Are the Cadillac ELR and Tesla Model S Playing in the Same League?

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Cadillac’s (NYSE:GM) ELR extended-range plug-in hybrid and Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S all-electric sedan are perhaps two of the most talked-about alternative fuel-powered luxury cars, though perhaps for different reasons. Differences aside, they represent a fairly substantial undertow in the tide of luxury automobiles. The commitments to these vehicles by their respective manufacturers indicate that not only are green cars becoming more accepted, but that the demographics of people interested in them are changing.

However, the industry that the ELR and Model S play in is still quite young. Because of this, there is no true “competition” for these vehicles; the Model S is often compared to Audi’s A7, BMW’s 5 or 7 Series, or Mercedes-Benz’s CLS or E class. The ELR, meanwhile, is sort of in a league of its own. As the first plug-in hybrid luxury coupe on the market, there isn’t a whole lot out there that it can be compared to on a performance level.

Here’s a closer look at both Tesla’s Model S sedan and the Cadillac ELR coupe, which in many ways are playing on the same field but also show stark differences. But can the two be crossed-shopped by affluent green-geared buyers?

Our knee-jerk reaction would be to say no: the duo isn’t compatible enough and the circles they live in don’t intersect enough. The Tesla is a four-door sedan that if properly optioned can seat seven occupants; the ELR is a 2+2 format, but if talking about full-size adults, that could be a generous assertion.

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