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Discussion Starter #1
The steering wheel paddle on my 2016 Volt has me flummoxed. Sometimes it will decelerate generating about 20-22 KW and it feels like it does when shifting to Low and coasting. Other times it will generate around 40KW and slow substantially faster. This happens at 20 mph or at 40 mph, uphill or downhill or on a level street. I can never anticipate what it will do. My question is, of course, WHY?
 

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The steering wheel paddle on my 2016 Volt has me flummoxed. Sometimes it will decelerate generating about 20-22 KW and it feels like it does when shifting to Low and coasting. Other times it will generate around 40KW and slow substantially faster. This happens at 20 mph or at 40 mph, uphill or downhill or on a level street. I can never anticipate what it will do. My question is, of course, WHY?
If the battery is too full, or too cold, or too warm, it will limit the amount of power you can capture with regen braking to prevent the battery from being damaged. Also, if the engine is running, it will also limit regen (because the engine is charging the battery as well until it shuts down).
 

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The steering wheel paddle on my 2016 Volt has me flummoxed. Sometimes it will decelerate generating about 20-22 KW and it feels like it does when shifting to Low and coasting. Other times it will generate around 40KW and slow substantially faster. This happens at 20 mph or at 40 mph, uphill or downhill or on a level street. I can never anticipate what it will do. My question is, of course, WHY?
Odd my paddle is fairly predictable. It phases in regen over time. The amount of peak regen achieved seems to be based on vehicle load and speed.
 

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Also, if the engine is running, it will also limit regen (because the engine is charging the battery as well until it shuts down).
The engine is rarely ever charging the battery. And if it does it will be only for a brief instance when the car is in transition. When the Volt operates in a Series mode the energy goes direct from the motor acting as a generator to the motor acting as the traction motor. The Volt always tries to minimise battery use when in charge sustain mode. Mostly for maximum efficiency as any energy routed through the battery is subject to charging losses.

When the Volt is in parallel mode the gas engine is directly sending power to the wheels.
 

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The engine is rarely ever charging the battery. And if it does it will be only for a brief instance when the car is in transition. When the Volt operates in a Series mode the energy goes direct from the motor acting as a generator to the motor acting as the traction motor. The Volt always tries to minimise battery use when in charge sustain mode. Mostly for maximum efficiency as any energy routed through the battery is subject to charging losses.

When the Volt is in parallel mode the gas engine is directly sending power to the wheels.
If you're on the highway going 60+, though, when you initially pull the paddle, the engine will rev a little bit and produce some power (which goes to the battery) before shutting down a few seconds later, and it causes the paddle to feel like there's a significant delay before it starts doing anything.
 

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Use the pedal instead. It's just as effective and variable in slowing you. As a bonus, it can blend in the friction brakes if you need to stop faster than regen can alone -- or in emergency situations. Brilliant.
 

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Use the pedal instead. It's just as effective and variable in slowing you. As a bonus, it can blend in the friction brakes if you need to stop faster than regen can alone -- or in emergency situations. Brilliant.
Usually what I do is I grab the paddle while I'm moving my foot to the brake in that case. I can reach the paddle faster than the brake pedal even if just by a fraction of a second. Using the paddle when possible feels smoother in my opinion as well.
 

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This was my first thought. The brakes are blended but the paddle is pure regen.
The paddle is not pure regen. ABS and traction control still apply and the paddle will use rear brakes to help with stability. You can watch the "green" driving indicator light go yellow as you come close to a stop with the paddle.

TJ


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Use the pedal instead. It's just as effective and variable in slowing you. As a bonus, it can blend in the friction brakes if you need to stop faster than regen can alone -- or in emergency situations. Brilliant.
Agreed. The paddle is a fun gimmick. Use the brakes!

TJ


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Discussion Starter #11
I can't make sense of it. It does this when the battery is fully charged, going downhill (20 KW or so) or later, with partial battery on level street. Sometimes it will generate 40 KW or so when decelerating with a full battery. I've been watching this behavior for over a year, trying to understand the logic. I'd like to be able to anticipate how it will decelerate....

(I know, "use the brake pedal")
 

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Usually what I do is I grab the paddle while I'm moving my foot to the brake in that case. I can reach the paddle faster than the brake pedal even if just by a fraction of a second. Using the paddle when possible feels smoother in my opinion as well.
This is my method as well. The difference in reaction time between my finger and my foot is significant.

