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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
New Ampera owner here. Can you please tell me what are you using for city driving? L mode ore D mode?
I read in the manual that L mode is supposed to be used when there are hills, but someone told me he uses it in the city also..as it helps regenerating some power
 

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Outlander
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Drive
Low Gear

Probably 1st gear, like Reverse. It is intended for steep climbs.

What I think the "somebody" is referring to is the electronically selected Mountain driving mode, which is entirely unrelated to the L gear selection.

The Mountain driving mode is marketed as an instruction to the car to reserve EV power for an anticipated mountain climb. What it actually does is instruct the car to charge up to 50% of the battery.

Accelerating from traffic lights on EV is faster and causes less material wear than accelerating on ICE; so I can see how the Mountain mode behaviour might be useful to some city drivers. However, it takes many button presses to toggle between driving modes on the Ampera.
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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Pro - In L you get slightly fiercer regeneration and avoids the need to use the brakes and charges the battery.
Con - In L less use of the brakes means they are not cleaned and end up rusting and needing to be replaced earlier.
Pro - In D you have a smoother ride and not so harsh deceleration when lifting off the power.
Con - In D without the anticipating the road/traffic you may need to use the brakes more.
Equal - whilst you are generating the extra power you will not regain what you initially put in to get to the speed in the first place so the best thing to do is anticipate and slow down earlier to avoid spending the power in the first place. Also once a week or so try and use the brakes sharply for a bit of a distance so you can keep the brake discs clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pro - In L you get slightly fiercer regeneration and avoids the need to use the brakes and charges the battery.
Con - In L less use of the brakes means they are not cleaned and end up rusting and needing to be replaced earlier.
Pro - In D you have a smoother ride and not so harsh deceleration when lifting off the power.
Con - In D without the anticipating the road/traffic you may need to use the brakes more.
Equal - whilst you are generating the extra power you will not regain what you initially put in to get to the speed in the first place so the best thing to do is anticipate and slow down earlier to avoid spending the power in the first place. Also once a week or so try and use the brakes sharply for a bit of a distance so you can keep the brake discs clean.
Thank you for the answer. What are yoy using in the city? Drive mode?
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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I tended to use D but actively easing off the power to try and avoid the harshness of the regeneration. It's all a steep learning curve and you will learn to use what suits you best. You can easily move from one to the other with ease. It may feel like a 'mechanical' action but it's basically just an electrical switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I tended to use D but actively easing off the power to try and avoid the harshness of the regeneration. It's all a steep learning curve and you will learn to use what suits you best. You can easily move from one to the other with ease. It may feel like a 'mechanical' action but it's basically just an electrical switch.
I can get use to both of them, I just want to use the more economic one
 

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I just want to use the more economic one
That would be Drive. You cannot create or destroy energy so each time energy is converted (e.g. regenerative braking) will cause loss of energy (sound, heat, vibration, etc.) - relaxing the regenerative braking will cause less energy to be lost.
 

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I drive in a lot of stop/start traffic (work in Greenwich 3 days a week) and more or less exclusively use D. If I’m correct pressing the brake pedal gently is only using regen and the mechanical brakes only get used as you brake harder or to bring you to a complete halt (where below about 5mph regen won’t be slowing you down enough to stop). If you keep on eye on your accel/brake meter on the right side of the gauges keeping the green ball near the centre is best for economy, If you begin to brake hard it’ll shoot down and turn orange which probably means you’re using the mechanical brakes and thus wasting energy.
With all this in mind I prefer driving in D and modulating the regen myself through gentle use of the brake pedal.
I sometimes use L on exit slip roads from motorways, if at the end of the slip road I am going to have to stop I put it in L and allow the regen to slow the car down without having to touch the brake until I’m about to come to a dead stop.
 

