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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know how which wires to tap into to access the regen paddle function? I live in hilly terrain and use the regen paddle regularly. The hilly terrain also results in curvy roads and holding the paddle while negotiating turns is difficult. My thoughts are to tap into the wiring to the paddle so as to be able to install a secondary regen switch that could be operated by my left foot much like the hi/lo beam switch on older cars. Not having a clutch leaves the left foot free to do some other function and using the left foot would be much easier than keeping my left hand on the regen switch behind the steering wheel. I could then install either an instant on or toggle button to be able to turn the extra regen on an off without getting my hands tangled up in the steering wheel when making sharp turns. Any help with understanding the wiring to the existing regen switch would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance for considering any help you can provide.
 

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Driving in "L" instead of "D" doesn't give you enough regen? I played with the regen button for a while when I first got my Bolt, but that got tiresome, so I just drive in "L" all of the time.
There's more to be had beyond what "L" provides. Not much. But it's there. Try approaching a light on a straight flat section. In "L" you'll slow down of course. But then pull the paddle and you'll feel this extra drag. Release it and it'll relax a little. Of course those owners that like "L" mode will figure out how far away to let go of the pedal but there's more there nonetheless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I use the L mode regularly but still need the added regen from the paddle switch on steep roads. Any help in knowing where I could tap into the switch wiring would be very much appreciated. I'll post the results of my DIY if anyone has a wiring diagram. Thank you.
 

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In the name of safety, I would really suggest sticking with L mode, using the paddle when safe and practical, and then using the brake pedal when the paddle is not safe or practical.
The brake pedal will still apply regen electricity.
The DIY hack you seem to be proposing would seem to be unsafe - leading to possible conflicts with whether you should use the alt pedal or the real brake pedal. I'd hate for you to hit something on account of that. That said, there is a reason I don't play the drum set - hard for me to get left and right feet to do independent and opposite tasks - perhaps you have that kind of dexterity (and techie skills).
 

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I use the L mode regularly but still need the added regen from the paddle switch on steep roads. Any help in knowing where I could tap into the switch wiring would be very much appreciated. I'll post the results of my DIY if anyone has a wiring diagram. Thank you.
If you could tape or use a Velcro strap to hold the regen paddle down, that would get the added regen in 'L' that can then modulated with the accelerator.
 

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The majority of braking should be accomplished before entering a turn. Heavy braking while in a turn is doing it wrong.

That said, this subject came up in another forum where I proposed the idea of turning an RV into a hybrid by using the towed EV to brake. My crazy idea involved splicing a cheap RF transmitter to the brake light of the RV, and splicing in a relay and receiver to the regen switch of the Bolt. The major problem with this is that the Bolt doesn't coast, even in D, so there would be constant drag on the RV.

I still like the idea of a floor mounted secondary regen switch.
 

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I'd guess that it wouldn't be as simple as 'taping into a wire', more likely the controls on the steering wheel are encoded onto a data bus of some sort to keep wire count down. That said, I'm no expert and you never know what you might find, let us know after you have probed all the connectors that feed the base of the steering column ;-)
One of the features that I'd like to see in the future would be another "position" on the gear selector where you had "Drive", "Low1" & "Low2" just like many conventional transitions have.
 

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The majority of braking should be accomplished before entering a turn. Heavy braking while in a turn is doing it wrong.
This recommended driving habit is coming from a racing situation or old-fashioned friction-braking-only driving, and has less to do with the real-world EV driving situation being described. If the only purpose to braking were to bring the speed down enough to allow you to get through the corner and keep the car from leaving the road, it would apply. In this case, as the OP described, they are going downhill, and want to probably keep their speed either under the speed limit, or at a comfortable speed for them to drive. Yes, I would guess that braking in corners is not the best, but from a regen point of view, with the limited amount of braking available using regen, sometimes you are forced into braking in corners if you want to keep your speed down, not tick off people behind you by slowing down way ahead of corners etc, and yet minimize the amount of friction braking you do.
 

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I have done the entire Skyline Drive, and Blue Ridge Parkway driving in L. Never had any problem with going exactly the speed I wanted to be going, without using brakes. On steepest descents, coming into a curve, I sometimes hit the paddle before getting into the turn, if I judged it was tighter than I felt comfortable with, at the last moment. With hands at 10 and 2 you won't get tangled up in the wheel. I can't imagine getting crossed up enough on public roads to need to be turning hand-over-hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I use the L mode regularly but still need the added regen from the paddle switch on steep roads. Any help in knowing where I could tap into the switch wiring would be very much appreciated. I'll post the results of my DIY if anyone has a wiring diagram. Thank you.
I have done the entire Skyline Drive, and Blue Ridge Parkway driving in L. Never had any problem with going exactly the speed I wanted to be going, without using brakes. On steepest descents, coming into a curve, I sometimes hit the paddle before getting into the turn, if I judged it was tighter than I felt comfortable with, at the last moment. With hands at 10 and 2 you won't get tangled up in the wheel. I can't imagine getting crossed up enough on public roads to need to be turning hand-over-hand.
I live within 40 minutes drive of the Blue Ridge Parkway and agree that driving the Parkway would be easily done. I am just trying to make the most of the Bolts considerable total regen power when navigating switchbacks and really steep grades. I appreciated the comment about the possibility of a signal bus making this a much harder project than I had anticipated.
 

