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Discussion Starter #1
I am VERY interested in purchasing a Volt (have contacted a board member selling) and am wondering how well they do in the mountains.
I regularly drive from Indiana to Virginia on route I-64 and am ESPECIALLY interested in knowing how it will pull Sandstone Mountain in West Virginia.
I spoke with a friend whose daughter has one and said it did not do well on a rolling hill road here in Indiana, just saying (they might not know about MM)

I look forward to hearing from any members about their experience; either way, I would LOVE to own one :D
 

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I've driven through the NW MD panhandle (Cumberland gap) and the car did great (cruise on 70 the whole way...no mountain mode).

Can you do a test drive?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not really, it's 8 hours away, that's why I started the thread.
Thanks for your input, it helps.
I think either way, I'm going for it!
 

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Just put it into mountain mode and the car does fine. I've driven my volt many times through Indiana in normal mode on I74, I70, and I65, no issues at all. No mountain mode needed in Indiana.
 

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I live right at the base of the Shenandoah Mountains, right by Shenandoah National Park.

I've run back and forth over Route 33 multiple times (Pendleton WV to Harrisonburg, VA and then over to Charlottesvile VA) and to be honest I'd rather do it in my Volt than my Jeep.

See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaAtgWZ2vOE
The steep and twisting mountain climb starts at 1:35 ish by the top you are watching a 3,000 ft elevation climb.

I've also made the mountain run from Waynesboro over to Monterey on route 250, if you've ever been on that one you know how steep it is.

The one time I intentionally ran everything down so that I was operating in "reduced propulsion mode" (I.E. the REX only, no battery) I could still crawl up the mountains, I just couldn't accelerate or get up to "normal" speeds, but I had to WORK to put myself in that position and I only did it to see what RPM was like.

So far I've never actually -needed- Mountain mode, though I have engaged it a few times in Shenandoah National Park (Skyline Drive).
 

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Just returned to Michigan from Florida, via Raleigh NC. I77 all the way up to Charleston from Winston-Salem. We have done this several times in the Volt, you don't really need Mountain mode even for the hard climb up to Fancy Gap. However this trip I was pushing it hard, and did get the reduced propulsion message at one point up by Beckly. Just selected mountain mode and continued to push, you can appreciate the extra RPMs on the flats and down hills knowing its providing a buffer. By push I mean up on the wheel, 70-80+ mph through those curves. Volt handles like a dream.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I live right at the base of the Shenandoah Mountains, right by Shenandoah National Park.

I've run back and forth over Route 33 multiple times (Pendleton WV to Harrisonburg, VA and then over to Charlottesvile VA) and to be honest I'd rather do it in my Volt than my Jeep.

See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaAtgWZ2vOE
The steep and twisting mountain climb starts at 1:35 ish by the top you are watching a 3,000 ft elevation climb.

I've also made the mountain run from Waynesboro over to Monterey on route 250, if you've ever been on that one you know how steep it is.

The one time I intentionally ran everything down so that I was operating in "reduced propulsion mode" (I.E. the REX only, no battery) I could still crawl up the mountains, I just couldn't accelerate or get up to "normal" speeds, but I had to WORK to put myself in that position and I only did it to see what RPM was like.

So far I've never actually -needed- Mountain mode, though I have engaged it a few times in Shenandoah National Park (Skyline Drive).
Just returned to Michigan from Florida, via Raleigh NC. I77 all the way up to Charleston from Winston-Salem. We have done this several times in the Volt, you don't really need Mountain mode even for the hard climb up to Fancy Gap. However this trip I was pushing it hard, and did get the reduced propulsion message at one point up by Beckly. Just selected mountain mode and continued to push, you can appreciate the extra RPMs on the flats and down hills knowing its providing a buffer. By push I mean up on the wheel, 70-80+ mph through those curves. Volt handles like a dream.
Hey, thanks guys. This is the kind of info I'm looking for. Puts my mind at ease. I'm pulling the trigger on this one !!!
Thanks again.............looking forward to the 8 hour trip home with my (new to me) Volt :D
 

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The Volt does just fine on mountains. On intense mountains, you should put it in Mountain Mode. This keeps the Volt's traction battery at least 40% charged. The Volt's ICE alone cannot power the electric motor to 100%, though rarely does it need that much power. To counter this short coming, the Volt uses the battery as a buffer. That's why Mountain Mode is important. An extremely low battery will result in "Propulsion Power Reduced" mode, where the cars performance is hindered due to low charge/fuel.

