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Hello,

I am living in Calgary and will be make a trip to Vancouver, would there be any issues driving the Volt through the mountains? Sorry I only had the Volt for a few days.

As well I would like to take a tour through Montana and Idaho, specifically the road to the sun. Does anyone know if that mountain pass would be too much for the Volt?

Thanks for your help.
 

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Your Volt will be able to drive through the mountains. Just remember to engage Mountain Mode at least 30 minutes before starting the ascent. This will built up, maintain a minimum 20% battery charge to let the electric motors assist the gas engine when climbing, passing. Your mileage per gallon of gas will not be what you are used to, in fact much lower than usual, but that is true for any vehicle making a long ascent. So instead of 42mpg plan on maybe half that figure, maybe a bit more than half. On the descent you can switch to Normal mode, with the Volt's transmission set to Low you should be able recover at least 50% of the energy used during the ascent with regen. You may be surprised when you complete your descent with an almost full battery.
 

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Just put it into Mountain Mode and L then go. Use the regen paddles if needed, but don't be afraid to press the brake pedal for variable regen. Don't worry about overheating the brakes, they should not engage except during emergency panic stops and the last 5-7 MPH of a stop.

But if you forget to use Mountain Mode, you might encounter reduced propulsion when going up a big mountain climb. So use MM.
 

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I seriously doubt you'll encounter any problems making it through mountain passes on your trip. I recently drove from Western Washington to Northern Arizona and my 2017 performed great, using mountain mode. Have a great trip! You've got a terrific car to take it in.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk
 

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With our 2016 Volt and any 2016-17 Volt you have the option with a full charge to place the car in hold mode say at 25 miles of electric range left. Then you always have 25 electric miles at the push of a button, the extra buffer will assist you in climbing mountain grades and when in bumper to bumper traffic or a few miles through towns and cities as well. Its a great feature to have as well, not many plug in electric vehicles have that feature or the range as well. Also the gas engine on the 2016-17 Volt is more fuel efficient than most owners give it credit for. Our 2016 Volt with thousands of miles on gas, and our odometer approaching 20,000 miles voltstats.net have the gas engine mpg's at over 45 mpg, overall avg. Not many cars today can approach that as an overall average mpg of their vehicle since new...
 

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As well I would like to take a tour through Montana and Idaho, specifically the road to the sun. Does anyone know if that mountain pass would be too much for the Volt?
Keep in mind that Mountain Mode has been poorly named. It’s not a special mode that provides the Volt with special performance characteristics for driving in hilly terrain that would be unnecessary on flat ground. Perhaps it should be called Hold Mode at Fixed Battery Charge Level.

The 2011/2012 Volts had no Hold mode. When driving with the ICE running in high-power demand environments (for example, when trying to pass at freeway speeds while headed up steep hills, and hence "Mountain" mode), the generator’s output might be insufficient to maintain performance without "borrowing" extra power from the battery, resulting in Reduced Propulsion Mode. GM thus developed Mountain Mode, which would maintain the battery state of charge ~4 bars over the fully depleted level in the Gen 1 Volt. The Gen 2 Volt has a more powerful ICE, and its MM-maintained buffer is ~2 bars (some say it’s not really needed at all).

Choosing MM over Hold (at MM-maintained level or higher) seems to offer no particular advantage for the intended purpose. Just remember to maintain that buffer reserve until you pass over the last summit crest of the trip.

MM has one "feature" that is elsewhere lacking. If your battery is already at or nearing full depletion, switching into MM will run the generator a little harder and use some additional gas to recharge the battery back up to that ~4 bar (Gen 1) or ~2 bar level (Gen 2). This ability to recharge as you drive allows you to avoid time-consuming recharging stops before heading into the mountains. In moderate driving circumstances, this takes ~15 minutes for a Gen 1 Volt (less for Gen 2). This is why the manual says to switch to MM 15-20 minutes before reaching the mountains.

