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I am in SF Bay Area and frequently drive over the mountains via 17 to Santa Cruz area. I just assumed I needed Mountain Mode and feared reduced propulsion mode. Last week, I did the round trip in Sport mode instead of Mountain Mode (I was in CS mode at the bottom of the hill). My intent was to see what reduced propulsion felt like, click into Mountain Mode and hopefully not limp along too slowly or for too long. But I never experienced it. And I was flogging it. The ICE was definitely working hard, but I seemed to always have normal power.

So my question is: what sort of routes/grades would actually require MM? Anyone in Bay Area made trip up to Tahoe on 50 or 80? That would be the high water mark in Northern California, I think. Maybe climbing into the Grapevine in So. Cal?

I'd be curious to know both the spreadsheet answer (in CS mode on a 5% grade at 70MPH, you have a power deficit of X kW, which at nominal CS SOC implies Y minutes of run time equating to Z miles) and also the real world experiences of folks.
 

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I don't think mountain mode is ever REQUIRED. But, rather, is more for a performance boost. I've heard about folks that have climbed fairly steep roads without mountain mode and have gotten the 'propulsion reduced' message. I don't think they were ever in danger of just running out of oomph and failing to get to the top. But were rather sluggish in doing so.
 

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I am in SF Bay Area and frequently drive over the mountains via 17 to Santa Cruz area. I just assumed I needed Mountain Mode and feared reduced propulsion mode. Last week, I did the round trip in Sport mode instead of Mountain Mode (I was in CS mode at the bottom of the hill). My intent was to see what reduced propulsion felt like, click into Mountain Mode and hopefully not limp along too slowly or for too long. But I never experienced it. And I was flogging it. The ICE was definitely working hard, but I seemed to always have normal power.

So my question is: what sort of routes/grades would actually require MM? Anyone in Bay Area made trip up to Tahoe on 50 or 80? That would be the high water mark in Northern California, I think. Maybe climbing into the Grapevine in So. Cal?

I'd be curious to know both the spreadsheet answer (in CS mode on a 5% grade at 70MPH, you have a power deficit of X kW, which at nominal CS SOC implies Y minutes of run time equating to Z miles) and also the real world experiences of folks.

I 70 from denver to summit-county will need it -- at least if you drive with the flow of traffic. Does well in regular ICE mode for part of it, but needs if you want to avoid reduced propulsion message and being limited to about 60mph. (which we hit 2 miles from the eisenhower tunnel. )

You might find this discussion interesting... about efficiency not just power.
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...ns-in-MPG-and-EV-Range!-My-experiment-results
 

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I drove my Volt up the "Grapevine" last summer at 75 mph on cruise control in mountain mode. The car handled it with no drama. The display would drop to 74 mph occasionally, then go back to 75. Far better than any ICE car I have driven up there.
 

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Mountains - What Mountains? We don't need no stinking mountains. Said the Volt owner from Illinois. The highest point in my county is 631 feet above sea level.
 

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I drive once a year from Cathedral City, CA (elevation about 330') to Reno, NV (elevation about 4,500'). On the way I drive though two summits over elevation 8,000' and one over 7,500'. I am afraid to try it in other than mountain mode. See my post here for more.
 

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I have found that mountain mode is useful in order to maintain over 65 mph when going up the Grapevine on the I-5 toward Los Angeles. This is a very steep, extended uphill route, and without mountain mode you will see the speed drop below 65 mph. However, with MM reserve it is no problem maintaining 70+ mph. The Grapevine is an exception case of an extended steep hill, and all the other mountain routes that I drive do not even need MM.

Ron

Volt 1: White 2012 #4038
Volt 2: Crystal Red 2012 # 15079
 

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My first long trip was from Tucson to San Diego on Interstate 8. Part of the journey requires going over mountains that I estimate to be over 6000 feet to just below sea level. Since its an Interstate speeds are 70-75 mph. I forgot to invoke Mountain Mountain mode and near the summit I got the dreaded REDUCED POWER message. Power dropped noticeably but I had no problem staying with the slower cars, but passing trucks and RVs was a problem as there was no reserve.

I learned my lesson and now I always drive in MM, even iif I'm not expecting any big elevation changes. The additional reserve charge allows me to go to max power and stay there for longer. I find that particularly useful when driving in CS and passing slower traffic.
 

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The highest point in my county is 631 feet above sea level.
Skiing must be awesome! Years ago I was in New Harmony Indiana. The car I was driving wouldn't start occasionally but it was a manual so I could compression start it without a problem. But your area of the country is flat. Driving around I couldn't find even a decent little hill, so I asked a local if there was one nearby. "Ja", he said, "there's the boat ramp".

It was such a pretty place I've always regretted not being able to spend some time there! :D
 

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Last week, I did the round trip in Sport mode instead of Mountain Mode (I was in CS mode at the bottom of the hill). My intent was to see what reduced propulsion felt like, click into Mountain Mode and hopefully not limp along too slowly or for too long. But I never experienced it. And I was flogging it. The ICE was definitely working hard, but I seemed to always have normal power.
Note in passing that this won't work - clicking into mountain mode when you've already hit Propulsion Power Reduced won't gain you anything - the car is already making power as fast as it can, and it apparently isn't enough for what you wanted. All it will do is keep running hard to rebuild the buffer after you've hit a peak or decreased grade (and so it could help with the next mountain or steep grade on your path - it just won't do any good on the current one.

For your other question, I've heard stories about needing it in the Sierra Nevadas and the Rockies to manage high freeway speeds. I didn't need it in the mountains of West Virginia.
 

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This is exactly what GPS integration should be for. If you've on I5, and you've been on I5 for a while, and you're approaching the Grapevine, the car should make an educated guess that you're gonna need MM and ask you if you want to turn it on.

- Mark
 

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No it shouldn't. Maybe you are about to stop and charge at the next exit. This should ALWAYS be up to the driver to control manually. Hold mode will be even more useful.

Nate
 
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