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Can I keep regenerative braking on all the time?

  • Yes

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  • No

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  • It depends on...

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Two weeks in with my new Outlander PHEV, and it's been a real learning curve. Live in a flat, so no home charging possible yet - though looking into getting an OLEV grant to get a charging point installed in the car park. Quickly realised the only charge cable supplied with the car was usable only with a 3 pin home power point. Went to Halfords to buy a proper cable and they had no idea what I meant. Found a good supplier online at around £125 but wasn't sure what type to get. Phoned a Mitsubishi dealer to ask. He didn't really know but suggested I should get a Mitsubishi charge cable, at double the cost. Nearly ordered one but soon worked out that it would only be good for charge points that couldn't do rapid, and they were all tethered (and yes, I didn't know what that meant until now). Drove to one (Ecotricity) in Warrington and took a while to find the right cable for the car. But got an error during attempted charging as it didn't seem to like my access card (Charge Your Car) quickly purchased online as I was learning how this all worked. Been running with battery charge gone until yesterday. Seem to have found a combination that works but need you experts to tell me I'm not doing something daft. I select Charge plus regenerative braking (B5) and drive just a few miles and back again. As if by magic, battery is now 90% charged. Will obviously turn Charge off when battery full. But I quite like B5. Can I keep it in B5 for most driving? Or is that a dumb thing to do? May never find anywhere to charge this car but maybe that won't matter if it charges itself so quickly just driving around town. So far, confusing. But love the car.
 

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First of all Welcome to the world of electric driving! There is quite a lot to learn but you will find a lot of help here.

You will need an Ecotricity card to use the Ecotricity chargers. Your CYC one is good for CYC chargers. This is an annoying aspect of the charging network at the moment. Networks are slowly getting the message and allowing other cards but for now there are some sharing arrangements in place but to be certain you can use a particular network you will need their particular card.

Secondly, you have charged your battery using petrol. That is not a good thing to do because it converts the energy in petrol into battery power then back into motive power when you use it. Each conversion of energy type you lose some due to inefficiency of the conversion process. Far better to just run the car on petrol if you are out of battery and charge the battery when you can plug in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Paul. That's so helpful. The Charge Your Car website said that Ecotricity was on the margins and might stop taking their cards, so I guess we now know that's true. At least I wasn't doing anything dumb that caused the failure, I hope!

So acquiring cards that match the charge points I might be using seems like the right thing to do. But that brings me back to the charge cables. At £250 from Mitsubishi (and I've leased the car so might have to make that expensive choice) a cable that only lets me use 'fast' chargers seems like a waste of money. I gather they will take hours to charge rather than the Rapid's 30 minutes. And all of the latter have tethered cables. Does that all make sense?

Regarding the use of regenerative braking. Is there a problem with having it on all the time? And do you think it makes any difference as I've not seen the charge level change a huge amount.

Sorry for all the questions but you already seem ten times more helpful than the manual!

Thanks.
 

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At least I wasn't doing anything dumb that caused the failure, I hope!
No, I don't think you have been doing anything wrong at all... just a bit of familiarisation needed but then you knew that already :)

At £250 from Mitsubishi (and I've leased the car so might have to make that expensive choice) a cable that only lets me use 'fast' chargers seems like a waste of money
Yes... £250 is a lot for that cable. BTW the cable you need is a type2 to type1 cable. Type 1 is what is on your car. Type2 is what is on the AC charging posts. You can get a type2/type1 cable for a lot less than £250. In fact, I recommend buying from The Phoenix Works where you can get a suitable cable (5 metres) for £138 incl VAT.

It still sounds quite a lot doesn't it but IMO it is money well spent. With that cable you then can charge at most of the public charging locations in the country. You may not use it much but bearing in mind that every time you use EV miles you save on petrol it should pay for itself.

Regarding the use of regenerative braking. Is there a problem with having it on all the time? And do you think it makes any difference as I've not seen the charge level change a huge amount.
No trouble at all. It is designed to use regen braking all the time. All EVs will have regen on all the time.

As for not seeing the rang increase when regen braking... well you won't. The amount of regeneration each time you brake is pretty small but it mounts up and it can make a difference of 10% or more extra range over the course of a full battery. With the Outlander you can change how powerful the regen is with the paddles. Just use the paddles to increase regen to slow you down instead of using the brake pedal particularly when going down hills. It does make a difference.

Sorry for all the questions but you already seem ten times more helpful than the manual!
You are very welcome. I am no expert on the Outlander. I have driven a couple now but I have a Nissan Leaf but regarding charging and regen the principles are all the same and pretty much apply to all EVs and PHEVs.
 

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I can't help much here but tethered cables are permanently attached to the charger post somewhat like the fuel line on a petrol pump.

Any cable you buy will only be for a fast or slow charger.
 

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Just a further point on the regen braking on the Outlander...

Your B0 paddle setting, if I remember correctly, turns off regen completely. That is a useful setting when on a motorway or fast road where you don't need to slow down much.

When I test drove the Outlander I was constantly flipping the paddles between B0 and B5 as the road conditions dictated... on hills I would be in B3, B4 or even B5 (whatever was needed to hold my speed) then on the flat I would flip to B1 or B0 to be more efficient.