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Using regen is less economic than anticipation ;) I use the D position 95% of the time and L when going downhill under cruse control. It can hold 30 even on a steep hill whilst D can not.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
I drive in a lot of stop/start traffic (work in Greenwich 3 days a week) and more or less exclusively use D. If I’m correct pressing the brake pedal gently is only using regen and the mechanical brakes only get used as you brake harder or to bring you to a complete halt (where below about 5mph regen won’t be slowing you down enough to stop). If you keep on eye on your accel/brake meter on the right side of the gauges keeping the green ball near the centre is best for economy, If you begin to brake hard it’ll shoot down and turn orange which probably means you’re using the mechanical brakes and thus wasting energy.
With all this in mind I prefer driving in D and modulating the regen myself through gentle use of the brake pedal.
I sometimes use L on exit slip roads from motorways, if at the end of the slip road I am going to have to stop I put it in L and allow the regen to slow the car down without having to touch the brake until I’m about to come to a dead stop.
That sounds great. I donnot if braking hard wastes energy. It think it s not saving it..but I might be wrong.
The car is using battery when you brake?
 

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The car is using battery when you brake?
No, but energy transfer is never 100% efficient. There is always some energy lost as heat and sound, etc.

So if you convert from kinetic (movement) to stored (electric) and then back again you will have less energy than when you started. If 100% efficiency was achievable then there would be some electric machines than never need recharging :)
 

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No, but energy transfer is never 100% efficient. There is always some energy lost as heat and sound, etc.

So if you convert from kinetic (movement) to stored (electric) and then back again you will have less energy than when you started. If 100% efficiency was achievable then there would be some electric machines than never need recharging :)
That must be what the Toyota people call self charging hybrids then... maybe not. ;)
 

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That sounds great. I donnot if braking hard wastes energy. It think it s not saving it..but I might be wrong.
The car is using battery when you brake?
By braking hard you engage the mechanical brakes which turns the energy spent to get up to speed into friction and heat to slow you down, thus it becomes wasted energy. Braking gently will use only regen and capture some energy to put back into the battery which is obviously more efficient so it’s better to brake gently than hard.
 

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I don't believe there's any difference between using D& L , except this: slowing down in these using regen does Not turn on the brake lights. If you are in D and touch the brake pedal lightly so as to get L amount of slowing down, you are simply doing more regen, just like L does. Electrically identical. But, touching the brake operates the brake lights! So take care in cities, driving in L greatly reduces the amount of brake lights you generate!!!
 

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Just to add my tuppence...

My wife and I drove almost entirely in L. The exception for me would be motorways and any other situation in which I wanted to maximise coast without having to feather the throttle/accelerator.

It's worth noting that it's entirely about how you interface with the car - neither mode is inherently more of less efficient than the other behind the scenes.

The Ampera applies regen for light breaking and friction brakes for heavier breaking. In D, the break pedal handles this for you (with a tiny bit of regen breaking when you coast). In L, the car is effectively lightly applying the break pedal for you whenever you release the throttle. It's light enough that it's all regen, not friction. It's designed to emulate the Low gear mode of an automatica ICE, but it effectively gives you one-pedal-driving-lite-edition.

If driven appropriately, it's probably easier to acheive maximum efficiency in D as it helps long, pre-emptive coasting. However, if your style of driving doesn't lend itself to that, and find that you tend to have to brake late and therefore harder in D, you may find L is more efficient as the car will naturally decelerate quicker when "coasting", getting more regen in the process, and you're less likely to need to brake as hard and tip into friction.
 

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However, if your style of driving doesn't lend itself to that, and find that you tend to have to brake late and therefore harder in D, you may find L is more efficient as the car will naturally decelerate quicker when "coasting", getting more regen in the process, and you're less likely to need to brake as hard and tip into friction.
Is it just difference in brake level?

I am a former manual driver and my left hand is accustomed to doing something. In my case, when I approach traffic lights in my Outlander, I pull down on the gear stick to shift brakes from B0 (coasting) to B3/B5 (heavier regenerative brake).

So in Ampera I guess you can pull down from D to L each time you approach traffic lights, then back to D for ordinary driving? :)
 

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Yes, you can do lots of swapping like this. I do too. I also swap to Normal on long petrolly trips when approaching hill climbs, then back to Hold or MM on the descents. Lots of fun and things to do in this ev!
 
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