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Discussion Starter #1
The other day (as a demonstration for a friend) I put it in Hold mode, put the flow meter up, and drove around the parking lot. When I came to a full stop the engine kept running, and the flow meter showed the engine directly charging the battery. Is that possible, or did I mistakenly put it in MM?
 

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It's possible that it was in MM, but it could also have been in Hold.

In Hold the engine will not precisely match the instantaneous demand. Rather it will average it out over a few minutes -- particularly at the beginning when the engine runs at relatively low RPM until it is warmed up and then will run a bit harder to recharge the energy that might have been lost from the battery over the previous minute or two. That might have been what you observed in this case.

If it was in MM, the RPMs/engine noise and kW being put into the battery would have been significantly higher and for a significantly longer period than if it was in Hold.
 

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Might have just been the mandatory 50-second idle when the engine first starts. If you are doing low speed maneuvers (like parking lot), it will charge the battery a little bit while idling, after all it has to dump some of that energy somewhere. If you had waited a minute or two, I bet it would have shut off.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Might have just been the mandatory 50-second idle when the engine first starts. If you are doing low speed maneuvers (like parking lot), it will charge the battery a little bit while idling, after all it has to dump some of that energy somewhere. If you had waited a minute or two, I bet it would have shut off.
That sounds about right. I may have to experiment again at some point.
 

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Might have just been the mandatory 50-second idle when the engine first starts. If you are doing low speed maneuvers (like parking lot), it will charge the battery a little bit while idling, after all it has to dump some of that energy somewhere. If you had waited a minute or two, I bet it would have shut off.
A mandatory 50 second idle to get coolant and oil circulating before providing propulsion power would explain what I saw last month when I ran out of juice on I-76. It took over a mile (I was doing 80) before the ICE fully kicked in.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A mandatory 50 second idle to get coolant and oil circulating before providing propulsion power would explain what I saw last month when I ran out of juice on I-76. It took over a mile (I was doing 80) before the ICE fully kicked in.
That sounds a little scary. Doesn't the battery keep some reserve for that purpose during automatic transition?
 

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That sounds a little scary. Doesn't the battery keep some reserve for that purpose during automatic transition?
Oh, the car kept driving on battery - it just took a lot longer than I expected to make the transition. I never had the power loss "oh **** did it stall" moment I had in a rented Camry Hybrid in Boston rush hour traffic. If I hadn't been keeping an eye on the guess-o-meters and center power flow display I wouldn't have noticed.
 

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If you put it into MM and the battery is above the "MM Reserve Level" the Volt will stay in EV mode and the ICE will not run until you get down to the "MM Reserve Level". If you were below the "MM Reserve Level" the ICE will turn on and run until the battery is brought up to the "MM Reserve Level" (sometimes at a very high RPM to get there as quickly as possible).

If you put it into Hold it is possible to draw too much energy out of the battery and the ICE is just trying to bring the battery back to the level that was present when you activated Hold.

The Volt engineers have got just about everything covered. To me that is what is most impressive about the Volt.

VIN # B0985
 

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Don't worry, it has a mind of its own. I could be driving 70 MPH on the highway and the ICE can shut off, conversely I could be sitting at the stoplight (after driving it hard mind you), and the ICE would be at wide open throttle. All sorts of reasons why (playing catch-up to demand in maintain battery SOC, ERDTT, FMM, EMM, or because it's just messing with you).
 

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A mandatory 50 second idle to get coolant and oil circulating before providing propulsion power would explain what I saw last month when I ran out of juice on I-76. It took over a mile (I was doing 80) before the ICE fully kicked in.
Seems to push about 6kw during the warmup, but yeah, it's not taking the whole load yet. Fortunately, there's like 0.5 kwh before it starts complaining, and if you're not already climbing a mountain, you're fine. Remember mountains? The manual had instructions about climbing mountains and told you to turn on a particular mode 10-15 minutes before doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Seems to push about 6kw during the warmup, but yeah, it's not taking the whole load yet. Fortunately, there's like 0.5 kwh before it starts complaining, and if you're not already climbing a mountain, you're fine. Remember mountains? The manual had instructions about climbing mountains and told you to turn on a particular mode 10-15 minutes before doing that.
Despite arguments to the contrary, this is why I believe you can't just be an average consumer and jump in this car and drive it. You have to be cognizant of things most people don't want to think of. And consequently this is why they don't sell as many Volts as they otherwise might.
 