It was good fun.
 

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I can't help much here but tethered cables are permanently attached to the charger post somewhat like the fuel line on a petrol pump.
This is true for rapid chargers and for some (very few) fast chargers.

This type2/type1 cable is really only for fast chargers with the type2 socket... that is 3kW, 7kW. Slower than 3kW is usually a 3-pin socket or a blue 16A commando socket (very few).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Paul. And thanks David. Wow. I have learned more in the past 60 minutes than the hours I've spent with the world's biggest manual. What a great forum!
 

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Thanks Paul. And thanks David. Wow. I have learned more in the past 60 minutes than the hours I've spent with the world's biggest manual. What a great forum!
There's a dedicated Outlander forum on here. You'll probably get lots of useful advice in there from people who own them. Sorry if you've already spotted this!
 

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Avoid use of Charge mode its a waste as already said*. The Outlander always starts in B3 mode, I tend to drive in B5 unless on motorway and I have it in B0.

The one thing I am conscious of in B5, unlike the i3 the PHEV doesn't control the brake lights under regen.

Also worth remembering at 100% regen will be turned off complete as to not overcharge the battery, you get full regen back at about 85-90% indicated charge.

* The exception being when running in AWD and actually using AWD, it will automatically switch to charge when indicated SOC% is low as charge is required to get power to all wheels.
 

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Hi @TheSalfordOne and welcome
I don't have that much to add, but yes, don't press 'charge' as it is (usually) a lot less efficient than just driving on petrol - its main use is if you really need extra power from the battery as well as the petrol engine, e.g. for towing or on mountain roads.
You could also have a look at myoutlanderphev.com - there's some very useful PHEV-specific information there.
I believe the new (MY2016) PHEV does show the brake lights at B4/B5 regen, but it is also dependent on speed - can't remember the precise speeds now - but definitely an improvement I think
[Edited to take out superfluous apostrophe. I will go and sit on the naughty step immediately.]
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi @TheSalfordOne and welcome
I don't have that much to add, but yes, don't press 'charge' as it is (usually) a lot less efficient than just driving on petrol - it's main use is if you really need extra power from the battery as well as the petrol engine, e.g. for towing or on mountain roads.
You could also have a look at myoutlanderphev.com - there's some very useful PHEV-specific information there.
I believe the new (MY2016) PHEV does show the brake lights at B4/B5 regen, but it is also dependent on speed - can't remember the precise speeds now - but definitely an improvement I think
Thanks JDSX. That's good to know. I only used 'Charge' because right now I had no other way of replenishing the battery and it was feeling a bit wrong to be driving an EV with an empty battery all the time! The next step is to find or create somewhere to plug in my plug in!
 

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There's a dedicated Outlander forum on here. You'll probably get lots of useful advice in there from people who own them. Sorry if you've already spotted this!
I hadn't spotted that, so a big thanks! I've already seen the odd reference to Outlanders, with some surprisingly negative comments, so I'm hoping I'm not in for a bad experience. But so far, I'm loving it. I'm expecting it will get even better as I move from completely ignorant to a little less ignorant!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks J
Avoid use of Charge mode its a waste as already said*. The Outlander always starts in B3 mode, I tend to drive in B5 unless on motorway and I have it in B0.

The one thing I am conscious of in B5, unlike the i3 the PHEV doesn't control the brake lights under regen.

Also worth remembering at 100% regen will be turned off complete as to not overcharge the battery, you get full regen back at about 85-90% indicated charge.

* The exception being when running in AWD and actually using AWD, it will automatically switch to charge when indicated SOC% is low as charge is required to get power to all wheels.
Thanks Jack. Very useful!
 

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All EVs will have regen on all the time.
I think that should be "All EVs can have regen on all the time". I don't think there's an EV where you can't turn off regen. In fact I drive with regen completely off* almost all the time, turn it only on when I need to get rid of some speed at a motorway exit.

*or automatically enable when you get close to another car, but that seems to be a Mercedes only feature.
 

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The thing is that there are some Outlander drivers that have got the car simply because of the Benefit in Kind. Some, and it is only some, Outlander owners, consequently, are not bothered if they sit on a charger after the car has stopped charging or they sit on a charger and don't even bother to plug in at all just making use of the charge bay for parking as it is often conveniently located near the entrance.

On the other hand... many, probably the majority in my experience, of Outlander owners are bothered and so are considerate and vacate the charger when their car has stopped charging.

Needless to say, some BEV drivers, who need the charger to continue their journey, get miffed. It is annoying.

I wouldn't let the negative comments worry you. Charge up when you can/want to and vacate a charger when you are full (or before) and no one will be able to complain. :)
 

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I think that should be "All EVs can have regen on all the time". I don't think there's an EV where you can't turn off regen. In fact I drive with regen completely off* almost all the time, turn it only on when I need to get rid of some speed at a motorway exit.

*or automatically enable when you get close to another car, but that seems to be a Mercedes only feature.
Yes you are right... it should be "can"...

However, the Nissan Leaf is one car where you cannot turn off regen completely. You can have it is D mode with has mild regen or in B mode which has a more aggressive regen but there is no mode with no regen at all :)
 
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