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Discussion Starter #1
Is the green ball for efficiency that GM put on the Gen 1 on the Gen 2 cars? Took a Gen 2 car for a test drive yesterday and there was no green ball in front of me to keep in the middle for max efficiency.

Am I missing something?
 

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It is more of a ball/bar in some of the changeable screen's behind the steering wheel, and it works about the same as gen 1.
 

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I have the green ball on,my g1, but quite honestly except for the first month of owning my new vehicle and being amazed at all the gizmos, I never look at it. My right foot knows what to do to be the most efficient. Drive like a grandpa, coasting whenever possible, avoiding regen and braking while being safe. No green ball required.
 

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LDB, to get the best AER, it is better to coast to a stop if you aren't going to hold up the people behind you in traffic. Regen is 50-60% efficient (75% in some situations?) but coasting is near 100% effective in not using any juice in the first place. Getting the best range only works, though, if you aren't going to make everyone around you hate electric cars even more because many ICE drivers don't mind rabbiting it around by gunning it out of the stop light light and slamming on the brakes at the next red light. They got tons of range and most don't realize that they are killing their mpg, or don't care.

Why avoiding regen?
 

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LDB, to get the best AER, it is better to coast to a stop if you aren't going to hold up the people behind you in traffic. Regen is 50-60% efficient (75% in some situations?) but coasting is near 100% effective in not using any juice in the first place. Getting the best range only works, though, if you aren't going to make everyone around you hate electric cars even more because many ICE drivers don't mind rabbiting it around by gunning it out of the stop light light and slamming on the brakes at the next red light. They got tons of range and most don't realize that they are killing their mpg, or don't care.

Sounds counterintuitive, right? Coasting is better than regen, regen is better than friction brakes (which only engage during panic stops, at the very end of regen, or if you hit the brakes while in N). Lots of people think they should be in L or use the regen paddles all the time, but in real world situations, you will usually get better EV range by avoiding L, avoiding the regen paddles, coasting either in D or N, and maintaining your momentum.

Instead of a regen paddle, I wish GM gave us an eco coast paddle (equivalent to N on demand) as it would actually produce better range results. Plus the brakes are the best regen as it is variable regen unlike the fixed point of L and the regen paddle. I view the regen paddles as a gimmick, it encourages regen which ultimately hurts range. It's almost no different than the Overdrive button on many ICE transmissions. Overdrive is just another gear in the transmission that gives you better fuel economy at the expense of get-up-and-go. The automatic transmission can decide for itself when to use it but they made it a feature where you have a button and you think you got something for paying extra for that feature (or it was standard with the car and you have that button that might cause you to pick this car over a competitors because that car didn't have that button).
 

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I should have been more clear. I meant regen from brake pedal application. And I agree, ideally one would never need to touch the brake pedal until arriving at one's destination. And yes, I agree it's best not to be too annoying to other drivers.
 

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I'm not too familiar with the green efficiency ball for the Gen 1, but I think they moved it to the green efficiency leaf in Gen 2. I use the DIC "Classic Enhanced" which has a leaf on the left hand side that goes up and down to indicate how badly I'm braking or accelerating respectively. Another bonus with "Classic Enhanced" mode is you know exactly when the ICE kicks in because the energy meter on the right hand side switches from battery only to battery + engine, making it very clear you're running the ICE now. Sometimes, I can't hear the ICE come on unless it's the damned engine back fire sound (another story... -_-).
 

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Is the green ball for efficiency that GM put on the Gen 1 on the Gen 2 cars? Took a Gen 2 car for a test drive yesterday and there was no green ball in front of me to keep in the middle for max efficiency.

Am I missing something?
The drivers screen was probably in Modern Enhanced mode. If you put it in Classic Enhanced mode there is a green ball on the left side.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
You're supposed to be watching the road. Please stay away from northern Illinois. We have enough trouble with drunks and cell addicts who refuse to obey the law.
LOL! I suppose then I'm not supposed to look at the speedometer either then. Must be a blast driving up there! LOL
Thanks to everyone for the information. Mister Dave, I really expected better from you. I have a gen 1 and was out test driving a gen 2 with my sister who is thinking of purchasing and was telling her about the efficiency ball as she wants to get the maximum range from the car for her daily commute.
I couldn't find the efficiency ball in the gen2.
 

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LOL! I suppose then I'm not supposed to look at the speedometer either then. Must be a blast driving up there! LOL
Thanks to everyone for the information. Mister Dave, I really expected better from you. I have a gen 1 and was out test driving a gen 2 with my sister who is thinking of purchasing and was telling her about the efficiency ball as she wants to get the maximum range from the car for her daily commute.
I couldn't find the efficiency ball in the gen2.
A glance at the speedo is different from playing the green ball video game. How do I know? I've caught myself playing that game.

And you'd be surprised how seldom I look at the speedo, but maybe that's just me. ;)

P.S. Thanks for the idea for adding a line to my sig! :D
 

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A glance at the speedo is different from playing the green ball video game. How do I know? I've caught myself playing that game.)
I am kind of in agreement here with Mister Dave. On one hand EVs (And Hybrids) do have the neat advantage of 'teaching' drivers to be more efficient in their driving habits with feedback gauges and data. On the other hand, turning driving into an achievement badge earning video game is a slippery slope towards distracted driving. I'm not entirely sure where the correct balance is, but I'm wary to tilting too far to the latter.
 

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Regen is only around 65% efficient... Thus, every time you have to use it, you are throwing away energy... No regen or brakes is the most efficient.

Why avoiding regen?
 

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I rented a Buick LaCrosse a couple months ago when I was in Montana for a week and it had a nice heads up display. Given that the speed limit is 80 mph and it seemed to be pretty much ignored, I was checking my speed fairly frequently and the HUD was really nice to have. I wonder how soon the Volt will have a similar feature, possibly programmable to include the green efficiency ball if you choose.
 

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Regen is only around 65% efficient... Thus, every time you have to use it, you are throwing away energy... No regen or brakes is the most efficient.
Every time? If I'm approaching a stoplight going 40mph, I have to come to a stop no matter what. You're saying it's better to coast to the stop (gaining 0% energy back) than use regen (get 65% back)? I don't agree...

Edit: Ok, I see what the logic is, it's good to keep in mind, but it's not usually practical in most situations. You (mostly) can't predict a light change, and starting to coast really far from a light will impede / infuriate traffic behind you. In a downhill scenario, coasting to preserve energy can lead to dangerous speeds. To each his own, but I'm happy to just drive the darn thing ;) I've even been known to put in Sport mode and have fun on occasion.
 
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