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I haven't done enough long trips yet to work out what mode is best, my journey to work is only a few miles with a short trip down the parkway from weston mill junction to marshmills. I'm normally in ECO and I do like the B mode but find it slows the vehicle down very quickly and not convinced the extra regen is making up for it. I have read that possibly for longer trips involving motorways just put into drive and use the brake as little as possible. With lots of short trips this time of year (work commute) I'm finding it's doing approx 60 miles on a full charge - that's still wonderful compared to what it cost in my previous ICE car. At some point I'm planning Plymouth to Truro (58 miles) for work, i can charge whilst there but that will be from a normal socket so it will have to be an all day meeting. I have a polar card and the cable will be arriving shortly so won't attempt until then as may need to plan a stop on the way. What modes are best in what situations?
 

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Hi Mark,

Firstly, I live in Saltash so if you fancy meeting up at some convenient time then just private message me and we can arrange it.

You raise many valid questions.

Regen and modes:

You said:
I'm normally in ECO and I do like the B mode but find it slows the vehicle down very quickly and not convinced the extra regen is making up for it.
There are a number of issues surrounding this topic that are all closely related...

First, changing the mode will not change the range. The range is determined by the amount of power stored and the amount of energy used. The amount of energy to get the car from A to B will remain the same regardless of the mode you are in. This is important because once you understand this you will then realise that the mode you select will not in itself affect range. This is a fundamental and to fully benefit from the car and switching modes you must understand this aspect.

So why then do we have different modes?

Changing the mode changes the mapping of the throttle and brake pedals. It affects the power the heating can take. In other words, it makes the throttle and brake pedals more or less sensitive and it changes the amount of regen that is applied when you take your foot off all pedals. That is all it does.

So how does this help get us more range?

By switching to ECO the throttle becomes less sensitive and must be pushed down further to get the desired speed/acceleration. This means that you are less likely to press the pedal too far and inadvertently use more power than you actually need. Switching to B-mode adds more regen braking when you lift off the throttle and so you get more regen braking removing the need to press the brake pedal at all and inadvertently braking more than you need to.

So, apart from also restricting the power used by the heating/AC, that is pretty much all it does.

So, in understanding this you will realise that you can drive the car in any mode and get the same range. It just means that you have to work harder to use the pedals to get the acceleration/braking that you want. So Eco/B modes are great for EV newbies because it basically helps you to not waste energy. As you get more experienced you will find you can get similar range in D as the other modes especially in summer when the heating/AC is not needed.

I hope this helps :)

Edited 20/11/2015 to clarify Eco & B mode throttle mapping.
 

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Very helpful, it's all quite new to me so I'm happy to learn from people with experience. My wife thinks I've turned into a 'nerd' as currently trying different modes and putting them into a spreadsheet!, explains why I'm not noticing a lot of difference. I have had the Leaf about 6 weeks now and it's just great fun to drive, you just to need to know it's limits and have a back up plan if doing some distances. I'll PM you at some point in the next few weeks as would be good to catch up.
 
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Great topic and great reply from Paul.

A sort of follow on from this, whats opinion on driving with cruise control? At the moment i'm driving everywhere with cruise control, setting the speed at a constant and off we go. Early days but it certainly feels that i'm getting better range / power efficiency.

Do we believe that cruise control can provide greater control over the power consumption?
 

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@IanT Great question... I don't know is my answer!

I have had the car over 2 1/2 years and I haven't been able to work this one out. Others have claimed that the range is better on cruise and even others have said it is better without cruise. I cannot decide.

Logic says that it should be better without cruise. Without cruise you can ease on the throttle at the top of hills allowing you to slow a little (traffic permitting) in the knowledge that you will pick up speed again on the way down the other side and I am sure this is so but my guess is that the difference is so small that in reality it makes little difference.

Because I don't see much difference I tend to use cruise on long trips all the time as it makes the driving easier.

I recommend you make up your own mind on this and if you find anything different them I'd love to know :)
 

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Great topic and great reply from Paul.

A sort of follow on from this, whats opinion on driving with cruise control? At the moment i'm driving everywhere with cruise control, setting the speed at a constant and off we go. Early days but it certainly feels that i'm getting better range / power efficiency.

Do we believe that cruise control can provide greater control over the power consumption?
I find that cruise control uses more energy because it's quite aggressive in the way it applies power to maintain speed when going up inclines. However, I live just off the M62 which is the highest motorway in England so if you live somewhere flatter you might get better results. I've had better results using the speed limiter and trying to keep the throttle just a tiny way past the point at which the car would slow down.
 

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Is Paul's description correct for a mark 2 Leaf ? I have never noticed a change in throttle response by going to B mode ? Personally ,unless I was going for every last mile , I avoid eco mode , and just leave in in B mode all the time. More power and love the regen , hardly ever having to brake. I wish the regen was higher in the Leaf, more like the Tesla and i3 . Mark do a search for "B mode " May 6 2015 . (Sorry I don't know how to do a link ) . A good discussion there.
 

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You are correct... it isn't clear. I have edited that post to clarify...

Eco reduces sensitivity on acceleration. As far as I can tell it doesn't change the regen mapping. B-mode changes the regen mapping but seems not to change acceleration mapping.

If you are careful with how aggressive you are witht he pedals it really doesn't matter... you will get pretty much the same range regardless of the mode you use except that in some modes the heating and aircon power is reduced giving you a bit more range as you use less power to heat.
 

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Personally, and not from rigorous scientific study, I find I can get better economy in our Gen2 Leaf by driving without cruise control than I can with it on. Having said that, I've found that to be true in an ICE car as well - my diesel Octavia is not as good on long trips when I use cruise control.

Also note that you don't have to pick a driving mode and stick with it, you can change it on the fly while you're moving. So, around town and in stop start traffic use B mode 'cos it's nippy, responsive and energy efficient. On a motorway or flat A road use D because you don't get much regen benefit and you can hold a constant speed more easily. On twisty, hilly roads, especially great A roads like the A5 through north Wales, drive in D on the open bits but on steeper descents flick into B to take advantage of the regen, then iff again back on the flat. No idea what real difference it makes but its good fun and stops you getting bored :)
 

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I'd go with cruise using more power as with an ICE car. Like Paul said if you want to do about 65 you tend to slow down to 58-60 going up a hill without increasing the power, then if you're good you can pull back on the power on the way down, or go faster ;) If you can't bear dropping below 60 and can't resist doing 80 down the other side then cruise control may be more beneficial, it's a driving style thing.
As for B mode again it's driving style, If you like to be able to coast and use the brake peddle then it'll make no difference as the brake peddle uses regen first before the physical brakes. Around Town I find that B mode helps avoid using the actual brakes as it's easier to know if it's using regen or physical brakes than using the brake peddle, and you can often get away with driving about with only one peddle. On the motorway it can be a bit of a disadvantage as if you are not using cruise control a brief letup on your foot to get some blood back results in a significant slow down that you then have to accelerate from.
For me, I always drive in Standard B mode day to day and for motorway I use D and flick to eco if the wife's at the aircon controls or to give me a bit more play on the peddle. Cruise control is generally for 50Mph roadworks .. so about half the journey normally ;)
 
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