Weaning America off its gasoline addiction is hard. If it wasn’t, we’d have done it already. It certainly doesn’t help that great electric cars are tough to make, which means the best ones are expensive. What’s more, charging infrastructure is still in its infancy — you can’t drive anywhere you want with complete certainty that you’ll be able to put electrons back in the tank. Even when you can, recharging is a lot slower than pumping a few gallons of fossil fuel and going on your way.

Tesla believes in simply ripping the Band-Aid off — all of its models are pure electric, growing pains of immature technology and infrastructure be damned. GM, the very seat of the automotive establishment, is moving with every ounce of caution that Tesla has shrugged off.

With the launch of the Chevy Volt in 2010, GM hedged its bets with what it calls the “extended-range electric” drivetrain, offering a limited range of pure electric operation supplemented by gasoline that offers unlimited travel as long as you can keep finding gas stations. For what you get, the Volt is reasonably expensive: it starts at over $34,000 for a car with less passenger space than the $17,520 Cruze.

Now, imagine stuffing basically the same drivetrain into a Cadillac. That’s the ELR. And it’s $75,000. That’s the cost of a Tesla Model S. Filled with 9 gallons of 91 octane, it’s the anti-Tesla.

Actually, the ELR provided to me by GM clocked in just north of $82,000 for a car that is ostensibly a tarted-up Volt. That’s some $12,000 more than a base Model S, which offers 208 miles of all-electric range compared to the ELR’s 37. It’s also over $40,000 more than the outgoing (but similar-looking) CTS coupe equipped with a traditional gasoline engine.

Has GM lost its mind? I had a week and a 900-mile road trip from GM’s hometown of Detroit to Oshkosh, Wisconsin and back to find out.