Driving 100% in B mode?

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Joined
Jul 22, 2018
Messages
36
Location
Ottawa, Canada
OK, so I searched the forum for info on driving in B mode. I found a few opinions but nothing really definitive.

What I want to know is there any problem driving all the time in B mode?

My opinion is that coasting is giving away energy as coasting is merely another way of slowly slowing down. Coasting or during or whatever you call it makes sense in an ICE since increased rpm's means more fuel consumption, but it seems to me that the loss of rpm's (read momentum) in an EV is just loss of energy. So why not recuperate as much energy as possible?

I also noticed that on my 2017 the brake lights only come on when I completely take my foot off the accelerator. So going downhill with my foot partially on the a-pedal leaves the dial in the green (regenerating) without the lights coming on (not affecting the cars behind me). And I have to admit I kinda like the feel of the "hard" regen as it reminds me of go-carting!

Anybody know?
Jon.
 
I think it has more to do with your driving style than efficiency. I like to let my car coast towards a light, waiting for it to turn green, with my foot off the pedal. If it is in B mode, it slows down quickly, then I have to accelerate again when the light turns green.
I understand the eGolf goes into regen if you press the brake pedal lightly. If you press it hard, then braking kicks in. Charge and discharge have efficiency loss.

I also have a tesla. To "coast", I need to balance my foot on the "gas" pedal so it is neither powering the motor or doing regen.
 
Coasting is the most efficient. Any time you convert one form of energy into another, there are entropic losses. Regen converts kinetic energy into chemical energy, and there are losses. If you were to drive on a perfectly flat road, the most efficient way to travel is to just put enough energy into keeping the car moving and never braking because in an ICE car braking generates heat (lost energy) and regen in an EV charges the battery (not 100% efficient buy still very good). I drive in B slot around town because I’m not good at anticipating how long I’ll be able to coast, so for quick stops with no friction braking from a slow speed, B is best.
 
If I expect to do a lot of braking (city driving, rush hour freeway), then I use B mode. If I don’t expect to be doing much braking, I use D, maybe D1 or D2 on the really steep stretches.
 
Thorallophon said:
I also noticed that on my 2017 the brake lights only come on when I completely take my foot off the accelerator. So going downhill with my foot partially on the a-pedal leaves the dial in the green (regenerating) without the lights coming on (not affecting the cars behind me).
Jon.

I might be wrong about this, but from what I've experienced so far in my limited experience, putting the car in D3 mode with your foot off the accelerator pedal has the same or very similar effect to driving in B mode and leaving your foot partially on the accelerator, except that coasting in D3 mode with your foot completely off the pedal will not turn on the brake lights.
 
I almost always drive in D mode, and downshift to D1 or D2 when slowing down, using my foot brake last, so that the idiot driving behind me will at least see some brake lights to indicate to them they need to use the brakes and slow down, too.

I get 6.0 to 6.3 or 6.4 miles per kWh driving this way in the spring, summer and fall, whenever overnight temps stay warm, and it doesn't take much time to warm up the whole drive train /gearbox /CV joint /bearing grease stuff.

Now that it's a little cooler here in So CA, I am seeing 5.9 to 5.8 miles per kWh. It will be that way, probably through March.

Rain really lowers my miles per kWh, and shortens my range significantly, so I try to drive something else when it's raining, the e-Golfs range per recharge really suffers in the rain.
 
manybees said:
Thorallophon said:
I also noticed that on my 2017 the brake lights only come on when I completely take my foot off the accelerator. So going downhill with my foot partially on the a-pedal leaves the dial in the green (regenerating) without the lights coming on (not affecting the cars behind me).
Jon.

I might be wrong about this, but from what I've experienced so far in my limited experience, putting the car in D3 mode with your foot off the accelerator pedal has the same or very similar effect to driving in B mode and leaving your foot partially on the accelerator, except that coasting in D3 mode with your foot completely off the pedal will not turn on the brake lights.
Same experience here, except one time I was turning into a tight driveway in D3 and the brake lights definitely did come on (it was night and I could see the CHMSL reflect in the rear window). I think if you give the car a lot of steering angle it will scrub off speed fast enough in D3 to trigger the brake lights.
 
f1geek said:
Coasting is the most efficient. Any time you convert one form of energy into another, there are entropic losses. Regen converts kinetic energy into chemical energy, and there are losses. If you were to drive on a perfectly flat road, the most efficient way to travel is to just put enough energy into keeping the car moving and never braking because in an ICE car braking generates heat (lost energy) and regen in an EV charges the battery (not 100% efficient buy still very good). I drive in B slot around town because I’m not good at anticipating how long I’ll be able to coast, so for quick stops with no friction braking from a slow speed, B is best.

I think I understand what you are saying f1geek, but I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the benefits of coasting in an EV. So, bare with me as I work through the thought puzzle.

