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2017 Mountain Mode - Some Observations

1411 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  zeldar
2018 Volt LT 97,000 miles.

Just FYI:

I am on a cross country trip through the rockies, much of it off interstates. This is my first time mountain driving in a Volt though I am an experienced mountain driver. I started in Wisconsin. Here are a few things I observed.

I drove up a 6% incline at 70mph for 2.5 miles in Normal Mode and the battery indicated miles dropped from 37 to 16 miles in that distance. Those indicated battery miles ticked down remarkably quickly. I was wondering how hot the electric motors must have gotten drawing all that power.

I drove up another 6% incline of 3 miles in Hold Mode (16 battery miles left). Nearing the top the engine seemed like it was screaming at a very high rpm. The coolant temp was 217 degrees at the top. The car made it with no apparent reduction in performance, but I think I was at the edge of what that car is capable of. I understand physics pretty well and that engine had to be working pretty hard to lift all that weight at that speed. The battery charges nicely downhill. During the subsequent descent the battery mileage increased to 29 miles, but I don't know how far it was.

Those were the only 2 notable up slopes on this trip so far (Santa Fe to Phoenix), but the next mountain driving leg will be up towards Flagstaff then Moab UT. I will use Mountain Mode for the remainder of the trip in mountainess areas. I am be curious to see how well it works. I am also curious to see what the battery charge level (miles left indicated) will be on the "other side" if I start mountain mode with a near full battery of about 40 miles indicated. Will it return to 40 after each descent?

Downhill driving is a breeze in Low. I'm don't think I engaged the physical brakes at all. I'm pretty sure all of the downhill speed control was done via regen. But I don't know for sure.

Interesting trip. 9 days left of 15. After Moab, it's Rock Springs WY then Denver. Another learning experience.
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My experience with Mountain Mode is that it keeps (or generates) a small percentage of battery available to supplement the ICE when going up hills. If you have exhausted the battery and then turn on Mountain Mode, something I do often, the ICE will generate extra power to charge the battery to provide that supplementation when needed. In cases where I have arrived at my destination still in Mountain Mode and shut off the car, then drive it again in Normal mode (without charging), there is about 5-10% battery available that is left after using Mountain Mode. If you keep it in Normal mode, the Volt will use up that 5-10% and then switch over to the ICE. It's a great feature. I have blasted up steep mountain pass grades with plenty of power thanks to MM. Just one of many reasons I love my Volt!
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