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Hi everyone - taking the Volt on a road trip, about 500 miles each way. Should be able to do at least some limited charging when we get to our destination, but obviously not much on the road (might hit a Cracker Barrel though).

What's the best strategy for maximizing fuel economy - should I just drive in normal mode until the battery is exhausted, or should I use Hold mode on the highway once we're cruising and only go into normal mode when we're either at our destination, getting off the highway, or hit congestion?

Any ideas - also when using cruise control does anyone know which MPH typically gets the best MPG?
 

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Hold mode is most efficient on the highway, but in the grand scheme of things it probably won't be that dramatic of a difference when all is said and done.
 

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Fuel economy won't be greatly affected by strategy. The biggest impact is that if you're using cabin heat, it's beneficial to get the engine on early, instead of paying battery power to heat the car. I would go with hold forthe freeway portions, mainly because I don't like the engine in stop and go traffic, but can hardly tell the difference on the open road.

The most efficient speed for cruise control is almos certainly slower than you want to drive - likely in the vicinety of 35 mph. There's a change in strategy in the 60-65 range - below that it runs the engine faster/more efficiently, and cycles it off periodically - above that it runs continuously at low RPMs.
 

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Keep in mind that for warm weather trips, hold for highway travel would be a plus, saving battery miles for city travel.
 

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For longer trips, I put hold mode on as soon as I get on the highway. I turn hold mode off for local roads, and for stop-and-go traffic. I also turn hold mode off toward the end of the trip, to use all of the available battery.
 

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I would like to know if there is a list of hotel/motels who offer charge stations? Is anyone promoting this?
 

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I planning on going on a 1200 mile round trip in April . I'll charge if we stop for breakfast and lunch. But otherwise I will plan to drive 65mph and use cruise control. HVAC will be probably fine on vent only. It will be my first really long distance drive (mostly have done 200-400 mile trips previously). Luckily at the destination, there are tons of charging stations.
 

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The goal is to maximize the benefit of cheap electricity and minimize the consumption of gasoline.

1. Charge the battery and pre-condition the cabin temperature before you leave.

2. If there are significant mountain passes, keep it in Mountain Mode for the whole trip (except the last few miles). This prevents the engine from having to work hard to charge the battery (to build up the additional buffer in Mountain Mode).

3. You'll want to plan to arrive with a dead battery (to minimize gasoline usage). So, if you are using Mountain or Hold modes, go back to Normal mode at the end of your trip to use up the last of the battery before you arrive.

4. The gasoline engine is most efficient on the highway, and the battery is most efficient in town. Use Hold Mode to take advantage of that.

5. Hold Mode is also useful to heat the cabin at the beginning of the trip (in cases where you cannot pre-condition while plugged in). The gasoline engine is very good at making heat.

6. Even if you ignore *all* of this advice, the Volt will still be extremely cheap to operate!
 

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I would like to know if there is a list of hotel/motels who offer charge stations? Is anyone promoting this?
There isn't really a list available from hotels. I would just directly contact the hotels/motels you are interested in and find out if they have a charging station or allow 120V outlets for charging. Another idea is to check plugshare.com/carstations.com/recargo.com for hotel listings.
 

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After driving my Volt for 2 years and 36K miles with at least 6k of that long distance driving. i settled down of a strategy based on the fact that best use of the battery. Electric mode is best used for low speed driving, gas is best and only used for long distances where I know I will go over my battery only range. I don't have the privilege of using hold mode in my 2011 Volt so I use the next best thing and that is Mountain mode, it al least will give me around 14 miles of Battery that I can hold when we pull off the highway to fill up gas or eat on long trips. Doing this helps overall MPG. When I get close to my destination (around 14 Miles) based on GPS, then I go to electric the rest of the way. In my longest trip during the summer I was able to get 47 MPG (please note that I drive at what ever the posted speed limit is) in a fully loaded car and in some cases 102 degree days. I also learned that the Volt can get up to about 4 better HW milage because of the less dense air. So what I do is as I leave the driveway or over night stop, on my trip. I just automatically put the car in MM for as long as the trip last till I get close to my destination where I can charge the car. I find that in MM that the power usage strategy works a little better then allowing the car to go directly to CS mode. The large buffer of MM seems to give advantages in the overall usage of the battery and ICE. If you end up in traffic on a long range trip, stay in MM, what happens will astound you. The extra battery buffer will allow the car to just turn the motor off and stay off till it uses the CS and MM Buffers. It will keep the 14 miles until you switch out of MM and return to electric only mode. I notice lots of people switch in and out of MM based on only using it for mountains. But as I have described it has a useful features for long distance driving. Since you have a HOLD mode, this may just be what you need, but as I said and my main point is that for long distance You will use gas no matter what mode you pick, and the best strategy is to hold as much battery as you can as it pays off in the long run.
 

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It would be nice if we could build one on this site for everyone to add to. It could be broken down by state.

Thanks for the reply.
 

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Would it be possible to develop a list of Electric friendly hotel/motels on this site? We could set it up by state and as members of this site came across a hotel/motel who has charging stations available they could add their name and location to the list. Just a thought.
 

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For my 750 mile round trip I am about to take, I purchased a spare rim/tire and jack as was described here on the forum. I'll be leaving way early and I would hate to get stuck on the side of the road, fiddling with the goop on the shoulder of I-65 or waiting for someone to flatbed the car to a dealer/tire place, particularly since most flatbed drivers are NOT fully versed (even if you show them the how to sheet) in putting a Volt on a flatbed.
 

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I'm am SERIOUSLY willing to start a simple website that lists all hotels/motels that accept charging for cars, or have a 240 charger. Who would support me in this ad'venture?
The website would be cheap to start and a majority of the data could be crowd-sourced. I could take requests for popular routes and work in a 1/2 dozen phone calls per day to get the route completed.
 

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I would like to know if there is a list of hotel/motels who offer charge stations? Is anyone promoting this?
I use the plug share app which gives a map or list of restaurant and other locations of all potential plug in charge locations.
 

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I think the effort would be better spent updating current websites like plugshare, carstations, or recargo. Sometimes there are charging stations nearby hotels at restaurants or shopping centers that would otherwise no be noticed if you just logged hotel/motel charging stations. Don't reinvent the wheel.
 

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The goal is to maximize the benefit of cheap electricity and minimize the consumption of gasoline.
My goal is to be comfortable and to arrive safe.

I always do my best to drive efficiently and economically but I refuse to sacrifice comfort to gain a few extra E-miles.

In Cold weather I precondition with the thermostat set to max high. I get in with the heat turned off. I do not have a hold mode so I start off in Mountain Mode and if it isn't very cold outside I can usually get the ice turned on by the time in need to turn on the heat. However if I start getting cold I am going to turn on the heat and stay comfortable even if it means loosing a few "E" miles
 

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I would like to know if there is a list of hotel/motels who offer charge stations? Is anyone promoting this?
I don't believe there is a consolidated hotel list, but PlugShare seems to be the most comprehensive list of chargers (regardless of brand) available (both commercial [free/fee] and residential). Hotels are part of this list, as well.

PlugShare also has an iPhone app, as well as an Andriod app, so you can take it with you.
 

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Between Plugshare, Recargo, and a variety of apps and sources, I'm finding some Hilton and Marriott locations have already installed Level 2 charge stations, but for some reason neither hotel chain or any for that matter, have updated the Search capability on their booking website to filter for these locations. Marriott hasn't even updated their list of hotels with EV charge stations for almost 2 years ! Seems like a wasted opportunity to attract a whole segment of new customers.
 
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