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Throttle input techniques to maximize efficiency

5433 Views 33 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  rmay635703
In your experience, is it more efficient to give short bursts of relatively higher throttle/kW output levels with coasting in between, or to "hold" the throttle longer at lower thottle/kW levels to maintain a certain speed?

I've been experimenting with trying to maximize my efficiency & range during my commute. It's ~18 miles one way, all surface streets and fairly level (few small ~5ft hills here and there), with speeds seldom exceeding 45mph. Pretty ideal conditions for the Volt and for experimentation with efficient driving. Under normal acceleration from a stop up to cruising speed, I'm generally keeping the throttle input at ~20kW or less.

One method I've used for maintaining cruising speed (let's say, of 35-40mph) has been to maintain a steady throttle input somewhere between 8-15kW, depending on conditions. Another method has been to use short 3-4 second bursts of 18-20kW throttle inputs to nudge the car back up to cruising speed after coasting (anywhere from 5-15 seconds, depending on conditions) and losing 2-4mph of speed. Under both experimental conditions, I'm maximizing use of coasting wherever possible.

I'm still on the fence as to which is more efficient, though I'm leaning towards the "burst" throttle method as being more efficient since I'm guessing that 20kW @ 3sec is less than, say 10kw for 6+ seconds. The main drawback of the burst method being that the ride is less smooth due to the oscillation of acceleration & coasting compared to the "constant" throttle method.

Any thoughts on your experiences?

Side note regarding efficiency: My Volt is still "learning" what the estimated range per charge would be as I've only had the car for a month now. For example this morning, it was estimating range of 51 miles after a full charge. I used 3.3kWh for my 17.7 mile commute (pretty average, my best so far has been 3.0kWh for the same trip), and the range estimator says I still have 38 miles left.
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Due to the way the volt handles its 2 motors light acceleration is almost always best (under 20kw) or you fall out of the more efficient 2 motor mode.

Also it's best to let off the brake and let the car "launch" at idle then slowly get into the throttle.

P$G does not work on the volt in ev mode, gas mode is questionable as well.

Once you are up to your goal speed set a kw/mile goal and hold there, your tire inflation and local temperature affect what you can expect. Battery heater and climate controls dramatically affect the efficiency at low speeds which changes tactics.

I usually shoot for 6miles per kw and let speed go up and down holding it there as much as possible.

Long steep hills are best accelerated up to a bit faster than normal, bleed speed up to the lower mph limit, then neutral coast as long as safe off the other downhill side.

I have achieved 68-72 miles ev range all summer using the above techniques on a 2013
Slow and steady wins
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To me that's the sort of "hyper miling" stuff that annoys and endangers others. Around here even driving the posted limit P.O.s some drivers. I just more or less drive "relaxed" remembering I'm on a public road and not a race course.
I will tell that to the next Amish buggy and farm tractor I pass in the middle of the highway.
Daily occurrence around here.

I'm sure my volt is much less safe and much more dangerous than the oversized farm equipment blocking the road going 5-10 mph

Occasionally there is one going 25.
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