Bolt Freeway Driving Technics - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Bolt Freeway Driving Technics

Hello,
I've always driven the car in "Low" thinking that I'm getting more eMPG because it's charging the battery more. I drove the car in "Drive" the other day and started thinking I have less rolling resistance (vs harder deceleration braking- charging the battery). Maybe I could go further if the car "rolled" more (if that makes any sense). I'm talking normal freeway speeds and backing off the pedal from time to time as cars pull in front or going down a small hill and having to back off the pedal.


Do you guys know the proper technic to use?
DAVE
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 06:02 PM
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Coasting will always be more efficient than regen as there is always a loss of energy in the transfer process (entropy), and regen is more efficient than using friction brakes for the same reason.

In general, on long stretches of freeway driving, I personally just leave it in D to maximize coasting.

When I suspect that I'm going to be in a lot of stop and go, I switch to L to minimize the use of the brake pedal and having to move my foot back and forth.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 07:10 PM
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The best technique is to try to maintain your speed ("coasting", as Cardyin said). Every time you slow down, even if you're using regen to do it, you loose some energy. Regen helps to recover some of that energy, but it's not 100% efficient so you won't recoup as much as you lost slowing down.

If you find it easier to coast (i.e., avoid using any power or any regen) in "D" mode then that's the better mode for you. If you find it easier in "L" mode, than go for it.

You can also use the cruise control, but if you're not driving on a perfectly flat road it may be better to control the throttle manually. In gently rolling hills cruise control will waste energy trying to slow you down on the downhill portions, whereas good manual driving technique can use the gravity assist on those downhill portions to build up some momentum to carry you over the uphill portions.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSlinger View Post
Hello,
I've always driven the car in "Low" thinking that I'm getting more eMPG because it's charging the battery more. I drove the car in "Drive" the other day and started thinking I have less rolling resistance (vs harder deceleration braking- charging the battery). Maybe I could go further if the car "rolled" more (if that makes any sense). I'm talking normal freeway speeds and backing off the pedal from time to time as cars pull in front or going down a small hill and having to back off the pedal.


Do you guys know the proper technic to use?
DAVE
I know it sounds like a bit unsafe but driving in the highway the best way to extend range is to draft behind a semi. They hate it but if you keep the right distance and keep car in low don't use cruise and you will notice about a 10-20% boost in range or efficiency is what I find.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Smithfamilytree Smith View Post
I know it sounds like a bit unsafe but driving in the highway the best way to extend range is to draft behind a semi. They hate it...
If you're not tailgating then why would they care if you're following them?
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 08:38 AM
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....Why would you try to draft behind a semi? I mean.. even if it's possible that you'll get a bit more range out of it, there are quite a few cons that come about from that as well that just make it very not worth it in my opinion.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 11:19 AM
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^ not to mention the beating your front end paint job takes being only several feet behind a truck!
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Sean Nelson View Post
If you're not tailgating then why would they care if you're following them?
I've been wondering about that too. I've often heard that truck drivers hate drafters, but I can't for the life of me figure out why they would care. I suppose if someone gets too close and hits you, there is paperwork to fill out, but I would think that would be fully offset by the entertainment value of some fool messing up his fancy electric car while your truck is completely unscathed. A serious accident would be bad, of course, but it seems unlikely to result from drafting, unless of course you're a Tesla autopilot user.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 12:22 PM
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Is the suggested following distance between vehicles still one car length for every 10mph of speed, or has something changed over the last few years?
Drafting requires you to be within several feet of the truck at highway speeds IIRC.... isn't that considered tailgating then?

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by NY-Rob View Post
Is the suggested following distance between vehicles still one car length for every 10mph of speed, or has something changed over the last few years?
Here's what treehugger.com says about it:

" In scaled wind-tunnel tests, driving 100 feet behind a semi at 55 mph will reduce drag on your car by 40%. The drag reduction increases as you approach the bumper of the truck until you get a 93% drag reduction at a distance of 2 feet.

* In road tests, the testers achieved an almost 20% improvement in gas mileage at a distance of 100 feet (at 55 mph) and a 45% improvement at 10 feet."

100 feet is more than 7 Bolt-lengths, and generally would be more than one car length per 10mph at truck speed. This certainly would not be considered tailgating by most drivers in California! I don't draft semis - partly because I have never been short on range in the Bolt, and partly because I just don't drive that way. But I still don't get why truck drivers would care. Unless you're going for that 45% fuel efficiency improvement and following at 10 feet...
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