AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: Chevy Volt Designed For Stop And Go

September 24th, 2008 at 5:12pm

As heard on
WWJ Newsradio 950

Listen to this story:

The Chevy Volt is going to have a neat little feature that will make it easier to drive in stop and go traffic.

Like most cars, the Chevy Volt is going to have Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive. But if you pull the gear shift lever back one more notch, you get a lot more regenerative braking when you decelerate.

That’s one of the ways to put energy back into batteries in hybrid and electric cars. Regenerative braking makes the electric motor in the car produce electricity and that’s put back into the battery.

Anyway, on the Volt, you can set the regenerative braking to be super aggressive, so aggressive in fact that in stop and go driving you can slow the car down and practically bring it to a stop without ever putting your foot on the brake pedal. All you have to do is back off the gas, which should make driving in traffic jams just a little bit easier to take.

Click on an image to see larger photos of the Chevy Volt

8 Comments to “AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: Chevy Volt Designed For Stop And Go”

  1. Tom Martin Says:

    I like the idea of aggressive regenerative braking, but I don’t like the idea of braking by lifting my foot. It will significantly change my driving style.

    I wish the aggressive braking would have been incorporated in a more traditional way–by hitting the brake the car would stop quickly using only regenerative braking, rather than actual brakes, for most stops.

  2. John Says:

    Tom,

    I agree. It should be intuitive.

    Alternative braking has been used on vehicles before for “jake” brakes on large trucks. Has any auto or truck racing ever used alternative braking?

    The Volt braking should not try to reinvent the braking process interface for the driver.

    Chevrolet should either make regenerative braking “seamless” or adopt a proven existing system, or give the driver a choice to select the interface that is the most comfortable (and safe).

  3. Proof enough Says:

    Gentelmen, read the article: All you have to do is back off the gas, which should make driving in traffic jams just a little bit easier to take.You only use it in certain situations and may be save yourself alot of back and forth hitting the gas and brake once you learn how to use it which really can’t be that difficult-Quit Whining !.

  4. John Says:

    Tom, do you want to take this on or should I?

  5. Tom Martin Says:

    Proof enough,

    I own three cars. I try to minimize the usage of brakes when I drive. In essense, I coast a lot.

    In my opinion, it will be difficult and unsafe, if in one car I completely lift my foot when I want to coast, while in another car, I need to lift halfway to coast. In fact, I bet I’ll sometimes completely lift my foot and quickly decelerate, when I only wanted to coast. I hope someone is not close behind me and you’re not sipping coffee in my passenger seat when I do this.

    I like the concept of adjusting the agressiveness of the regenerative braking, but I believe one should only brake when the brake is depressed even if the braking is regenerative.

  6. Proof enough Says:

    Tom,& John?
    I understand your points but remember it is used to regenerate the battery. Very doubtful we would use it at higher speeds to spill coffee.Do you think it will be like driving in 4 wheel drive in 4 low ,will the gearing be that low.If you ever actually own one of these cars I’m sure you will recognize the difference owning 3 cars.It’s a great feature and I believe we need more innovations like this.My wife drives a stick and can hyper drive better then you can coast.

  7. John Says:

    “My wife drives a stick and can hyper drive better then you can coast.” ???

    Hyperdrive is a name given to certain methods of traveling faster than light (FTL) in science fiction. Related concepts are jump drive and warp drive.

    REF:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperdrive

    ???

    All I know is “the long skinny one on the right” makes it go…

    A manual transmission will cause you to slow down if the vehicle speed is greater than the engine speed for the gear you are in when you let off the gas.

    And if you are driving a car with an automatic transmission, the best way to stop the car is to use the brake pedal.

    This Volt system sounds like a mash up of a stick, and automatic, in a new way to drive in an electric car.

    A we all going to learn a new way to drive?

    Are all these new designs from mutiple car companies going to have there own new unique ways to control the vehicle?

  8. John Says:

    Is this patent on “Hyper-drive button for D.C. motor powered vehicle” related to this discussion?

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2007/0057645.html