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This recommended driving habit is coming from a racing situation or old-fashioned friction-braking-only driving, and has less to do with the real-world EV driving situation being described. If the only purpose to braking were to bring the speed down enough to allow you to get through the corner and keep the car from leaving the road, it would apply. In this case, as the OP described, they are going downhill, and want to probably keep their speed either under the speed limit, or at a comfortable speed for them to drive. Yes, I would guess that braking in corners is not the best, but from a regen point of view, with the limited amount of braking available using regen, sometimes you are forced into braking in corners if you want to keep your speed down, not tick off people behind you by slowing down way ahead of corners etc, and yet minimize the amount of friction braking you do.
Obviously I'm coming from a place of ignorance because I don't have a Bolt and have only spent an hour test driving one. I found L mode to provide a lot of decel... and as others have mentioned, the button only adds about 10% more.

Are there really hills with corners so steep that foot off the accelerator in L mode isn't enough to keep the car from gaining speed? Does adding 10% more regen then provide enough?

Regarding my habit of slowing down just prior to the corner, that isn't just a racing technique, it's proper technique for driving in general. If you have too much speed to negotiate a corner while in the corner, braking will make things worse. If you don't have too much speed to negotiate the corner, then the only braking required would be that to maintain the same speed. Slowing while near an apex of a corner is always wrong unless it's necessary due to others ahead slowing, or some other reason to avoid a collision or come to a stop.

Of course, I trail brake all the time, and perhaps that's where the extra oomph from regen is needed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Obviously I'm coming from a place of ignorance because I don't have a Bolt and have only spent an hour test driving one. I found L mode to provide a lot of decel... and as others have mentioned, the button only adds about 10% more.

Are there really hills with corners so steep that foot off the accelerator in L mode isn't enough to keep the car from gaining speed? Does adding 10% more regen then provide enough?

Regarding my habit of slowing down just prior to the corner, that isn't just a racing technique, it's proper technique for driving in general. If you have too much speed to negotiate a corner while in the corner, braking will make things worse. If you don't have too much speed to negotiate the corner, then the only braking required would be that to maintain the same speed. Slowing while near an apex of a corner is always wrong unless it's necessary due to others ahead slowing, or some other reason to avoid a collision or come to a stop.

Of course, I trail brake all the time, and perhaps that's where the extra oomph from regen is needed?
I agree 100% on the need to brake before going into a turn. Yes, there are many hills so steep and corners so tight that the extra regen is needed. Indeed, most of the time the terrain is so steep that the road has to either follow the terrain along the side of the mountain or work its way up or down the mountain in a switchback fashion. Being able to use the left foot for added regen would be a big help as the right foot can readily access the brake while the hands do what they need to do to keep the car on the road.

Indeed, my wife and I plan to attend a wedding at Mountain Lake, where the movie dirty dancing was filmed and I plan to utilize the suggestion to use a small bungee to lock the extra regen in the on position.

Any help from someone with a wiring diagram would be sincerely appreciated.
 

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In the three months I've owned my Bolt I've gone from "I'll never use that" to constantly using L driving mode. I make heavy use of brake paddle too. I wish the volume buttons on the right side of the steering wheel could be reprogrammed to do the same function. It feels like more than 10% braking to me too. 90% of my driving has been brake pedal-free lately. I only really need that in unusual circumstances like someone brakes hard or jumps out in front of me or something like that. Even then it's old driving experience that seems to be overriding my new brake-free driving style.
 

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I've gone back and forth on how useful "L" is for hypermiling. I actually wish the accelerator pedal had two detents around the "neutral zone", one when you are are requesting zero energy for propulsion, and the only energy being consumed was going to all of the "fixed" costs of computers, battery heaters and cabin heat/A/C, the other detent would be slightly below that for the position where you are using zero energy from the battery, and the regen is being used to power the "fixed" devices.

Ultimately, you want to minimize regen, when you can, since you are then taking a haircut on conversion into the battery and back out again. I find it very difficult to seek those two zero points when I am in "L". There are a lot of times in highway driving, (at least between Boston and Albany on the turnpike) where I literally have put the car in neutral and let it coast downhill. but thats a pain in the butt, and a lot of folks frown on that as "unsafe", though they usually can't come up with a rational for their position that makes much sense (just as Redpoint5 has not really read and understood my comment before again making a blanket statement which does not support his argument that braking in the middle of the apex is always bad.)
 
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