bit (via the GM Authority inbox) is Regen on Demand — one of the few unique features that differentiates the ELR from its more affordable and mainstream platform mate, the Chevy Volt.
In effect, Regen on Demand slows the vehicle (on demand) by recapturing energy using paddles on the steering wheel, making it somewhat of a more efficient and optimized way to use regenerative braking by taking some of the energy (that would otherwise be wasted) from the moving vehicle and turning it back into electrical energy, which is then stored back into the ELR’s high-voltage battery system. Simply put, the process contributes to increased energy efficiency.
Activating Regen on Demand is performed by pulling and holding either of the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The system only works when the ELR is either in Drive (D) or Low (L), and the accelerator pedal is fully released. To note, Regen on Demand will not stop the vehicle, meaning that the brake pedal must still be used to bring the vehicle to a full stop. In addition, activating the feature will turn off cruise control if it’s active, and possibly turn on the brake lights, as well. In practice, using the system feels very much akin to shifting into a lower gear on a “traditional” car,
And there you have it: Regen on Demand has the potential to make the ELR even more energy-efficient, while infusion the driving experience with more fun. We like to call that a perfect combination.