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I drive most of the time in L, but when I'm on the freeway I often switch into D to try to do some coasting. (Not trying to restart the hypermiling discussion here, but see any other thread on this forum for a discussion of coasting... ) Sometimes I forget that I'm in D, and let's say traffic slows down suddenly, I remove my foot from the pedal, and there's like a half a second where I have expected the car to slow down (because I am used to L) and it doesn't (because I'm actually in D). It can be a moment of fear actually before I realize I have to hit the brake pedal.

Now, my braking instinct does ultimately kick in, but my point is that I find it psychologically complicated to keep two modes of my reflexes active at once, and sometimes this fact seems dangerous. Anyone else experience this? I realize the D or L is on the dash, but I'm generally not looking down in that corner when I'm driving. Maybe it would help to have a more obvious indication of this, like if the ring around the speedometer changed color or something to remind me which mode I'm in.
 

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I almost always use D not L. Once in a while I shift into L by mistake and suddenly notice is it decelerating quickly at a stop. So I agree, switching from one to the other can cause a moment of confusion. So I try to stick to D. I have also learned when in traffic and slowing down with the regen to have my foot lightly on the brake pedal, so that if some fool does something I can brake quickly and not first pull harder on the regen paddle which does nothing and then move my foot to the brake. Also, at a stop I like to have my foot on the brake, because it puts the brake lights on, reducing the chance some doofus behind me doesn't stop. That is why my username is TotaledJetta.
After driving this way for months, I rented an ICE car and kept trying to decelerate with a nonexistent regen paddle.:nerd:
 

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The approach I have used is to learn to use the regen paddle as a "hand brake" in all instances. If I am in L, it doesn't do much, but if I am in D, I am slowing for that half second while I realize I may need the foot brake. The motor memory is the same for both driving modes. I also use the paddle to stop cruise control rather than tapping on the foot brake.
 

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I drive most of the time in L, but when I'm on the freeway I often switch into D to try to do some coasting. (Not trying to restart the hypermiling discussion here, but see any other thread on this forum for a discussion of coasting... ) Sometimes I forget that I'm in D, and let's say traffic slows down suddenly, I remove my foot from the pedal, and there's like a half a second where I have expected the car to slow down (because I am used to L) and it doesn't (because I'm actually in D). It can be a moment of fear actually before I realize I have to hit the brake pedal.

Now, my braking instinct does ultimately kick in, but my point is that I find it psychologically complicated to keep two modes of my reflexes active at once, and sometimes this fact seems dangerous. Anyone else experience this? I realize the D or L is on the dash, but I'm generally not looking down in that corner when I'm driving. Maybe it would help to have a more obvious indication of this, like if the ring around the speedometer changed color or something to remind me which mode I'm in.
I haven't found it to be a safety issue. Though this is actually the first car I have ever owned that wasn't a manual. So my whole driving life I have always been acutely aware what gear I am in. So tracking when I am D and L has been simple for me. Because of manual I am already in the habit of downshifting to brake in most cases so that is what I am doing. If I see cars ahead that make me think I am going to need to or I actually do need to brake I just automatically "downshift" into L from D.

I however can certainly understand for those that are accustomed to driving an automatic that this could not be as simple. I am not trying to discount your concern, just giving my perspective. It certainly wouldn't hurt anything if the display made it more obvious which gear you were in and could certainly help with your concern.
 

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The approach I have used is to learn to use the regen paddle as a "hand brake" in all instances. If I am in L, it doesn't do much, but if I am in D, I am slowing for that half second while I realize I may need the foot brake. The motor memory is the same for both driving modes. I also use the paddle to stop cruise control rather than tapping on the foot brake.
I kinda want to drive in D only and use the paddle but I can't stand the placement of the paddle. I know they don't really have a better place to put it. For me it just isn't a natural place to leave my left hand but this is based on decades of driving manuals. Since my left hand was quite often the only hand on the wheel I always have kept it in a more dominant position, 10-11 on the clock type of spot. I also built in the habit of wanting my fingers actually wrapped around the steering wheel for added control while turning and shifting at the same time. Can't really do that where the paddle is of course. So my left hand just naturally moves away from it and to where it wants to be. I mean I still drive with just my left hand on the wheel and my right down near the shifter, even though I don't need to shift much anymore.

So I know this is all based on past experience and habits. For those aiming for the best efficiency driving in D and using the paddle is probably more efficient. You get a better coast without needing to shift, you can control the amount of regen brake by holding the paddle and modulating the accelerator pedal and you don't need to remember which gear (D or L) you are in so you have a consistent driving experience and expectation.
 

