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Interested in (Colorado) Mountain Driving Experiences

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My Volt ownership experience is still new, about 500 miles, but I will soon be driving from Fort Collins to Breckenridge in Colorado. This involves several long uphill pulls. I'm interested in knowing more about what to expect both in the uphill and the downhill (regen) portions of the drive. There is also a strong possibility that I won't be able to charge the battery while in Breck, so I am wondering about the return trip. To avoid a rehash of previous posts, I did try to exercise due diligence in searching for relevant posts. A lot of stuff is posted about mountain mode -- I will be using it all the way -- but I didn't uncover very much on really tough climbs, for example, like the one from Silver Plume to the Eisenhower Tunnel in Colorado. By the way, kudos to member BillR for providing the most relevant post that I did find.
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Posting so I can find this again, since my Volt is nearly here, and I'll be doing a similar drive to get used to hitting the mountains.

Have you driven up 34 to Estes yet? How'd it go? My hybrid Escape was grumpy uphill, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the Volt does.
 

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HI Eric, Good to see another new Volt in Colorado. I've driven only short trips in the mountains so far, but the car does beautifully doing so. Several trips to Brainard Lake, Estes, Raymond, Etc., have convinced me that it is a superior system to a combustion engine powered car. There is no loss of power due to altitude and the car loves the curves. Probably don't need to mention you may want to use Mountain Mode, though I've done normal with no problems also. Haven't attempted Eisenhower Tunnel yet, but I don't see any problem, particularly with mountain mode. Would be nice to start your return with at least a small charge if possible. You will be amazed at the mileage you get on the return trip especially. Ray
 

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Trust me, I have done this type of driving before, (actually, probably more severe climbing then you will encounter), and if you put it in MM for the whole trip, (except you can turn it off for the last 12-15 miles and drive electric at the end) you will experience the the BEST hill climbing capable car you have EVER driven.

You can put it in Low for the whole trip also, and set the cruise control at whatever speed you wish, no problem, the Volt will hold to within 1 or 2 miles of that setting, going up AND down! Traffic (or Highway Patrol) will be the only thing that makes you slow down. I promise!!! :)

Of course, once you are running off the ICE and climbing mountains, you will see TERRIBLE mileage, at least for the VOLT, (I averaged about 33mpg for the trip) :)
 

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Eric,
I like to hike in the mountains and have driven my Volt from Boulder to hiking trails along the Peak to Peak Highway several times. I have also driven to Santa Fe over Raton Pass. No problems, just put it in Mountain Mode about 20 miles early if you are already out of battery range. Coming downhill from hikes I get about 20 miles added to the battery range through regen, and going back to Normal mode adds additional miles. I forgot to switch to MM coming back from Santa Fe, and climbing Raton Pass with no battery reserve, resulted in a "performance limited" message on the dash about half way up. I couldn't increase speed but it held 60 MPH all the way to the top. I think the speed limit was 60 or 65 so again no problem, enjoy!
 

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Done the I70 thing twice now. No problems if you put it in MM early, but if you don't put it on early or turn it off at Idahoe springs, then you can run out of juice and be limited to 60mph max.

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?7917-Why-not-a-smaller-engine&p=85844#post85844

Breck is a bit farther than keystone, so you can probably leave it in mountain mode till the tunnel then turn it off and still not waste much.


The ride home is a piece of cake and a lot of fun to see the battery go back up.
maybe you beat my record..

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?8925-75Miles-on-a-single-charge


I'll be posting my PikesPeak climb trip-report and data (from today's trip) in another thread.. (after I get the data off the phone). Short version, Mountain mode started before I hit the gates, climb 6000+ ft over 16miles to the summit, and it was fine until about 1mile from the very top when I hit reduce-propulsion mode (limited speed.. like it matters on that road). Way back down I stopped at a view-point, restarted the car with 3miles EV and ended back at the highyway with 39miles EV range.

Edit: here is the thread with my Pikes Peak Climb.. http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?15682-Pikes-Peak-Climb-Regen
 

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I went from Dallas, to Phoenix, and then to Long Beach. I forgot what roads that I was on, I just followed the GPS, but some of the speed limit was 75 and I had the cruise set to 80 in MM. No problem.
 
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