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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone explain to me how to use the D or B drive in a VW ID.4 to get best mileage without wearing out the brakes or drive train. Is D position better for highway driving? I like the feel better of D but like B for control in going down steep hills slowly. B is also great for stop and go traffic. I thought that B was more for these situations that benefit from aggressive brake recuperation and not for continuous use.
 

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B mode is only as aggressive as your foot modulation. My Tesla gives you no choice - its kind of ‘B’ mode all the time. if you don’t need to brake/slow then you just balance the throttle where its not accelerating and not braking.
 
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Assuming B mode is regen. then that’s the only way to drive an EV as it results in “one pedal” driving, saves brake wear and recovers significant energy thus giving greater efficiency and more range. The electronics are put there to do it at some expense so should be used. You soon get used to it and it feels strange to go back to a conventional car that doesn’t have it.
 

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Use whichever D or B suits you at the time. D + a bit of the brake pedal will get you the same regen as B wiht no brake pedal, there's no difference in when the real discs get applied.

Whether the brake light behaviour is the same might be another matter - EVs seem to vary over this! E.g. my Chevy Volt Mk1 (a.k.a. Ampera in UK/EU) doesn't turn on the brake light if I'm using B style equivalent high-regen mode to slow down rather sharpish, it simply applies the brake light only when the actual brake pedal is touched. So you can confuse the car behind if you're not aware of this! I never got round to testing my ID.3 to see what that did.

Something you will find is driving in B mode means you're more likely to get sharper regen when you didn't really mean to, maybe going over bumpy roads, so D should in theory feel smoother & do a little less micro-regens if you like, so D should be fractionally more efficient. But the difference will be tiny. I usually drive my Ampera in B mode (L on the selector for Low gear!), but my son drives it in D mode. I don't seem to have problems with the brake light getting lit a bit less often!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The brake energy recuperation is very different in an ID.4. I found this info online which helps to explain:

“Some electric vehicles always recover energy during any thrust phase. In the case of the new E-SUV ID.4 – as well as the compact ID.3 – Volkswagen opted for a different, more efficient strategy: coasting has priority because any conversion of energy inevitable leads to loss. This applies to position D (Drive), the main mode, which is automatically activated upon each start.”

There is some generation of electricity in the D mode and the brakes always contribute aggressive generation. What I am finding is that there is really not much difference in efficiency between D and B. For example, the other day I drove from home and used the B for 1 ½ miles down this dirt road where I want to go slow. Then I switched to D. The road turns to pavement and more down hill and then levels out. I took note of the battery % when I left and the miles on the od. When the % switched to the next lower % I checked the miles. It was 7 miles. Today I did the same route all in B. I went the same miles for the first %. There was essentially no difference. I continued on in B checking the miles at every % change. This is where it gets interesting. This is the # of miles for the next 8%: 5-3-5-3-3-2-3. The road conditions were about the same and I was just averaging 35 to 40 mph and the miles just get smaller the further I went. When I checked the stats in the computer the miles per kWh since the start of the trip was 4 kWh which is pretty good for this car. I don’t know why the miles per % decreases as you drive more. Maybe the % reading is not that accurate. Anyone else with an ID.4 notice this?

I went for my 60 day check at VW today and the technician told me that on the highway there is very little difference in efficiency between D an B. It is just a matter of personal preference. To me the B mode feels like driving a manual ICE in second gear all the time. And D feels like overdrive in an automatic where you just breezes along with little resistance. I will continue to drive in D on the highway and am convinced that driving in B does entail more wear on this car and the possibility of expensive repairs down the road. Why wouldn’t VW want you to come back for repairs? There is not much else that requires mechanical work compared to an ICE.
 

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Good point about how D mode works. Probably depends on the car but in the ID4 example the fact you have to use the brake pedal to slow doesn’t necessarily mean you’re using the brakes - it uses regen first and then blends in brakes if you need more stopping power (or you’re fully charged so the battery can’t take as much regen)

I still disagree on feel - I don’t feel like the Tesla drags me when I’m cruising along. I’m not ‘letting off’ the throttle so why would it? Even in an ICE you still balance the throttle so the engine is balanced and its the same in one-pedal mode. The only difference is when you want to slow down and how they achieve it - by letting off throttle or application of brake.
 

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Can someone explain to me how to use the D or B drive in a VW ID.4 to get best mileage without wearing out the brakes or drive train. Is D position better for highway driving? I like the feel better of D but like B for control in going down steep hills slowly. B is also great for stop and go traffic. I thought that B was more for these situations that benefit from aggressive brake recuperation and not for continuous use.
That's not a bad approach but agree with all the other posts that say it's mainly down to how you modulate your right foot.
 

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VW may say they prioritise coasting, but there's a slight regen with your foot off the pedal (ID.3). I found myself selecting neutral in order to get the same zero-regen coasting I get easily & simply in my Ioniq by using the paddles. But the VW is a pain to select N, have to move your hand around to get at the selector etc. Just one reason I sold it & kept the Ioniq. Paddles are great, and you don't realise just how great until you've tried them. Pull & hold my left paddle brings car to a halt (on the flat & uphill anyway!) for true single-pedal driving.
 

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I have a foot in each camp with one car permenanetly engaged B and the other at my choice. The fixed is a less concentrating drive but for max range you need D . However the difference is not the car setting but driver style/behaviour. Driving a EV for range is a slightly different driving style which helps with wear and tear at the same time. Dont drive like an ICE driver but learnt the EV driver way. Dont drive too close, look down the road and predict whats going to happen, back off and free wheel. Ex ICE drivers dont do this because they have become conditioned by many yrs of ICE driving by making allowances for the fact that ICE cars engine brake. EG coming to a roundabout back off really early and let the car in front pull away and then have to brake. By the time you get to the roundabout the ICE is just pulling away and hopefully you carry on without stopping or only needing mild regen. Braking and regen costs range. Anyway you get the idea.
 

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VW may say they prioritise coasting, but there's a slight regen with your foot off the pedal (ID.3). I found myself selecting neutral in order to get the same zero-regen coasting I get easily & simply in my Ioniq by using the paddles. But the VW is a pain to select N, have to move your hand around to get at the selector etc. Just one reason I sold it & kept the Ioniq. Paddles are great, and you don't realise just how great until you've tried them. Pull & hold my left paddle brings car to a halt (on the flat & uphill anyway!) for true single-pedal driving.
My E-Golf in D mildly regens if you leave your foot on the pedal but coasts if you take your foot off completely. This action also tells the car it is in charge of speed so usually slows down for speed restrictions and roundabouts. With your foot on the pedal you are in charge so when entering a speed restriction one needs to replace the foot if you want the car to continue coasting and not regen. Every little helps!
 

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Never use B.
Never brake. :eek:

If you can manage that, you will get the best efficiency ever.

Beyond that, everything else is just "user interface": B mode, one pedal driving, etc. These will have some impact, but they are not there for efficiency, rather making it an easy drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Never use B.
Never brake. :eek:

If you can manage that, you will get the best efficiency ever.

Beyond that, everything else is just "user interface": B mode, one pedal driving, etc. These will have some impact, but they are not there for efficiency, rather making it an easy drive.
This is how I try to drive on the highway: in D and never have to brake. This is how I drove my ICE car. I think the most important habit to get best efficiency is to stay below 55 mph. The technology is available to enforce this. We have cameras reading our plates for toll billing. We can have cameras reading plates of speeding drivers and charging them big time for violating the speed limit. You would have very little violators with this approach.
 
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