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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was curious to see how the Volt's battery would perform on this major route, so last Saturday, I decided to spend the day and headed up there to see.

After running an errand, it was about 60 miles to the Flying J Travel Center in Lebec, which is about 3 miles from the Tejon Summit. Starting with a full charge, I hit some unexpected stop and go traffic on the I-5 in the North San Fernando Valley; maybe due to an earlier accident. So, I decided to use the HOLD mode to drive some of this portion on gasoline. It cleared after the California-14 interchange and I returned to Normal Mode.

I generally drove in the right lane at 55 MPH up to the speed limit or below, as driving conditions required, in L mode with Cruise Control. When available and safe, I drove behind one of the many 18 wheelers that make this trip.

I arrived after burning 0.3 gals of gas.

I then used one of their ShorePower stations to provide 220V to my Clipper Creek LCS-25p and charged the battery for two hours. The battery estimator showed 22 miles available, which I knew would be a useless number going downhill and then later coming back uphill.

On the downhill, again in the right lane and following a truck and following the Truck Speed Limit signs of 55, then 45, then 35 MPH until the bottom and back to 55, I regenerated 1.5 KWh.

I stopped at the Fort Tejon Mall (14 miles from Flying J), had dinner at Chipolte and inspected the Tesla SuperCharging station right next door (Tesla superpower plugs only; no other power source offered).

My mileage estimator now said 44 miles...

Back up the Grapevine and onward to home, again mostly in the right lane, but ocassionally I moved over, when the trucks were going too slow.

The Volt consumed 6.8 KWh to reach the Flying J Travel Center near the Tejon Summit. I stopped over for about another 1-1/2 hours of 220V recharging.

Much of the next 40 miles or so were very power efficient, as much of this portion of the drive is a steady downhill. The L setting really efficiently regenerates electricity on those slight downhill slopes, where I might have missed hitting the brake and wasting power on the MPH upward creep that would occur in D.

The total trip was about 150 miles and consumed a total of 1.3 gals of gasoline. Had I stayed at Flying J for the full recharge (about 4-1/4 hours), I am confident that I could have made the 58 miles back home without any further gasoline consumption.

With the LOW FUEL indicator all over my dashboard even after I did an overnight recharge, the next day, I drove over to Costco and after 2,958 miles since I leased my Volt, I purchased my first tank of premium fuel for $28.68 (a little under 8 gallons). I resisted the temptation to continue to burn up all of the remaining gas on Sunday and see how the Volt handles that situation.
 

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With the LOW FUEL indicator all over my dashboard even after I did an overnight recharge, the next day, I drove over to Costco and after 2,958 miles since I leased my Volt, I purchased my first tank of premium fuel for $28.68 (a little under 8 gallons). I resisted the temptation to continue to burn up all of the remaining gas on Sunday and see how the Volt handles that situation.
Before you repeat that experiment, note that it has been done several times already and reported on here. I'll dig up the links and edit this post with them.
 

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I resisted the temptation to continue to burn up all of the remaining gas on Sunday and see how the Volt handles that situation.
I handles just fine. It will dip into the battery reserve and give you a few more miles in limp mode before you are really, finally, totally SOL with no gas and no battery juice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Before you repeat that experiment, note that it has been done several times already and reported on here. I'll dig up the links and edit this post with them.
Those posts were primarily drivers who wanted to maximize speed. My experiment was to maximize energy efficiency, hence I did not need to use Mountain Mode.

But, yes, please post those links.
 

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Those posts were primarily drivers who wanted to maximize speed. My experiment was to maximize energy efficiency, hence I did not need to use Mountain Mode.

But, yes, please post those links.
I wasn't referring to the Grapevine experiment, rather the run out of gas experiment. Still digging tho...
 

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Before you repeat that experiment, note that it has been done several times already and reported on here. I'll dig up the links and edit this post with them.
Instead of editing, I've added a new post with the links I found:

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?63457
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?66754
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?6285
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?13477
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?67930
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?16098
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?12144
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?11942
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?11501

There's a bunch more but I've run out of energy in copy/paste-ing them here. I just did an advanced search for the keywords "gas reduced propulsion" and got 97 hits. Not all of them are dead on, maybe 15-20%. Still plenty there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wasn't referring to the Grapevine experiment, rather the run out of gas experiment. Still digging tho...
Thanks for all of those quotes, but the experiment that I would be repeating is driving the Grapevine; perhaps next time at 65-70 and comparing the KWh consumed and regenerated at those speeds.

