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Discussion Starter #1
I was trying to find a discussion on the advantages /disadvantages of driving on Low (as opposed to "D" in the shifter) and came up with nothing on my search results. So in the unlikely event that this issue has not been thoroughly discussed I'm taking the risk of bringing it up to see whether or not there's some feedback regarding it.
 

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Some people like it, but if you are into maximizing range, you are better off coasting like the dickens Dan avoiding regen rather than maximizing it. I find that when I'm in L, it causes me to lay on the accelerator longer until I get to the perfect point to be fully off the accelerator and highly regen until nearly stopped before pressing the brakes. In normal D, I tend to release the accelerator much earlier and coast like crazy, and sometimes by the time I get to the stoplight, the light has turned green and the traffic has started moving again.

What really gets me is seeing people accelerate to get around me while I'm doing a long coast towards stopped traffic, then watching them brake heavily only to end up at nearly the same place where I'll gently roll to a stop - all wasted Dino juice. I'm certain that I'm gaining some range with my coasting technique and it has also transferred into farther range while driving my ice vehicles. If only volts were equipped with the funky shifter of the bolt, I wouldn't be shifting to N all the time using pump and glide... but only when first paying with the car and trying to figure out it's capabilities.

For some odd reason, after exactly 2 years of volt ownership, I did a Jekyll and Hyde and slapped on 18" wheels, cooler looking tires, stopped driving like a grandpa, and just enjoy the ride driving more like Jeff Gordon - taking on any and all pony cars and rice burners at stop lights.
 

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I love Ari_C's answer: N

Since Scott is a newb, Ari_C holds the land range record for the gen1 at 81.8 miles of EV range (without cheating, others have achieved more coasting down a mountain, then trailering the volt back uphill to do more).
 

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Always use it in the mountains, never use it on a highway, avoid on a flat rural road, maybe use it in a city where you are doing a lot of stop and go driving. The mountains are the easy case, in an ICE car you would be burning up your brakes on the downward stretches, L really shines here, instead of burning up your brake pads you are generating electricity. I've found that L, with a helping does of regen paddle, makes mountain driving vastly easier than it was with my old ICE car. Highways are also an easy case because you don't do any hard braking on a highway, coasting is usually sufficient and if you need a little braking use the regen paddle (including at off ramps). Rural roads don't have a lot of intersections so coasting and the regen paddle (when necessary) will do the job. Cities will depend on the circumstances, I usually rely on the regen paddle and keep it in D but I could see where L might be a better option of you are stopping at every light.
 

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Always use it in the mountains, ....
Why is this???

I came down Pikes Peak just using the Brake pedal in D, like the dumb tourist in front of me. Her brakes STUNK.
At the Park Ranger Safety Stop they measure your brake temps. Mine was 75°F on a 65° day.
Biggest regen charge that Volt battery ever got by the time I was at the bottom!!

If you like the feel of driving in L, go for it! But there are NO performance advantages.
 

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Why is this???

I came down Pikes Peak just using the Brake pedal in D, like the dumb tourist in front of me. Her brakes STUNK.
At the Park Ranger Safety Stop they measure your brake temps. Mine was 75°F on a 65° day.
Biggest regen charge that Volt battery ever got by the time I was at the bottom!!

If you like the feel of driving in L, go for it! But there are NO performance advantages.
The Volt does blended braking so it will use a mix of regen and friction braking when you use the pedal, however you have no idea what it's using because it doesn't provide an indicator. With L and the Regen paddle you know that you are using regen only. On a steep mountain road, where you braking all of the time, the L mode is more comfortable plus you know that you aren't using the friction brakes.
 

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The Volt does blended braking so it will use a mix of regen and friction braking when you use the pedal, however you have no idea what it's using because it doesn't provide an indicator..... On a steep mountain road, where you braking all of the time, the L mode is more comfortable plus you know ......
The IR temp reader knows I was not using friction brakes coming down Pikes Peak. It's very steep!