In practice, you can switch into MM even with a full charge. The bottom bars will change from green to gray, indicating the MM buffer, and you continue driving on battery power in Electric Mode until the battery SOC drops to the MM-maintained level.

The Wikipedia page on the Going-To-The-Sun Road indicates the road is so full of hairpin turns that the speed limit is 25 mph (40 km/hr) on the upper roads, and 45 mph (72 km/hr) on the lower level roads. Chances are that at those limited speeds, the Gen 2 Volt wouldn’t need MM at all. Descending in L would surely keep you in control (perhaps even with cruise control on at the lower levels) and provide lots of downhill regen.

The article also mentions the road is one of the most difficult roads in North America to snowplow in the spring. Up to 80 feet (24 m) of snow can lie on top of Logan Pass, and more just east of the pass where the deepest snowfield has long been referred to as the Big Drift... On the east side of the Continental Divide, there are few guardrails due to heavy snows and the resultant late winter avalanches that have repeatedly destroyed every protective barrier ever constructed... hmm... no guard rails, hairpin turns, high up on the side of a mountain... were it me, I’d choose a different road...
 

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Put it in mountain mode to maintain a small amount of battery for assistance to the ICE engine if it needs it. On the downhills if you're gaining too much speed drop the car to L instead of using your brakes. You can drop the Volt from D to L at any speed without damaging the transmission.
 

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Keep in mind that Mountain Mode has been poorly named. It’s not a special mode that provides the Volt with special performance characteristics for driving in hilly terrain that would be unnecessary on flat ground. Perhaps it should be called Hold Mode at Fixed Battery Charge Level.
I gently disagree. We have taken one of our Volts from San Jose and back, from Las Vegas which is about 1000 miles. This involves 2+ mountain ranges. We have done this about 6 times. I have found that MM is a handy tool to maintain and build up a portion of the battery, so you can "put your foot in it", as necessary when in the mountains. It seems to give you more power compared to a fully depleted battery. The beauty of MM is that you can start with a fully depleted battery and, as the manual states, by engaging the mode about 20 minutes before you enter the mountains it will charge and then hold the level.
 

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I gently disagree. We have taken one of our Volts from San Jose and back, from Las Vegas which is about 1000 miles. This involves 2+ mountain ranges. We have done this about 6 times. I have found that MM is a handy tool to maintain and build up a portion of the battery, so you can "put your foot in it", as necessary when in the mountains. It seems to give you more power compared to a fully depleted battery. The beauty of MM is that you can start with a fully depleted battery and, as the manual states, by engaging the mode about 20 minutes before you enter the mountains it will charge and then hold the level.
Sorry if I was unclear. My point was to not be mislead by the name, "Mountain" Mode. MM seems to be nothing more than Hold Mode at the ~4 bar (Gen 1) / ~2 bar (Gen 2) level of charge. As far as I know, MM is not "tweaked" to give your Volt better performance when driving up mountain roads than you would get using Hold Mode with a ~4 bar/~2 bar or greater buffer, nor does it give any performance boost when descending mountain roads. The only special feature is its ability to recharge a depleted battery up to the MM-maintained level.

Hold Mode was just not available to 2011/2012 Volt owners, so MM was included to give drivers a method of holding their battery buffer above the fully depleted level while driving in high power demand conditions such as those found when driving up mountains. Don’t know how MM’s "recharging" feature would have been handled if Hold had been available in the Volt at the start. Many Volt owners wish GM had included the ability to choose to fully recharge the battery, and not just to the ~4 bar/~2 bar level.
 

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I drove 4,000 miles last summer through the Northern Rocky Mountains. The only time that my Volt has difficulties is when I am a few miles from home on Vail Pass and want to use all of the charge in my batteries, so I go out of Mountain Mode. From Vail to the summit of Vail Pass, the steep grade consumes all of the electricity on the ten-mile ascent during the last two miles. The engine range extender races and the vehicle loses power, briefly traveling at about 45 MPH.
 
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