Since I chose not to experience what it would be like to let the Volt run out of gasoline, there is nothing here for me to repeat. That comment was just a throwaway at the end of posting my Grapevine numbers...
 

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Thanks for all of those quotes, but the experiment that I would be repeating is driving the Grapevine; perhaps next time at 65-70 and comparing the KWh consumed and regenerated at those speeds.

Since I chose not to experience what it would be like to let the Volt run out of gasoline, there is nothing here for me to repeat. That comment was just a throwaway at the end of posting my Grapevine numbers...
This would be more interesting to me. I could never drive 55 on a highway unless I was towing a trailer, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My experience driving the Chevy Volt since September 13th after some research on hypermiling has completely transformed my driving habits and awareness of how most other people drive here in Southern California.

I have a long history of driving up I-5 as quickly as safely possible. Why: no good reason other than habit!

Now I tend to drive in the right or next to right lane at or around the speed limit. On city streets, I always chuckle and waive when I reach a car at the next red light who "zoomed" out at the previous red light.

These habits now extend to my driving in ICE's as well.

Results (I hope):

Safer, less traffic tickets and less stress! I guess I get there a little later...

After my original compulsiveness about hypermiling, I have now modified those "rules" as well:

All driving is at a speed that is safe considering the flow of traffic in my lane. To that end, I try to drive behind an 18 wheeler, truck or someone towing a trailer ;) .

I try to anticipate the flow of traffic ahead of me and adjust my breaking (regeneration) accordingly. I use the Cruise Control +/- with my left thumb to adjust my speed as demanded by the traffic ahead of me.

I always use the HOV lane on the onramps to avoid the stop sign, but rarely use the HOV lanes on the actual freeway. There are exceptions.

I always use the air conditioner in ECO mode when the San Fernando Valley heat requires it and of course I listen to the radio! For heat on cold nights, I use the air heater for a few minutes to heat the cabin, then switch to Fan Only and heat my driver's seat instead.

I miss regeneration in my Chrysler Sebring convertible... :( but still follow many of these steps when driving it! Actually the Chrysler has Auto-Stick and I use the manual gears when driving over many a Canyon to control my speed (slow down into the curve, accelerate out of the curve -- I use regeneration for that same purpose).

Other people drive much differently! I do not drive with a holier than tho attitude; I just try to enjoy, blend and co-exist!
 

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So far our mpg's in gas mode per voltstats is 37.1 mpg. This is winter driving with temps in the 40's and warm days in the 50's.
Not many cars today get this kind of real world mileage. Even our Prius in the winter is hard pressed to get over 45 mpg in the winter
under these conditions...
 

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My experience driving the Chevy Volt since September 13th after some research on hypermiling has completely transformed my driving habits and awareness of how most other people drive here in Southern California.

I have a long history of driving up I-5 as quickly as safely possible. Why: no good reason other than habit!

Now I tend to drive in the right or next to right lane at or around the speed limit. On city streets, I always chuckle and waive when I reach a car at the next red light who "zoomed" out at the previous red light.

These habits now extend to my driving in ICE's as well.

Results (I hope):

Safer, less traffic tickets and less stress! I guess I get there a little later...

After my original compulsiveness about hypermiling, I have now modified those "rules" as well:

All driving is at a speed that is safe considering the flow of traffic in my lane. To that end, I try to drive behind an 18 wheeler, truck or someone towing a trailer ;) .

I try to anticipate the flow of traffic ahead of me and adjust my breaking (regeneration) accordingly. I use the Cruise Control +/- with my left thumb to adjust my speed as demanded by the traffic ahead of me.

I always use the HOV lane on the onramps to avoid the stop sign, but rarely use the HOV lanes on the actual freeway. There are exceptions.

I always use the air conditioner in ECO mode when the San Fernando Valley heat requires it and of course I listen to the radio! For heat on cold nights, I use the air heater for a few minutes to heat the cabin, then switch to Fan Only and heat my driver's seat instead.

I miss regeneration in my Chrysler Sebring convertible... :( but still follow many of these steps when driving it! Actually the Chrysler has Auto-Stick and I use the manual gears when driving over many a Canyon to control my speed (slow down into the curve, accelerate out of the curve -- I use regeneration for that same purpose).

