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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all:

Regarding L mode, I am coming around as to some of my initial reservations about this mode, but some questions:

- Can I confirm that it is ok to switch from Drive to L while moving? And from L to Drive? Is there a speed above or below which I cannot do this?

(Background, on this question: my previous ice vehicle went through some difficult diagnostics, that cost me weeks of tow trucks and rental cars, to find an issue that was ultimately traced back to a $50 solenoid in the transmission - I suspect a contributing factor to its going bad may have been that I absentmindedly, a couple of times, switched the vehicle while driving from drive into neutral and then back again. So, I am slightly reluctant to switch the drive settings around while driving, as this may have contributed to an expensive issue in a previous vehicle).

- Can I be in L mode when going at high speed (eg 75 mph speed limit highway?). Are there restrictions on switching in and out of L mode at high speed that are not there when at low speed? (I think in some of my initial experiences with L mode, the vehicle did not allow me to switch into it until I had reduced speed? Not sure.)

Not so much a question but a comment, my main reservation to L mode, when I heard about it, was this issue of not communicating sufficiently to those following behind. This came up yesterday when I was in L mode and (as well) in cruise control on a street where I have already picked up one speeding ticket. Things were going fine until I realized a vehicle behind me had momentarily pulled up way too close. They backed off, but it made me question if this was a product not only of their aggressive driving, but of the vehicle not communicating as much as it normally might to the vehicle behind. (**I already know**, L mode conforms to the law as to when the brake lights go on... There is a difference between minimally conforming with the law and driving safely... my primary concern is to drive safely. Traditionally one way I have avoided being rear-ended involves tapping the breaks in a way that not only slows me down but which might help get the attention of those behind and communicate that I am slowing. It's harder to do this in L mode because so much of the speed disappears so quickly without tapping the brakes).
 

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L and D (and R) are not physical shifts, only software. You can freely shift between any gear, except park, while moving. (Don't think anyone has been brave enough to try that one, but the computer likely would just put it in neutral instead of attempt to actually put it in park)

You can freely use D or L at any speed and switch between them, even when accelerating or decelerating. Use it however you prefer.

Brake lights do not illuminate on their own in a gen1, ever.
They are controlled by the brake pad, like any other car before it.
If you want brake lights on, your foot must be on the pedal. Period.

Gen2 added a sensor to bring them on for harder acceleration (possible using the paddle) - but they are still off for mild deceleration within the same range as gen1 volt (as you said, it is the maximum allowed by law without brake lights).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
L and D (and R) are not physical shifts, only software. You can freely shift between any gear, except park, while moving. (Don't think anyone has been brave enough to try that one, but the computer likely would just put it in neutral instead of attempt to actually put it in park)

You can freely use D or L at any speed and switch between them, even when accelerating or decelerating. Use it however you prefer.

Brake lights do not illuminate on their own in a gen1, ever.
They are controlled by the brake pad, like any other car before it.
If you want brake lights on, your foot must be on the pedal. Period.

Gen2 added a sensor to bring them on for harder acceleration (possible using the paddle) - but they are still off for mild deceleration within the same range as gen1 volt (as you said, it is the maximum allowed by law without brake lights).
All very helpful, thanks.

On the shifting-on-the-fly, along with park, I also hope the vehicle would recognize not to go into Reverse particularly when it is at higher speed.

On the question of whether the brake lights come on in Gen1, if as you say they will simply not come on unless I tap the brake (regardless of rate of deceleration) then that would help explain why the vehicle following me momentarily ended up way too close (especially as I had been in cruise control, I think I probably turned it off to decelerate rather than tapping the brakes), and will give me pause in using L mode. That scenario still seems very dangerous to me (failure to communicate a respectful amount of information to the vehicle following), regardless of the excellent qualities of L mode.

Ideally, unless I'm not understanding, I'd like to see them offer a way that lifting off the accelerator in L mode would trigger the brake lights to kick on more often.... I don't know about every time, but maybe more than the legal minimum. Hard to say, they may be looking at so much brake light activity that it was difficult to strike a balance? Maybe if I tried a Gen2 in L mode, I would find that it clears up some or all of my concerns.
 

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You can freely shift to R.
All it's doing is reversing the flow of energy - basically regen.
Once you hit zero it will then start to go backwards.

I think there are videos on youtube of people doing it.

The brake lights, even on gen2, do not enable until you are decelerating enough to require them by law.
Simply lifting off the pedal is not enough decel to be in that range. It was purposefully programmed to be no more than that level.
Downshifting in any ICE car is worse as you can actually go beyond that threshold without any lights whatsoever.
Gen2 gave you the option with the paddles, but that triggers the lights.

What you propose will never be offered, it would be too many nuisance lights, as you mentioned.
 

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On the shifting-on-the-fly, along with park, I also hope the vehicle would recognize not to go into Reverse particularly when it is at higher speed.
I shift between them often. To shift to L you depress the shifter release and pull back. To shift back to D you just push the shifter forward without depressing the shifter release. It will stop in D. Not depressing the shifter release when going from L to D will prevent it from going into N or R unintentionally.
 

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- Can I confirm that it is ok to switch from Drive to L while moving? And from L to Drive? Is there a speed above or below which I cannot do this?
Yes, it is perfectly ok to switch to L at any speed. All L mode does is change the amount of regen during braking. So if you switch to L while NOT braking, absolutely nothing changes. There is no gear changing. There is a gear box but no transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to all for the helpful responses.
 

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Simply lifting off the pedal is not enough decel to be in that range. It was purposefully programmed to be no more than that level.
On a Gen 2, if driving in L at a reasonably high speed, and lifting your foot of the accelerator, the brake lights will come on as the deceleration from regen will be strong enough.
 

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On a Gen 2, if driving in L at a reasonably high speed, and lifting your foot of the accelerator, the brake lights will come on as the deceleration from regen will be strong enough.
Yes, but OP has a 2013, it does not do this.
Rereading my post, I can see how it is unclear.
Simply lifting off the pedal [in your volt] is not enough decel to be in that range [in which the gen2 activates the lights].
 

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Ah, you gave up the tick on how to turn on the backup camera :)
 

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The brake lights, even on gen2, do not enable until you are decelerating enough to require them by law.
Simply lifting off the pedal is not enough decel to be in that range. It was purposefully programmed to be no more than that level.
Downshifting in any ICE car is worse as you can actually go beyond that threshold without any lights whatsoever.
Gen2 gave you the option with the paddles, but that triggers the lights.
Yes but...

The stop lamps come on in Gen 2 even just in L, when the slowing is high enough to require stop lamps. There's video testing this on YouTube someplace.
 

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Yes but...

The stop lamps come on in Gen 2 even just in L, when the slowing is high enough to require stop lamps. There's video testing this on YouTube someplace.
Yes, I clarified that two posts back.
 
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