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Despite arguments to the contrary, this is why I believe you can't just be an average consumer and jump in this car and drive it. You have to be cognizant of things most people don't want to think of. And consequently this is why they don't sell as many Volts as they otherwise might.
I disagree. The average consumer can just jump into the car and drive it. The only reason to change out of Normal D is if you want the car to behave differently or if you are about to drive towards mountains. All it takes is once, getting the reduced propulsion warning, and the average consumer will put it into mountain mode.

I used to nerd out with spreadsheets tracking EV and gas mileage while trying to eek out every electron, but now I just hop in the car and drive. I don't even look at the energy screen any more. The car does great even if you ignore all the telemetry it gives you.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I disagree. The average consumer can just jump into the car and drive it. The only reason to change out of Normal D is if you want the car to behave differently or if you are about to drive towards mountains. All it takes is once, getting the reduced propulsion warning, and the average consumer will put it into mountain mode.

I used to nerd out with spreadsheets tracking EV and gas mileage while trying to eek out every electron, but now I just hop in the car and drive. I don't even look at the energy screen any more. The car does great even if you ignore all the telemetry it gives you.
I too have become more indifferent of all the data over time. But the simple fact that the car has a Mode button is reason enough that the average consumer will be confused. Heck, even the average Volt car salesman is confused by this. There are other cars today that have mode buttons, but the base model usually does not. That's the rental car fleet model, or the one bought by some grandma who drives to the store once a week. It's a big enough leap for most people going to EVs that they have to plug it in every night. Beyond that the masses don't want to think about their car. They just want to aimlessly drive.

Even thinking about my own experience. I would never have purchased this car and just drove off. I had to do quite a bit of of research on the operational concepts (modes, EMM, FMM, cutover, temperature concerns, mountains, etc.) before I felt comfortable making the leap. On the other hand, if I chose a Tesla/Bolt, I would only have to think about range wrt trip planning.
 

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I too have become more indifferent of all the data over time. But the simple fact that the car has a Mode button is reason enough that the average consumer will be confused. Heck, even the average Volt car salesman is confused by this. There are other cars today that have mode buttons, but the base model usually does not. That's the rental car fleet model, or the one bought by some grandma who drives to the store once a week. It's a big enough leap for most people going to EVs that they have to plug it in every night. Beyond that the masses don't want to think about their car. They just want to aimlessly drive.

