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Discussion Starter #1
Many people in the USA seem to be getting 40-50 miles out of a single charge in their Volts so I thought we would start our own "40 Mile Club". :D

If you have driven your UK Ampera or Volt more than 40 miles in electric mode before charging again or before the generator kicks in then please post here.

You will not win a fantastic holiday for 2 to the West Indies, nor will you get a nice badge to wear on your jacket to show how frugal your right foot has been... but you will get to post your experience here so others can try to do the same!

If you can, please say the type of journey(s), terrain, speed, temperature and anything else of interest.

Let's have some fun with electric mode and save using that petrol for when it is needed :cool:
 

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Hi Paul C

Yesterday I drove from North Newbury to Hook (Hants) and achieved 47 miles on battery :D

This route was on A roads driving between 30 and 60 mph. Radio was ON but no lights and I used minimal climate. I was keeping up with traffic but was gentle with acceleration and (through anticipation) avoided sharp braking. Having driven a Lexus RX hybrid I'm used to getting the best out of regen braking!

Regards

Paul R
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess it was all in "Normal" mode?

Well done BTW... I would imagine that we won't be getting much more than that.

I will put a sticky post up with the current record... you are currently the record!!!
 

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Yes all in Normal mode with D selected. I hadn't thought of using L - I guess in slow moving traffic it might regenerate more?

I did my first public charge last night at Cabbot Circus car park in Bristol. I am staying in the Future Inn who offer free parking and the charging was free too :) Today I've driven to our customer just off the M5 (19 miles) and I'm hoping to get back to Cabbot Circus on battery...

I'm aiming to hit 50 on a charge within a month of owning ;-)

Cheers

Paul R
 

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Can I also claim membership?

Today I've driven Milton Keynes to Luton and back and when I parked up I had covered 42.1 miles on the battery with 2 miles range left. Total journey was just over 55 miles

I did engage "Hold" mode for the 7-8 miles each way on the M1, as I believe the most economical time to use the ICE is at steady speed running and the M1 Speed limit of 50MPH will have helped!

The rest of the route was A-roads, country lanes and town in about even measure. I also have to admit neither the lights or wipers were needed and the climate was set to "Eco" mode.

Any way, I'm pleased I can boast the car is capable of covering over 40 miles on a charge if driven with that in mind. Up until now I think the Battery range has been between 30 and 37m depending on how many short runs for family, friends and neighbours I've had to do.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is great news Big Paul. Thanks for that.

A question for those that have "joined" the 40 Mile Club... would you say that it should be fairly easy to get 40 miles? What about 50 miles? Possible?
 

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Sure you can do 50, but why not try even higher: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php ... miles-CLUB

I think there are some things that extend the reported range and probably should make that particular trip not count:

Using mountain mode when the battery is discharged will partly recharge it, then you can go back to normal mode and get a few more miles on battery. I wonder whether hold mode has a similar effect or not?

Also I believe that if you hook up to a charger but don't fully recharge the counters don't get reset so that way you can easily get the car to report as high an EV mileage as you want.

Starting on a mountain top is another way to extend your range, though not terribly practical for most of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I managed 56 miles the other day but that was with a 45 min top up at 10A so I don't think that it counts but assuming that I got about 7 miles from the top up that would have been about 49 miles on the full charge.

Very promising and it shows the benefit of even a fairly short top up as it lowered by petrol mpg considerably.
 

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Just missed the 50 Mile club by 0.4 miles however when you consider I was driving in the rush hour (07:15 - 08:30) from my location (J11 on the M25 approx) to the dealer at J1 of the M1 via Hanger Lane. I am sure anyone who knows that area/route will know it is extremely busy. The journey took me 1 1/4 hours of stop/start motoring. I was driving in "L" which I like and the climate control was in auto with temperature set at 21 degrees. I had the radio on and was copying a USB stick to the hard drive as well. So all in all not a bad result I feel.
 

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Hi Paul,

Did 44 miles on a single charge yesterday, mainly on motorways to and from Liverpool(on the M62) and using the cruise control from around 60mph to 64mph for most of the motorway driving and it was quiet on the motorway, but busy off the motorway at the Liverpool end.
 

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I did 41.1 miles today on day 2 of ownership and this was mainly motorway cruising around 65-70 mph. Had radio on and climate set to 20 with lights on and have to say I'm happy with that - now all I need to do is tweek and fiddle to get this towards the 50 mark, bring it on.....
I need to read the manual on L mode also which some of you mention.
 

