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Discussion Starter #1
So I saw a driving instructors car yesterday, a Zoe, and it got me thinking back to my test and auto’s vs manuals. The e-golf is my first ‘automatic’ car (yes I know it’s not really), and it’s got a very standard gear leaver just like an ICE. And this comes complete with P and N settings.

I know what these are for in an ICE and why they exist, but in an EV I’m less sure when you’d need Neutral, I believe there’s no actual gear box so it’s not disconnecting the motor from the wheels (correct me if I’m wrong!) And similarly with Park.....with the separate automatic handbrake and auto hold, does this do anything over and above N with the handbrake on (apart from letting you turn the car off).

Does anyone use N while driving? Say while stopped at traffic lights? And should I?

And I suppose following on from that, will these disappear when manual cars disappear, I imagine the ‘manual’ driving license will stop being the default option for new learners at some point probably in the next 10 years or so.

Thoughts?
 

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Actually I used 'N' yesterday for manually pushing my car back against the buffers in the garage.
 

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Well, the new Zoe doesn't have a 'Park' setting.

So the procedure at the lights seems to be to use the 'Hold' setting by pressing the brake a little harder. You can select Neutral if you like, but this doesn't really do anything once the Hold is on.

As soon as you undo your seatbelt or open a door, it puts the parking brake on. Which is a nice change.

Neutral is still required should you have some sort of failure of the drive system. Or just want to push your car - or put it through a car wash. God help us.
 

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Neutral is still required should you have some sort of failure of the drive system.
Not really the same scenario as an ICE car where N disconnects the drive from the output shafts - a failure of the drivetrain in an EV could be an output semiconductor or motor windings going open or short circuit etc. An electronic N setting is not going to change the state of this kind of fault, especially if the ECU has gone south, where it probably wouldn't respond to the input of the PRNDL control anyway. There is no mechanical disconnect of the motor from the wheels.

You don't need to use N at traffic lights. It could be useful as the others have said to let you roll the car when necessary. That's because (depending on the car, and mode) the motor windings are normally still energised when at stop, to prevent the car rolling back (or might be configured for 'creep' mode).

RE the Zoe putting the parking brake on automatically, I wish the i3 did this. It 'helpfully' tells you on the dash to secure the car by activating the parking brake - just do it for me, you stupid car!
 

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So apart from
So the procedure at the lights seems to be to use the 'Hold' setting by pressing the brake a little harder.
which I assume means that you can release the footbrake without the car either rolling or creeping, you all sit in traffic queues and at lights with your brake lights lit? :mad:
Certainly with the LEAF24 this is necessary as it creeps, using Neutral allows it to roll, and the foot operated parking brake is an abomination. :rolleyes: Even using the P button is trying as the car rolls slightly before the sprag engages with a jerk.
Anyone know if it's possible to replace the foot operated parking brake with a conventional manual handbrake (not the Gen1 electronic rubbish which is even worse) on the LEAF24?
 

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Not really the same scenario as an ICE car where N disconnects the drive from the output shafts - a failure of the drivetrain in an EV could be an output semiconductor or motor windings going open or short circuit etc. An electronic N setting is not going to change the state of this kind of fault, especially if the ECU has gone south, where it probably wouldn't respond to the input of the PRNDL control anyway. There is no mechanical disconnect of the motor from the wheels.
I was thinking of something a little more mundane, like main pack failure or running out of juice.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So apart from

which I assume means that you can release the footbrake without the car either rolling or creeping, you all sit in traffic queues and at lights with your brake lights lit? :mad:

As far as I’m aware, in all VAG group cars with an automatic handbrake, the brake lights stay on while auto hold is engaged even when you’ve taken your foot off the brake pedal.

The auto hold on my previous (manual) golf didn’t quite ‘make sense’, but now driving an automatic I can see the full benefit and why it was developed.

I can foresee all ev’s moving away from a traditional style gear lever in the near future. Maybe just a series of buttons (or leaver on the starting column) to choose between: ‘Make it go forwards’, ‘Make it go backwards’ and ‘Make sure it doesn’t go anywhere’, possibly with some sort of equivalent to N hidden away elsewhere for Car Wash’s and the like.
 

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‘Make it go backwards’ and ‘Make sure it doesn’t go anywhere’, possibly with some sort of equivalent to N hidden away elsewhere for Car Wash’s and the like.
So essentially they all become like the Tesla Flyer? :)

I've noticed I'm accidentally moving into Neutral a lot with the new layout. As you say, it should just be forward and backwards, with a button for Neutral.
 

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I have never used N in mine. Why do you guys use it in a car wash? I just P
 

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I have never used N in mine. Why do you guys use it in a car wash? I just P
Some car washes drag the car and therefore require the car to be in neutral.

Personally I stay away from those things, being of the devil.
 

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It's years since I used a carwash but seem to recall that when the "moving track" had pulled your car through the wash you then needed to drive the front wheels (and consequently the vehicle) clear of the track. If you were still in P wouldn't the track try to push you forward onto the surface at the end of the carwash but be unable to as your front wheels would be locked if you were in P?
Sorry in advance if I've failed to get a grip and explained this incorrectly!
 

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Hmmm... interesting. Apparently these Mercedes owners were having a nightmare because they needed to exit the car and leave it in Neutral. But the car engages the park brake when the door is opened, like the new Zoe:

 

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Some car washes drag the car and therefore require the car to be in neutral.

Personally I stay away from those things, being of the devil.
It's years since I used a carwash but seem to recall that when the "moving track" had pulled your car through the wash you then needed to drive the front wheels (and consequently the vehicle) clear of the track. If you were still in P wouldn't the track try to push you forward onto the surface at the end of the carwash but be unable to as your front wheels would be locked if you were in P?
Sorry in advance if I've failed to get a grip and explained this incorrectly!
Understood! I have never used one of those car washes. All the ones around me you just park, it does its business and then you leave.
 

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Hmmm... interesting. Apparently these Mercedes owners were having a nightmare because they needed to exit the car and leave it in Neutral. But the car engages the park brake when the door is opened, like the new Zoe:

Apparently they are a nightmare when they break down too. Can't even tow the manuals. They end up being dragged onto the back of a truck, which isn't great for the tyres!
 

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That seals it! Never going through one of those moving car washes! To be honest i'm a bit wary of the static ones...
 
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