I do find the paddle feels different depending on speed and load.
 

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I can't make sense of it. It does this when the battery is fully charged, going downhill (20 KW or so) or later, with partial battery on level street. Sometimes it will generate 40 KW or so when decelerating with a full battery. I've been watching this behavior for over a year, trying to understand the logic. I'd like to be able to anticipate how it will decelerate....

(I know, "use the brake pedal")
Are you saying you experience wildly different amounts under the same exact circumstances? So if you're going 30mph on a flat road, sometimes it will give you 20kW and sometimes 40kW?
 

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I can't make sense of it. It does this when the battery is fully charged, going downhill (20 KW or so) or later, with partial battery on level street. Sometimes it will generate 40 KW or so when decelerating with a full battery. I've been watching this behavior for over a year, trying to understand the logic. I'd like to be able to anticipate how it will decelerate....
Now this is weird. I've only noticed a difference when the battery was at the top of the SOC. Otherwise it's always the same. But again I have an ELR and I haven't driven a second generation Volt that much. But you'd think we would have heard more about the issue if it was more general.

The paddle is not pure regen. ABS and traction control still apply and the paddle will use rear brakes to help with stability. You can watch the "green" driving indicator light go yellow as you come close to a stop with the paddle.
There may be some minimal mechanical braking I'm not aware of but nothing that would slow you down like the mechanical brakes. So 99.9% pure. LOL
 

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Well technically the brake pedal is pure regen as well for the first part of the brake map before there is any blending.
This is why I start with light braking, then apply the paddle. That engages more regeneration and slows the car quickly, presumably without engaging the friction brakes (until the very end, when I'm barely moving and I press the brakes harder to stop fully).

I'm not sure if this method produces more regen for a given rate of deceleration than just using the brake pedal to do it all. Probably not, but I also like to push the "door close" button in elevators.
 

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The paddle is not pure regen. ABS and traction control still apply and the paddle will use rear brakes to help with stability. You can watch the "green" driving indicator light go yellow as you come close to a stop with the paddle.

TJ


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
The paddle won't use friction braking at all; the "efficiency ring" is based on acceleration/deceleration values, and it's not really precise at all, so it starts to turn yellow in the heavy "paddle braking" area but not necessarily because there is any friction braking occurring. I've been meaning to get a dash mount for my phone so I can look at Torque while it's running...that would allow me to for sure see if it's using friction at all
 

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...I'm not sure if this method produces more regen for a given rate of deceleration than just using the brake pedal to do it all.

Probably not, but I also like to push the "door close" button in elevators.
The brake pedal produces as much regen as you request, right up to max regen, then the blended friction brakes come in.

The paddles are just something to fidget with, and probably mess with your emergency reaction time if you ever need full brakes, NOW.

Just like the 'Door Close' buttons in elevators,
they're just something to fidget with even though 80% of them have no wires attached.
 

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The paddle won't use friction braking at all; the "efficiency ring" is based on acceleration/deceleration values, and it's not really precise at all, so it starts to turn yellow in the heavy "paddle braking" area but not necessarily because there is any friction braking occurring. I've been meaning to get a dash mount for my phone so I can look at Torque while it's running...that would allow me to for sure see if it's using friction at all
So wait a second. You mean to tell me that GM created a device that could make your car so unsafe that using it could potentially cause you to oversteer your car into an object/ditch/etc. no way bud. Stability and ABS play a key role in the depression of the paddle.

TJ


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The paddle won't use friction braking at all; the "efficiency ring" is based on acceleration/deceleration values, and it's not really precise at all, so it starts to turn yellow in the heavy "paddle braking" area but not necessarily because there is any friction braking occurring. I've been meaning to get a dash mount for my phone so I can look at Torque while it's running...that would allow me to for sure see if it's using friction at all
I'm pretty sure there is no friction braking. The other day I hit a bump on the road while using the regen paddle, setting off the traction control, which immediately stopped the regen. The car "lurched" forward like it does when in LOW and traction control is activated.

This is why you should never rely solely on LOW or the PADDLE for stops without having your foot always standing ready over the brakes. Just a friendly public service reminder.
 
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