PRNDL - Anyone use L?

When Volts are available, here will be the place to talk about how to Detail, Maintain and Customize your Volt. Other good topics are charging (solar or otherwise) smartphone app usage, etc.
Victor
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:22 am

PRNDL - Anyone use L?

Postby Victor » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:30 pm

Is it safe to downshift to L when you're coming up on a long offramp where you can coast for a good distance? I notice that L works wonderfully with regenerative braking downhills, even when I throttle in a bit to keep my speed nominal.

Generally I would never do this to a normal automatic car, and for a manual transmission car you would match rpm before doing a downshift like that. Not sure if the Volt likes this or not.

Before I write my volt advisor, I figured I'd ask the owners their experience.

Cheers
Victor

PatrickZWang
Site Admin
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:48 pm

Re: PRNDL - Anyone use L?

Postby PatrickZWang » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:50 pm

Hey Victor,

I drive exclusively in L mode. Meaning I even use the L mode to slow down during normal stop and go driving. (This means I have to plan to start "regenerative braking" much earlier than you would in a normal car, but it also means you put the max amount of energy back into your battery and reduces the wear on your brake pads/rotors.

In fact Tony Posawatz (the Volt Vehicle line Director) was one of the first to suggest driving in L mode everywhere.

So drive L to your heart's content!

Patrick

Victor
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:22 am

Re: PRNDL - Anyone use L?

Postby Victor » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:46 pm

Wow, I will try that. I presume it's more work on you to keep the throttle floating as you cruise, but it might mean a few more miles per charge with all of that regeneration. Thanks for the tip!

I think I'm going to visit a gas station for the first time this weekend, averaging 180 mpg over the first 1200 miles. Still using the 120v charger at home and work.

Cheers
Victor

PatrickZWang
Site Admin
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:48 pm

Re: PRNDL - Anyone use L?

Postby PatrickZWang » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:07 pm

Yes, it took me about a week to learn to "hold" speed with the right pedal input - but after that I can't go back!

Patrick

TommyBoy
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:55 pm

Re: PRNDL - Anyone use L?

Postby TommyBoy » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:52 pm

Victor,

Yes, in Normal mode the 'L' seems to me to be the best mode for city street driving, heading down the off-ramp, and heading down the hills. I find 'D' works well for me on the freeway and on long stretches of road at or above 45 mph. I am still experimenting with the other "gears:" Sport and Mountain modes.

So experiment! Have fun with ALL of the "gears" of this amazing, fun car. Learn its "transmission." There has never been another one like it. As a driver of Manuals for over 20 years, I am. And, let us hear back from your horizon of discovery!!
Volt #898, aka "Heidi" (my greyhound) :cool:
GBV - Cyber Grey Metallic with upgrades: Premium Trim, Park Assist, Polished Al Wheels

Victor
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:22 am

Re: PRNDL - Anyone use L?

Postby Victor » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:38 pm

I have been doing this for a few weeks now. I notice an increase in range, about 3 miles per charge.. It's not something I can do with passengers as it could get people car sick with the motion. However if the traffic gets heavy I use it no matter what.

As far as mountain mode, I use that when I know I am going to exceed battery range. I do it when the battery is just under 50%, and just let it maintain until I know I'm close enough to my home to switch it back to normal mode.

So much fun!
Vic

mdellis
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:00 pm

Re: PRNDL - Anyone use L?

Postby mdellis » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:11 pm

I also was asked by my Volt Advisor Ryan if I had tried my Volt in "L". I had not, so the next morning I tried it from my home to the freeway onramp, which is slightly downhill. When I left I had a battery charge showing 44 (estimated) miles, when I arrived at the freeway onramp I was showing 50 miles (of estimated battery)! Wow! So I now drive in L accept while on the freeway at higher speeds. I am driving about 60 to 100 per day here in So Cal. I now have 2600 miles with a lifetime mpg of 91. Awesome car!

jivskip
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:39 am

Re: PRNDL - Anyone use L?

Postby jivskip » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:51 am

Checked with Volt advisor who suggested I use the lower "gear". Does anybody know if this is really a gear....how it works. Based on the results, it just seems like a software package with a new balance between disc brakes and regenerative. On higher speeds, I use cruise control which does a great job in providing smooth operations even in "L". Can only wonder why the manual doesn't talk about this issue.


Does anybody know if the MPG calculation done by the volt is accurate. It would seem that the electrical portion of the math doesn't include the power plant fuel. It isn't using the EPA number.

What mileage are you getting with gasoline only. I hear wildly different numbers.

Jeff N
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:45 am

Re: PRNDL - Anyone use L?

Postby Jeff N » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:25 am

jivskip wrote:Checked with Volt advisor who suggested I use the lower "gear". Does anybody know if this is really a gear....how it works. Based on the results, it just seems like a software package with a new balance between disc brakes and regenerative. On higher speeds, I use cruise control which does a great job in providing smooth operations even in "L". Can only wonder why the manual doesn't talk about this issue.


There is no physical "gear" change from driving in 'L'. You are right that it is just a software change that increases the regenerative braking when you reduce foot pressure on the accelerator pedal and also when initially pressing the brake pedal. Aside from reducing the need for the brake pedal when driving down hills it also allows minimal brake pedal use in ordinary urban driving thereby reducing the chance of any old-fashioned friction braking from wasting energy.

The downside is that you need to pay more attention when modulating the accelerator pedal position. In 'D' mode it is easier to accelerate and then back off the pedal and let then car drift freely with relatively little regenerative drag. I drive in 'L' in urban driving with frequent stops and in congested freeway driving. In good freeway traffic I shift to 'D' which allows cruise control speed a little more latitude when maintaining speed (-1 mph heading uphill and +1 going down). Cruise control in 'L' is a little less efficient because it maintains the exact speed. Even regenerative braking is best avoided when possible because it is far from 100% efficient. It is better to accelerate steadily up to your target speed and then apply enough power to maintain your overall momentum.

Does anybody know if the MPG calculation done by the volt is accurate. It would seem that the electrical portion of the math doesn't include the power plant fuel. It isn't using the EPA number.


The 'MPG' number displayed is useful for counting gasoline avoidance but it includes EV charging power and does not display gas-only mileage. You can find the gas-only consumption on one of the center console screens accessible by pressing the "leaf" button by using a calculator to divide the gas consumption by the miles driven in hybrid mode (after the gas engine starts being used). Or, you can reset the 'B' odometer when the battery charge runs out and it will calculate the hybrid-mode mpg for you.

What mileage are you getting with gasoline only. I hear wildly different numbers.


The large majority of my gasoline miles consist of highway driving. With the climate controls set to "fan only" I get around 45 mpg at 55 mph and around 39-40 mpg at 65 mph. On a monthly basis, I average around 41-43 hybrid mode mpg around 20% of my miles and then I drive on battery charge the other 80%. Using moderate A/C will drop that around 10% and using the heater without the gas engine on (no "free" waste heat from the engine) can reduce efficiency as much as 30-40%. Using "fan-only" with the electric heated seats works well when temperatures are above 45-50F and reduces efficiency maybe around 10%. I find that heated seats are adequate for most daytime driving in Winter in the SF Bay Area.
The answer is 0042.


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