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Good morning Paul,

One area I haven't noticed much discussion on in this blog is the torque of the electric motor we have in the Chevy Volt and I have to assume you have in the Ampera. UK folks always so mild mannered? Anyone put the Ampera in Sport mode and stomp on the accelerator at a traffic light?

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?14511
 

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Today had 46 miles charge available.
Did 32.8 miles on electric, no petrol.
Used 25 miles + 7.8 free regen miles = 32.8 miles.
21 miles left after return.
Therefore 32.8 + 21 = 53.8 miles total possible mileage or more with of bit of regen.
Driving and climate 100%.
Used mostly in drive mode.
Terrain - village, countryside and motorway (50 mph max.)
433 MPG projected lifetime.
Pleased with my Ampera, can go for a ride without having to consider cost :D
 

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Hi paul & all,

Using the figures on my post yesterday I have assumed the differance between the actual mileage done and the mileage used is regen mileage. ie, 32.8 miles done minus 25 miles used = 7.8 miles free regen miles

Try testing by turning everything you can, off, use in normal mode, in drive, driving and braking carefully. I have not done it in low gear but would expect from other postings that the free miles could be even greater.

Please let me whether or not, I am using the correct logic?

Thanks as always for your input.
 

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Hi Brian,

If it were only that simple!

What you have done is a common misunderstanding of the range number on the display.

Let us say that you have charged overnight and your car is 100% charged. It might read 45 miles EV range on the display. That 45 miles is an estimate of how far your current charge would take you if all the conditions were the same as when you last drove the car. The terrain, the temperature, the traffic conditions, the speed... everything. Of course each time you get in the car and drive the route is different or the traffic conditions are different or your speed is different. So that estimate can only be considered that... an estimate.

Now, when you drive around and that estimate drops it is because you are using power and also because the conditions on this drive are not as favourable as the last one. Of course, if on this drive traffic conditions etc allow you to do more regen then the estimate will drop more slowly, true, but you cannot say that the difference between what the estimate indicates and what you drive is from regen.

Drive the car hard for a few miles and that estimate drops. Then drive it more gently and it go up. In fact it is even more complex than that because it isn't just your last drive that it uses to calculate the estimate. It is a rolling 100-150 miles. So that might mean your last few drives. So drive it hard for 100 miles or so and all your estimates for the next 100 miles or so will be lower than you might expect.

There is no way to actually quantify how much benefit we are getting from regen.

What is also little understood is that using regen is not the best way to get maximum range. Regen converts some of the kinetic energy built up in the car through accelerating and while going down hills into chemical energy in the battery. That is great. Cars without regen (all normal ICEs) just loose that energy as heat when they brake wasting it. We can use regen and recover some of it and put it back into the battery.

However, it is a fact of physics that energy is lost when converting from one type to another (in this case kinetic to chemical) and so regen is not efficient at that conversion. By far the best way to conserve energy is either not build it up in the first place (drive more sedately and more slowly when appropriate and safe to do so) or, when slowing down not to use regen at all and to let the car slow down on its own. That way there is no conversion in the regen process and less energy is wasted.

What does this mean to us Ampera drivers? Well, for most people that really aren't concerned about getting the extra mile of range it means nothing. You can drive the car just like any other car and the regen system will allow you to recover much of the potentially wasted energy when you slow. Just use regen to slow the car through good driving habits and anticipation and you will get good range. However, if you really want to get more range then the technique is to try to avoid using regen OR the brakes. Accelerate sedately, keep speed down to 40-50 when safe to do so, anticipate slowing down well in advance and by leaving the car in D instead of L you will get less regen and less energy wasted.

So, I seem to have contradicted what Vauxhall and what most people say here haven't I? Vauxhall say L will give you more regen and so better range. I am saying for best range us D not L. Wierd eh? Well not really. We are both right in a way.

Remember, the car is designed for normal people doing normal driving... not geeks like me that want to get the extra mile of battery range. For the vast majority of people, people that don't want to use this "hypermiling" technique, they will get more range from using L than D. They will then be using more regen and be saving more energy instead of wasting it through using the mechanical brakes. However, the geeks amongst us (like me :oops: ) love to play with the technology and see what we can do with it and if you count yourself as one of those then to get the best range drive in D and drive with so much anticipation and care that you don't use regen and waste that last ounce of energy! :cool:

Of course, the great thing about the Ampera is no one needs to hypermile drive. With the petrol generator we just drive as and when we want to and if I get a mile or two of EV range more or less than you it doesn't matter a jot except financially and even then it is pennies at max. In the Nissan Leaf however hypermiling is a great skill to have as it could potentially make the difference of me arriving at my destination or not :shock: :shock:

Happy hypermiling.
 
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