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surgeonFWW,

"The approach I have used is to learn to use the regen paddle as a "hand brake" in all instances. If I am in L, it doesn't do much, but if I am in D, I am slowing for that half second while I realize I may need the foot brake. The motor memory is the same for both driving modes. I also use the paddle to stop cruise control rather than tapping on the foot brake."

That is what I do. I have gotten confused by this in the past, and I think always using the paddle is a good idea. Just a heads up: The paddle does nothing when you are in neutral, as the motor is out of the loop. First time I tried it I got a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. :)
 

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From doing a lot of hill & mountain driving (here in WV) I know I'll do a lot of turning as well as ups and downs. For these conditions (and even some in city {start/stop} driving), I like the L mode. Part of my reasoning is what Pete alluded to: the movement of the relative position of the regen paddle. When it is at 9:00 and my left arm is on the armrest, the paddle is at my fingertips. When I am winding around curves, I not only do not instinctively know where it is, but often find it difficult to reach!!
 

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From doing a lot of hill & mountain driving (here in WV) I know I'll do a lot of turning as well as up and down. For these conditions (and even some in city {start/stop} driving), I like the L mode. Part of my reasoning is what Pete alluded to: the movement of the relative position of the regen paddle. When it is at 9:00 and my left arm is on the armrest, the paddle is at my fingertips. When I am winding around curves, I both do not instinctively know where it is, but often find it difficult to reach!!
Yeah that is another good point about the paddle. If you want to use while turning it can be a pain to know where it is.
 

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Your opinions and experiences obviously vary, but to my wife and myself, the one-pedal driving experience in L is a huge plus with the Bolt. Until we get conclusive proof that D increases range over L, we'll always be in L mode, so no moment of panic necessary.

jack vines
 

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I drive in L exclusively now...I love it. But, I have forgotten to shift into L a few times in the parking lot or pulling out of the driveway and yes there is a split second of "opps...gotta hit the brakes" but nothing to be concerned about. Having mostly driven manual transmissions, it is about he same as when you move into an automatic and reach for the shifter or clutch to downshift/engine brake and then realize its not there.

Todd
 

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I drive in L all the time. The only time I use D is on the freeway using cruise control. D works better because when you cancel CC, the deceleration isn't so severe. Unless I think I'll need the range for some reason, I really like Sport Mode too.
 

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Does it damage the car to shift from D to L or vice versa while the car is moving? I just got around to reading the manual for my new Bolt and it says changing "gears" should only be done when the car is stopped. That doesn't make sense to me, but I have stopped changing on the move (as I did quite a lot before reading the manual). Anyone know anything about this?
 

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I think "D" & "L" are made to toggle between while moving. You are not really "changing gears". It's like automatic regen. You obviously pull the regen paddle while you are moving. Putting your Bolt into "L" mode is just the same, only regen is always on.
 

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But doesn't the software change trigger a mechanical change? That's what has me concerned. Don't want to do damage to the regen mechanism or some such.
nope - no mechanical change - a change to the EV drive train to harvest more/less energy from the electric motor during deceleration…I think D/L is a bit silly myself - the amount regen in Tesla is a "driver" setting - and defaults to the equivalent of "L" ;-)
 

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nope - no mechanical change - a change to the EV drive train to harvest more/less energy from the electric motor during deceleration…I think D/L is a bit silly myself - the amount regen in Tesla is a "driver" setting - and defaults to the equivalent of "L" ;-)
I disagree. I like having two levels of regen available to me. I do like the idea of being able to user adjust the levels on each though!
 

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Unless you want to be able to completely lift your foot off the pedal for a break, there is no difference when "coasting" in D or L. The accelerator pedal is at two different positions but the electric drivetrain is doing exactly the same thing. No difference in energy consumption or rolling resistance. On the highway, steady state driving it makes absolutely no difference whether you're in D or L in terms of energy use, and you can simply "coast" in L by keeping the accelerator somewhat depressed. If you think you're consuming energy to do so, just look at the energy usage indicator, you can get it to read zero or slight regen just like you can by letting off the accelerator completely in D.

When I first had the car I would use D for cruise as others have mentioned, now I've learned to just put my foot into it a bit before I cancel cruise control so there's no abrupt slowing because of the heavy regen in L, and virtually never use D. I'm fact I wish I could set the car to just go straight to L and bypass D entirely.
 

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I switch quite a bit.

  • Parking is easier in D, it tends to lurch when in L.
  • Long flat stretches - D
  • Stop and go - L
  • Hilly - L
Easy to get used to. One thing is that when you switch, with the exact same pedal position L will be a bit slower than D.
 
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