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Paddle Versus Pedal - 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited December 2015 in Chevrolet
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Paddle Versus Pedal - 2016 Chevrolet Volt

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt continues the automaker's strange recent habit for assigning unconventional functions to steering wheel paddles.

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Comments

  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    Based on what you've written, I could see the regenerative braking actually hurting fuel economy. What I'm thinking is, if the Regen-braking is "on" while you're running the gas engine, the engine has to compensate for the parasitic loss from the resistance of the braking. This would use more fuel, but allow the braking to charge the batteries. I get that the idea is that the car wouldn't be receiving any throttle advancement during braking, but as the braking effect acts on the car, the engine will rev up as it shifts to a lower gear, using more fuel as it slows to a stop. Or am I missing something?
  • mfennellmfennell Posts: 91
    edited December 2015
    I think that VW did the best job of this with the e-golf. There are a total of 5 settings for regen, from none to max, where you're effectively doing one-foot driving. I find one-foot driving to be grating. It's almost impossible to adjust my foot position without triggering deceleration. The interface, accessed through a traditional "shifter" is simple. In "D", move the lever left for more regen, right for less. Pull back to "B" for max. Pull back again to revert back to "D" (and whatever level of regen you were using).

    What happens when you apply the pedal when you have the paddle pulled? I would hope it just reduces regen, allowing you to adjust your decel rate. EDIT: I looked it up: hitting the accelerator disengages the regen.
  • Based on what you've written, I could see the regenerative braking actually hurting fuel economy. What I'm thinking is, if the Regen-braking is "on" while you're running the gas engine, the engine has to compensate for the parasitic loss from the resistance of the braking. This would use more fuel, but allow the braking to charge the batteries. I get that the idea is that the car wouldn't be receiving any throttle advancement during braking, but as the braking effect acts on the car, the engine will rev up as it shifts to a lower gear, using more fuel as it slows to a stop. Or am I missing something?

    The car won't let regen work against the ICE. Also, the Volt never shifts gears, it's a planetary style transmission.
  • mfennellmfennell Posts: 91
    edited December 2015
    "If this is the case, the regen paddle needs to be variable, even if it's just one more level at 50 percent without activating the taillights."

    Put the shifter in "L". I'll bet that's what you want.

    In practice, the car automatically regens via the brake pedal anyway so the paddle is a bit of a parlor trick IMHO but there were apparently a number of people who requested a way to engage maximum regeneration without using the brakes at all. I agree that a better implementation might have been a more aggressive L option.
  • I would think that the regen buttons are for squeezing out a couple of more miles out of the battery. If you just a few blocks short of your destination and trying to make it on electric only power this just might get you there.

    The new Acura NSX implementation of regen braking seems to be a great idea. The brakes on the NSX are actually a brake by wire system. The pedal is not actually connected to the braking system. Like the accelerator it is merely a sensor for the computer. When you press the brake pedal the computer mixes regenerative deceleration with actual braking. Dip in the brakes and the computer may provide maximum regenerative deceleration but no actual brakes. Need maximum braking power and the computer will give you maximum bite from the brakes and maximum regenerative deceleration. From the driver's seat it just feels like braking.
  • I would think that the regen buttons are for squeezing out a couple of more miles out of the battery. If you just a few blocks short of your destination and trying to make it on electric only power this just might get you there.

    The new Acura NSX implementation of regen braking seems to be a great idea.

    The Volt brakes have been brake-by-wire since the beginning. They behave exactly as you describe. The button is just a way to dial up max regen while being sure you don't actually engage the friction brakes.

    I'm not sure how slowing down will help you get to your destination...

  • Based on what you've written, I could see the regenerative braking actually hurting fuel economy. What I'm thinking is, if the Regen-braking is "on" while you're running the gas engine, the engine has to compensate for the parasitic loss from the resistance of the braking. This would use more fuel, but allow the braking to charge the batteries. I get that the idea is that the car wouldn't be receiving any throttle advancement during braking, but as the braking effect acts on the car, the engine will rev up as it shifts to a lower gear, using more fuel as it slows to a stop. Or am I missing something?

    That isn't how regenerative braking works. It has nothing to do with the actual brakes on the car. What you're trying to describe would basically be the same thing as the electric motor supplying power and slowing the electric motor at the same time... just can't happen.
  • You Edmunds guys got a green sticker for your Volt?! CARB announced today that they have maxed out the 85,000 alloted green stickers. That means no more HOV sticker for any PHEV.
  • I would think that the regen buttons are for squeezing out a couple of more miles out of the battery. If you just a few blocks short of your destination and trying to make it on electric only power this just might get you there.

    What you describe is what the Volt does. There are 3 types of braking in the Volt.

    - brake pedal: invokes regen under light load and until the speed drops, then blends in normal braking. you really have to pay close attention to notice the difference.

    - regen paddle: this lets you full regen at will. its useful as you approach a stop.

    - "L" mode in the "transmission": this adds automatic light regen as you let up on the accelerator. its gives you a little of the one-peddle drive mode. would be nice to be able to select a more agressive regen mode here.

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