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2017 Bolt LT - Gunmetal Gray
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone, just traded in my 2014 Ford Fiesta for a "GunMetal Gray" 2017 Chevy Bolt LT. Super happy with my purchase, but I'm nervous to drive it. Any recommendations for a new driver to get used to the Bolt, and EV's in general? It's a big step for me, but I've been looking forward to it for so long.

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Welcome. Please check your picture link as it is not working at the moment.

Just be careful with the torque. EV's are quite powerful and take off easily.

There ya go. Pictures working now just fine.
 
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Welcome!
My recommendation : go easy at the beginning and just enjoy the car.
Also, if you haven't tried yet, switch to the "L" driving mode. It's a no-way-back.
 

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Looks nice! Now just go and get some quality Tuxmat mats for it and you're golden.
 

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2017 Bolt LT - Gunmetal Gray
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Discussion Starter #5
Welcome!
My recommendation : go easy at the beginning and just enjoy the car.
Also, if you haven't tried yet, switch to the "L" driving mode. It's a no-way-back.
I'll definitely try the L driving mode around the city today. From what I know, it's constant 1-pedal Regen Driving.

Does anyone know exactly how the actual Brake pedal works? From what I've seen while trying it, sometimes it does Regen, sometimes it does the actual Brakes? Just wondering.
If anything, I'll test it out more and figure it out precisely.
 

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2018 Bolt EV Premier Nightfall Gray
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I'll definitely try the L driving mode around the city today. From what I know, it's constant 1-pedal Regen Driving.

Does anyone know exactly how the actual Brake pedal works? From what I've seen while trying it, sometimes it does Regen, sometimes it does the actual Brakes? Just wondering.
If anything, I'll test it out more and figure it out precisely.
Wouldn't know, I almost exclusively use L + Regen paddle to stop.

Theoretically, a soft press on the brake pedal will regen, harder press and friction takes over. If you are interested in hypermiling, shift to L as you are approaching a stop.

The Bolt will hold at a stop on fairly level surfaces in L. You can also hold your position in D if the regen paddle is used to come to a complete stop (then release the paddle while at a stop). Finally, if you use L to stop, you can hold the regen paddle, shift to D, and the car will hold when you release the regen paddle.

Also, the parking brake may occasionally auto engage if stopped on an uneven surface and the car creeps. All you have to do is press the Go pedal (notice I didn't say "Gas" pedal), and parking brake will disengage automatically. Since the car will occasionally creep at a stop, even with your foot on the brake pedal, I leave a little distance to avoid creeping into the car in front.

The brake lights do come on when regen is slowing or stopping the car, scientifically it is some % of motion slowing that triggers it. But, if you are cruising at highway speed in L (yes, safe to do), not engaging cruise control might make your brake lights flash on\off, particularly as you go over rough surfaces and the car is adjusting speed. That tends to trigger the butterfly effect resulting in stopping traffic behind you a few miles back in heavy traffic. So, at highway speeds, either use cruise control, or drive in D.

Finally, if you stop in L or with regen and take your foot off the brake pedal, the taillights will not indicate you are stopped. This is not so important if the guy behind is paying attention, but if you are stopped and traffic is pretty far behind you, it is a good idea to keep your foot on the brake pedal so the lights stay on and they know you are stopped.

EDIT: Oh, and congrats on your new Bolt, welcome to the EV world!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wouldn't know, I almost exclusively use L + Regen paddle to stop.

Theoretically, a soft press on the brake pedal will regen, harder press and friction takes over. If you are interested in hypermiling, shift to L as you are approaching a stop.

The Bolt will hold at a stop on fairly level surfaces in L. You can also hold your position in D if the regen paddle is used to come to a complete stop (then release the paddle while at a stop). Finally, if you use L to stop, you can hold the regen paddle, shift to D, and the car will hold when you release the regen paddle.

Also, the parking brake may occasionally auto engage if stopped on an uneven surface and the car creeps. All you have to do is press the Go pedal (notice I didn't say "Gas" pedal), and parking brake will disengage automatically. Since the car will occasionally creep at a stop, even with your foot on the brake pedal, I leave a little distance to avoid creeping into the car in front.

The brake lights do come on when regen is slowing or stopping the car, scientifically it is some % of motion slowing that triggers it. But, if you are cruising at highway speed in L (yes, safe to do), not engaging cruise control might make your brake lights flash on\off, particularly as you go over rough surfaces and the car is adjusting speed. That tends to trigger the butterfly effect resulting in stopping traffic behind you a few miles back in heavy traffic. So, at highway speeds, either use cruise control, or drive in D.

Finally, if you stop in L or with regen and take your foot off the brake pedal, the taillights will not indicate you are stopped. This is not so important if the guy behind is paying attention, but if you are stopped and traffic is pretty far behind you, it is a good idea to keep your foot on the brake pedal so the lights stay on and they know you are stopped.

EDIT: Oh, and congrats on your new Bolt, welcome to the EV world!
Thanks for the detailed reply! I commute about 50 miles a day for work and I do take highways, so that tip about L/D and Cruise Control is appreciated.

Also I was wondering about the brake lights when "Regen Only" stopped. I'll keep my foot on the anti-Go pedal in that case.

I just went for a short drive and I'll definitely be keeping my Bolt in "L" gear most of the time.
 

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Thanks for the detailed reply! I commute about 50 miles a day for work and I do take highways, so that tip about L/D and Cruise Control is appreciated.