Why more comfortable? You are either feathering the throttle with your foot constantly on the Go pedal,
or you are applying Brakes when you need to, with an added 'Coast' function at no extra cost!
With Brand T you don't get 'Coast'.:p
 

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The Volt does blended braking so it will use a mix of regen and friction braking when you use the pedal, however you have no idea what it's using because it doesn't provide an indicator. With L and the Regen paddle you know that you are using regen only. On a steep mountain road, where you braking all of the time, the L mode is more comfortable plus you know that you aren't using the friction brakes.
Pretty sure it's a known thing that you are in pure regen when the rotating leaves are on the green ball. When those start going away, that means friction brakes are being blended in.

FWIW, I use both and I like having that option. I really like Low for stop'n'go traffic and I do tend to use it on long descents to enable more one-pedal driving.
 

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It's fairly easy to annoy other drivers when trying to drive efficiently in heavy traffic. Be reasonable, please.
 

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Why is this???

I came down Pikes Peak just using the Brake pedal in D, like the dumb tourist in front of me. Her brakes STUNK.
At the Park Ranger Safety Stop they measure your brake temps. Mine was 75°F on a 65° day.
Biggest regen charge that Volt battery ever got by the time I was at the bottom!.
Pikes Peak in the Smokies? I once warped set of rotors coming down from there a long time ago.
 

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One convenient use of L is that it usually enables you to use Cruise Control and leave your foot off the brake while driving downhill without speeding up, when the car’s momentum will otherwise cause the speed to increase if you try to leave it in CC while driving in D. (Hmm... I wonder if using Adaptive Cruise Control would enable Gen 2 drivers to remain in D while driving downhill behind the driver in front going the speed limit?)
 

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One convenient use of L is that it usually enables you to use Cruise Control and leave your foot off the brake while driving downhill without speeding up,.....
Right! That is the one definite use of driving in L.
The Volt seems to have a two mode CC, for some strange reason.
In D it will let you break the speed limit you set for the car on downhills.
In L it will lock onto that speed on the downhills.

But then when you disengage the CC it goes into a powerful regen. You have to be ready for that.

The Spark EV does that 'lock' in D with the CC set.
 

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One convenient use of L is that it usually enables you to use Cruise Control and leave your foot off the brake while driving downhill without speeding up, when the car’s momentum will otherwise cause the speed to increase if you try to leave it in CC while driving in D. (Hmm... I wonder if using Adaptive Cruise Control would enable Gen 2 drivers to remain in D while driving downhill behind the driver in front going the speed limit?)
Seconded/thirded.
Using L down a large hill means you can cruise control the whole way down and not have to worry about gaining speed (unless it's such a steep hill that not even L can hold you back)
 

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I use it in deep snow and ice. The controlled deceleration and smoother starts help keep traction.
But that's exactly the same thing as you do if you were in D, no?
In fact you really have to be careful not to let off the Go pedal in L in slick conditions or it will dump all regen if the fronts start sliding.
 

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I was trying to find a discussion on the advantages /disadvantages of driving on Low (as opposed to "D" in the shifter) and came up with nothing on my search results. So in the unlikely event that this issue has not been thoroughly discussed I'm taking the risk of bringing it up to see whether or not there's some feedback regarding it.
The search in this site is not great (cant really search L...) but there are indeed Many threads on the subject :)

The mode you use (L, paddle etc..) have little to do with efficiency, and more to do with comfort based on your personal preference.

The most efficient is to minimize acceleration and deceleration. So if you can decelerate without using any form of braking or regen, you are the most efficient, but it is just not always possible and requires careful anticipation..

L is an acquired taste that leads to what is called One pedal driving.
If you use it exclusively for a month, you will get use to precisely feathering the accelerator both pressing down and lifting up, so that you modulate the speed of the car only with the accelerator pedal, and only move to the brake pedal for emergency stopping.

Some people (like me) love it, some dont care for it. It is all a matter of personal taste.

Beside the one pedal driving comfort (if you enjoy it), I actually like that in an emergency braking situation, when I move my foot to the brake pedal, the car actually slows down immediately when my foot goes off the accelerator, so it actually reduces the slowing down delay a little bit more.
 
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