Even thinking about my own experience. I would never have purchased this car and just drove off. I had to do quite a bit of of research on the operational concepts (modes, EMM, FMM, cutover, temperature concerns, mountains, etc.) before I felt comfortable making the leap. On the other hand, if I chose a Tesla/Bolt, I would only have to think about range wrt trip planning.
Well, with my commute (50 miles round trip) and flat IL (no mountains) I have never seen EMM, FMM, or really needed Mountain Mode. But I could see someone who is clueless about cars might freak out when EMM or FMM pops up on the dash. With my own experience, I saw picture of the concept car, really wanted one, saw the first year MSRP in Nov 2010 (started at what, $41K?) and brushed it aside as "no way am I paying double for a PHEV." In Feb 2013, the local car dealership had a few on their lot, but they were premium models at $44K. Again I though "no way this has any ROI whatsoever... I'll let the people who want to be green pay to be green". Then in Aug 2013 the $5K price cut came. A coworker bought a Ford Fusion Energi, but mentioned she really liked the Volt, just couldn't wait a few weeks for one as her previous car was on its last legs. A week later I found out from my brother in law that IL had a $4K rebate on EVs. A quick call to the dealership, all the national, regional, and local deals stacked up with $4 per gallon fuel and a gas guzzler of a Deville, the planets aligned and I bought a Volt with sales tax for $23K below MSRP. Yes, I geeked out and read the entire owners manual and fiddled with all the gadgets, but I'm a computer scientist by education and profession. But to GM's credit my wife just jumps in the car and drives it. It took a bit for her to figure out the climate controls, and even today, she refuses to just hit the Auto button - she has her own pattern of turning up the fan, switching to the window defrost vents so it doesn't blow in her face, turning off recirculation - because that's the way she likes it). I don't think she has ever pressed the Mode button.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, with my commute (50 miles round trip) and flat IL (no mountains) I have never seen EMM, FMM, or really needed Mountain Mode. But I could see someone who is clueless about cars might freak out when EMM or FMM pops up on the dash. With my own experience, I saw picture of the concept car, really wanted one, saw the first year MSRP in Nov 2010 (started at what, $41K?) and brushed it aside as "no way am I paying double for a PHEV." In Feb 2013, the local car dealership had a few on their lot, but they were premium models at $44K. Again I though "no way this has any ROI whatsoever... I'll let the people who want to be green pay to be green". Then in Aug 2013 the $5K price cut came. A coworker bought a Ford Fusion Energi, but mentioned she really liked the Volt, just couldn't wait a few weeks for one as her previous car was on its last legs. A week later I found out from my brother in law that IL had a $4K rebate on EVs. A quick call to the dealership, all the national, regional, and local deals stacked up with $4 per gallon fuel and a gas guzzler of a Deville, the planets aligned and I bought a Volt with sales tax for $23K below MSRP. Yes, I geeked out and read the entire owners manual and fiddled with all the gadgets, but I'm a computer scientist by education and profession. But to GM's credit my wife just jumps in the car and drives it. It took a bit for her to figure out the climate controls, and even today, she refuses to just hit the Auto button - she has her own pattern of turning up the fan, switching to the window defrost vents so it doesn't blow in her face, turning off recirculation - because that's the way she likes it). I don't think she has ever pressed the Mode button.
This is a perfect car for a computer geek -- a category I include myself in :)

My ex used to occasionally have to drive some of my previous cars (which didn't compare in complexity to the Volt). I had to assure her she would be fine just using the gas, brake, and turn signals. Way back then she didn't even know what to do with the start button -- and now that's becoming ubiquitous. And come to think of it, my last rental had an actual key. I had to fumble with using that again!
 

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Computer geek here as well. And gamer. And car guy. Everything aligned so well, I leased a Volt and then traded it early for my ELR. Hang the cost. Having way too much fun here!

And yeah, I hate my daughter's Tundra, but, I'm not hauling cow manure in my Caddy!

And btw, I tossed the keys for either Volt or ELR to family members and other than the 'start' button, they're fine. Well, the ELR electric door handles are kind of unique as well.
 

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Computer geek here as well. And gamer. And car guy. Everything aligned so well, I leased a Volt and then traded it early for my ELR. Hang the cost. Having way too much fun here!

And yeah, I hate my daughter's Tundra, but, I'm not hauling cow manure in my Caddy!

And btw, I tossed the keys for either Volt or ELR to family members and other than the 'start' button, they're fine. Well, the ELR electric door handles are kind of unique as well.
However, it's no problem hauling the cows...:)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
And btw, I tossed the keys for either Volt or ELR to family members and other than the 'start' button, they're fine. Well, the ELR electric door handles are kind of unique as well.
First timers are freaked out just riding in my car, much less driving it. And anyone can manage going around the neighborhood, but owning the car over a longer term -- without someone like yourself at the ready -- is not an easy leap.
 

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However, it's no problem hauling the cows...:)
I'm not putting cow manure in my Volt, Caddy, or Suburban. That would go in the utility trailer if anything. Alas, I don't have any cows, though my wife wants one. If we get one, it will be named T-bone or Ribeye. Our chickens were named BBQ, Lemon Pepper, Rosemary, Kentucky Fried, Nugget, and Jerk.
 
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