Also I was wondering about the brake lights when "Regen Only" stopped. I'll keep my foot on the anti-Go pedal in that case.

I just went for a short drive and I'll definitely be keeping my Bolt in "L" gear most of the time.
I used to drive L almost exclusively. But, it seems like D is more efficient (not to mention a smoother ride) in certain cases. Accelerating seems to use the same, in D or L. on level surfaces at constant speed, D seems a little more efficient, and D seems to regen a little more on a long, slow stop than L, so I often use D then L for steep downhill runs or the last part of coming to a stop.

I don't have scientific data to back it up, but it seems to work for me, my best 130 mile commute last summer was 6.5 mi/kWh. That kind of puts me in the stratosphere for hyper-miling I suppose, but my first 30 miles to work are a 2500 foot elevation drop and I get a really high (up to 15 mi/kWh) efficiency on that stretch.

Just pay attention for the first few months, you will get a feel for what feels comfortable, and what is most efficient for your commute. It kinda makes it a bit of a game. I use a spreadsheet to track my commute efficiency (ok, a bit geeky I suppose), take a picture of the energy screen at the end of each leg and log miles driven, kWh used. Optionally, note the route, weather, or other factors to get a sense of what impacts external things have on efficiency.

The other fun thing is to challenge yourself to a complete commute without using the "Anti-Go" pedal (other than when at a stop for starting, gear shifting or to signal to the cars behind you). When you get really comfortable, take that challenge in stop and go rush hour traffic! After 58K miles, my guesstimate is the brake wear on my Bolt is probably the equivalent of a new ICE car with 1k miles.
 

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I just went for a short drive and I'll definitely be keeping my Bolt in "L" gear most of the time.
I only use L, and regen paddle. I put my foot on the brakes when stopped. My wife only uses D, with regen paddle and brakes. I see no difference in our efficiency numbers. In CC it makes no difference whatsoever. The Bolt will maintain the speed you set to +-1 mph all using regen only. The brakes never come on in CC.

There are folks on here who claim you can't drive only using regen. they obviously ride peoples bumpers much closer than I do, or insist on doing 1 G stops.
 

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L mode is quite a nice feature. However in the winter it is heavily suggested that you use normal D mode. This has been said here, reddit, and from BOLT owners that I know personally as well.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
L mode is quite a nice feature. However in the winter it is heavily suggested that you use normal D mode. This has been said here, reddit, and from BOLT owners that I know personally as well.
I'll keep this in mind, as well as you're from Canada.

Here in the lower West coast of the US, my summers reach about 130* Fahrenheit, Winters only go as low as 40* Fahrenheit.

I'll do some D vs L testing in a few months to see how they stack up. Thanks for the tip!!
 

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I'll keep this in mind, as well as you're from Canada.

Here in the lower West coast of the US, my summers reach about 130* Fahrenheit, Winters only go as low as 40* Fahrenheit.

I'll do some D vs L testing in a few months to see how they stack up. Thanks for the tip!!
Anytime. Have fun with the Bolt! You can also order some WellVisors for the windows as well if you wish. WellVisors Side Window Deflectors Chevrolet Bolt 2017+ w/ Chrome Trim

BTW we use Celsius here. ;)

130F is 54C....HOLY CRAPOLA!!!!!!! We would fall over and die from that!!!!
 
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I just went for a short drive and I'll definitely be keeping my Bolt in "L" gear most of the time.
Oh! I should mention that regen provides very little braking help when charged to 100%. We always charge to "hilltop" on our 2017. We live in the boonies, so even at 100% I can stop with L and regen the first few times until we burn off a kWh or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oh! I should mention that regen provides very little braking help when charged to 100%. We always charge to "hilltop" on our 2017. We live in the boonies, so even at 100% I can stop with L and regen the first few times until we burn off a kWh or two.
Sounds good. I have hilltop reserve on even though I live on flat ground, just to keep the battery life lasting as long as possible.
 

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L mode is quite a nice feature. However in the winter it is heavily suggested that you use normal D mode. This has been said here, reddit, and from BOLT owners that I know personally as well.
I find L in winter conditions to be a good way to come to a stop, but it is hard not to spin the front tires when starting from a stop in L. So, I tend to use both, but cruising with snow and ice, D is probably safer as it is less abrupt when you change pressure on the Go pedal.
 

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I find L in winter conditions to be a good way to come to a stop, but it is hard not to spin the front tires when starting from a stop in L. So, I tend to use both, but cruising with snow and ice, D is probably safer as it is less abrupt when you change pressure on the Go pedal.
In three years of use, I find absolutely no difference in moving away from a stop whether D or L. Does anyone else find L more likely to spin the wheels?

I used to drive L almost exclusively. But, it seems like D is more efficient (not to mention a smoother ride) in certain cases. Accelerating seems to use the same, in D or L. on level surfaces at constant speed, D seems a little more efficient, and D seems to regen a little more on a long, slow stop than L, so I often use D then L for steep downhill runs or the last part of coming to a stop. . . . I don't have scientific data to back it up,
I'd bet serious bucks any efficiency difference is due to driver technique and nothing inherent with D or L. An aware driver will be able to recapture all of the available regenerative energy in L mode and the paddle. We go weeks without ever touching the brake pedal.

As to smoothness, again, it's driver technique; both my wife and I were soon smooth from Day One with our exclusive L operation. An acquaintance bought a Bolt and riding with her in L will give one whiplash. She uses the pedal as an On-Off switch.

jack vines
 
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