Other people drive much differently! I do not drive with a holier than tho attitude; I just try to enjoy, blend and co-exist!
You sound a lot like me Michael. I had over 100 tickets by the time I turned 21. I eventually became a real race car driver, which helped me mellow out on the streets quite a bit. Was able to get my speed out in a legal way on the race track instead. Fortunately my ticket went down drastically, but wouldn't say that I was slow driver. Then I bought the Volt and everything changed. I know I will never get a speeding ticket in that car! I too spend time finding the safest way to drive SLOW!! LOL. No literally, but like you, take advantage of drafting 18 wheelers and sticking to the two right lanes. I have the HOV stickers, but rarely use that lane since the flow of traffic is much faster than I want to go. Unless of course I'm going over the hill on the 405 when there's bumper to bumper traffic.

I'm glad my tips of driving in low have helped. I too have become married to that method. I also find myself trying to drive my ICE cars similar to the Volt and have to remind myself that it's pointless! The saddest thing that tells me I'm an addict to the Volt is, I just bought the new 2014 Corvette and have spent most of my time driving it in ECO mode!! It's an amazing car as well, but had to slap myself once I realized I was doing it.

Have to say, I'm proud of GM. I've always had multiple cars, but never more than on GM car at a time. Many times, no GM cars at one time as they had no products that I cared for for several years. But now, all three of my cars are GM products. Glad to see that they've finally stepped up and produced cars that are not only appealing, but on par with the rest of the world, if not superior. After so many years of producing nothing better than rental cars, I'm proud to be an American again!!
 

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The I-5 Grapevine is an interesting stretch of road that one needs to be very mindful of the speed limit as the CHP is there watching when you least expect it. Thus this was in interesting experiment as I have been working on what the actual driving style should be to maximiz the Volt's energy resources. I learned not taking the Volt out of Mountain Mode is not a good idea for the amount of fuel consumed after leaving the mountains.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do not think that Mountain Mode is needed if one averages 55 MPH up the hills, even going southbound, as I did. There was no apparent strain from the generator.

I hope to repeat the experiment in the middle lanes doing 60-70 as needed.

That being said; I think that energy was maximized in both directions by using the L mode with Cruise Control at 55 MPH (using the right two lanes depending upon slower truck traffic).
 

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Typically... I turn on MM before leaving and STOMP on the accelerator and fly up to the summit at 70mph+ passing most other traffic. (With surprised looks on their faces.) I get some of it back on the downside heading into the valley. And... Yes I burn some gas on the way.
 

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I've heard the term a number of times, maybe someone can be specific - exactly WHERE is this "Grapevine" section of road? If I were to look for it on Google maps, for example, where would I look?

(Yes, I *could* google it, but I'm not gonna)
 

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From Caltrans, "Most travelers think the portion of I-5 called the Grapevine begins at the north end of Castaic in the Santa Clarita Valley where the freeway begins a northerly climb at Parker Road -- and where the California Highway Patrol closes the freeway when snow or icy conditions northward prohibit safe travel. But this is not where the actual Grapevine is located. What they would be traveling on, instead, is what is most commonly known as the beginning of the five-mile grade where I-5 sharply rises to the north at a grade of 5% -- and the beginning of a 40 mile journey over the Tehachapi Mountains from northern Los Angeles County to the San Joaquin Valley in Kern County.

After the five mile grade, comes Templin Highway at about the 3,000-feet level. Proceeding north one encounters 22.5 more miles north on a rolling, meandering drive by Frazier Mountain through the Gorman area and the highest point of the drive at an altitude of 4,183 feet, and the summit of this famous drive.

Continuing northerly from the summit is a slight drop in altitude and in six more miles one reaches Fort Tejon, a state historic monument. Fort Tejon was established in 1854 to suppress stock rustling, which was rampant at that time, and to protect the Native Americans in the San Joaquin Valley. It is here where the actual portion of freeway known as the Grapevine actually begins."

Most Southern Californians know this area to be a trouble spot for winter travelers, as it is often closed, stranding motorists for hours.

Locals' Tip: If snow is predicted over 3,000 feet, using Hwy 101 will avoid this area. Keep in mind, it can be sunny in Santa Clarita, while The Grapevine is experiencing a blizzard.
From a website about my community: www.santaclaritaguide.com
 

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The I-5 Grapevine is an interesting stretch of road that one needs to be very mindful of the speed limit as the CHP is there watching when you least expect it. Thus this was in interesting experiment as I have been working on what the actual driving style should be to maximiz the Volt's energy resources. I learned not taking the Volt out of Mountain Mode is not a good idea for the amount of fuel consumed after leaving the mountains.....
My Experience has been people go down to 55 going up the hill and let their speed go to 80+ down the hill. I tend to maintain speeds much closer to the speed limit. If you want to find a CHP just look for any downhill grade and you will find a CHP hiding behind an overpass waiting to pounce.
 
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