The fun part about EV's on mountains is the satisfaction of knowing that you're regenerating tons of energy when going down hill! It's an awesome feeling seeing your EV miles go up!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The Volt does just fine on mountains. On intense mountains, you should put it in Mountain Mode. This keeps the Volt's traction battery at least 40% charged. The Volt's ICE alone cannot power the electric motor to 100%, though rarely does it need that much power. To counter this short coming, the Volt uses the battery as a buffer. That's why Mountain Mode is important. An extremely low battery will result in "Propulsion Power Reduced" mode, where the cars performance is hindered due to low charge/fuel.

The fun part about EV's on mountains is the satisfaction of knowing that you're regenerating tons of energy when going down hill! It's an awesome feeling seeing your EV miles go up!
So, when in Propulsion Power Reduced mode, it will NOT come up to speed ??? IF going down the highway and PPR mode kicks in, what kind of speeds can one expect ??
Just did some reading, I think I answered my own question :eek:
 

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So, when in Propulsion Power Reduced mode, it will NOT come up to speed ??? IF going down the highway and PPR mode kicks in, what kind of speeds can one expect ??
Just did some reading, I think I answered my own question
On flat road, most people only notice slower acceleration. They can still get up to highway speeds in PPR mode. Though mountains are usually tough. If you do end up in that mode, you can either crawl your way through, or pull over and let mountain mode recharge your battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So I'm taking a long trip..1/2 pretty flat half mountainous. Should I drive the flat part in L or D and then before I hit the mountains switch to MM ?
 

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Okay, so here's the deal.

From the high voltage battery pack (hereafter referred to as the HVBP) the Gen 1 Volt can pull about 114kW
From the Range Extender Generator (hereafter referred to as the REX) the Gen 1 Volt can pull about 55kW

Obviously if you run completely out of HVBP then your available power is going to be reduced due to the fact that the REX can only push out 55kW.

However, it is important to understand the following points...

  • On a highway, with gentle grade changes, the Volt only pulls about 22-35kW to maintain 70-75mph.
  • Up a modest to kinda steep grade you might draw 45-55kW in which case you can maintain speed, but probably couldn't pass anyone.
  • A severe grade (10% or worse) is where you would start losing ground since you might need as much as 65kW just to maintain.
  • Every time you hit a steep DOWNHILL grade you are going to be pushing regen energy back into the HVBP so then you'd get back out of "reduced power mode" just from the regeneration.
All Mountain Mode does is try to charge the HVBP up to at least 40%...and keep it there as you demand more from the vehicle in steep or protracted mountain driving. With that in mind, best practice is to engage Mountain Mode about 20 miles ahead of time so that it has a chance to pump up the HVBP .

Seriously though, I've never really had to worry about it.

Note: If you do find yourself in a "reduced power/REX only" situation, all you have to do is engage Mountain Mode and either keep driving, or pull over someplace for about 10 minutes while the car "idles" and you'll get a pretty good buffer built up in the HVBP and you can resume driving normally.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you Dutch. There is a part of my trip where there is a long long 7% grade so sounds like while I'm in the mountains it's MM . Info much appreciated. Will have my Volt by the end of the month.
 

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Easy peasy! The Volt was designed to handle Pikes Peak elevation (> 12,000 feet). Sandstone mountain (< 3000 ft) should not be an issue. Engage Mountain Mode at least 15 minutes before you reach the mountain. THis will ensure you have a healthy battery buffer, just in case.
 

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II've also made the mountain run from Waynesboro over to Monterey on route 250, if you've ever been on that one you know how steep it is.
Hey, you're in my old stomping grounds! I lived in Waynesboro back in the 70's (I was a day student at Fishburne Military) and learned to drive on those roads. I hope to take my Volt up and down Afton Mountain next time I am up that way. I especially wanted to see how much it would put back in the battery coming down through that huge curve on 250 heading into Waynesboro city limits.
 

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I regularly drive up I81 from Blacksburg to Winchester. Always great mileage. 42-45 mpg. Hills one after the other. When I do the I40 flat trip to Wilmington from Raleigh, luck to get 37 mpg. MANY times the somersault. Same speeds. Car loves up and down trips. Hard to believe it is a Chevy it is so well made.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Easy peasy! The Volt was designed to handle Pikes Peak elevation (> 12,000 feet). Sandstone mountain (< 3000 ft) should not be an issue. Engage Mountain Mode at least 15 minutes before you reach the mountain. THis will ensure you have a healthy battery buffer, just in case.
So...you CAN switch modes on the fly ?
 
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