If I understand you, given a perfect scenario: distance travelled will be more when coasting than when using regen, assuming same min and max speed. This would mean that there would be more accelerations per km travelled, therefore coasting is better (acceleration = energy loss, and regen does not recoup that energy spent to accelerate to max speed).

However this does not account for terrain, traffic, weather, etc. So, for example, you arrive at the top of a steep downward slope. The cost of accelerating to get to the top is the same in both cases (regen vs coasting), so it's a wash from that standpoint.

if the slope isn't steep enough, you have to keep your foot on the accelerator to maintain speed, so, again, the same energy losses in both cases.

If the slope is steep enough that the vehicle accelerates, you would then have to brake to satisfy one of the real world factors, such as to keep the vehicle under the speed limit, or from piling into the back end of the car in front, or...

So, in this scenario we then we have to determine how much energy is retrieved if using regen without braking vs coasting and braking slightly. Either case will be highly dependant on the situation and/or the driver, though one might assume that on average, in highway scenarios, coasting might be slightly better.

So, long story short, Twocars is correct, it's mostly down to how you drive. I'm with RonDawg, in that most of my driving is either during rush hour or short in town trips. Therefore B mode. The exception is the longer trips, which I am now trying to find out which mode is best to drive in to maximize the distance. I guess it will depend. :p
 
Here is the simplest way to understand it. We know energy cannot be created or destroyed and that no machine is 100% efficient. So use the minimum amount of energy as possible if you want max range. The less often you set on the accellerator the less energy you will use. If you step on it more than necessary then regen will capture some of that energy but not 100%. Probably more like 2/3rd of it. The rest goes to waste as heat.
 
Thorallophon said:
I'm with RonDawg, in that most of my driving is either during rush hour or short in town trips. Therefore B mode.

Keep in mind that I use B mode in the city because of having to frequently slow down. It doesn’t capture any more energy than using the brake pedal, it just means I can better modulate my speed using just the accelerator pedal instead.

On EV’s, when depressing the brake, the car first will try to use regen before the actual friction pads, unless you need a lot of braking power now (as in you slammed on the brakes) or the battery is too full to accept more charge. So I could drive around in D in the city and use the brake pedal more and get the same results. It’s more of a convenience thing.
 
RonDawg said:
Keep in mind that I use B mode in the city because of having to frequently slow down. It doesn’t capture any more energy than using the brake pedal, it just means I can better modulate my speed using just the accelerator pedal instead.
...

Agreed. That and since I seem to be able to use B successfully, I'm not consuming my brake pads. I'm pretty sure I will not be doing a brake job anytime soon.
 
RonDawg said:
On EV’s, when depressing the brake, the car first will try to use regen before the actual friction pads, unless you need a lot of braking power now (as in you slammed on the brakes) or the battery is too full to accept more charge. So I could drive around in D in the city and use the brake pedal more and get the same results. It’s more of a convenience thing.
This is true of the e-Golf and many other EVs. However, Tesla has chosen not to engage any additional regen when pressing the brake pedal. If you set the regen to "Low" in a Tesla, you will be giving up the majority of the kinetic energy in the car to the friction brakes. That is why the Low setting is only recommended for driving in low traction situations like ice and snow.
 
Thorallophon said:
However this does not account for terrain, traffic, weather, etc. So, for example, you arrive at the top of a steep downward slope. The cost of accelerating to get to the top is the same in both cases (regen vs coasting), so it's a wash from that standpoint.

This, I think, is the confusion here. It sounds like you want to find a mode and just stick with it all the time, but in reality you'll probably have better success coasting down the hill in D, and downshifting to D1, D2, D3, and B as appropriate to moderate your speed on the way down. The best way is always to find the braking mode that will keep the car at the speed you want it as it rolls down the hill.

Think of it this way, regen is BRAKES, not driving. In stop start traffic, B is great because you can guarantee that all the speed you lose is adding toward the regeneration. But if you're on the freeway doing 60 miles an hour you don't want to lose momentum, as it costs energy to speed back up (duh!). I understand what you're saying about coasting being a "loss" of energy that you never get back, but think of it this way. When costing, it might take lets say 500 feet to lose 10mph. If you're in B mode and lift your foot off the pedal you'll lose 10mph in a fraction of that distance. so you'd have to spend energy sooner to get back to 60mph than you would if you had been coasting. Overall, even with the regen putting energy back in the battery you'll have had to speed back up more times than you would have if costing, and ultimately it will cost you more energy.

Experiment, find the driving style that works for you best!
 
Yes Sparklebeard, you nailed it. And I see your point. I recently tried experimenting on a longer trip and found that I lose focus after an hour or two of driving and often forget to switch from one mode to the other. I did however do more coasting as recommended and I think I did get a little more range, though it might have been within the plus/minus of range for that long a trip. So I guess, unless I'm really trying to stretch my range for a certain trip, I may end up sticking with just one mode for certain types of trips. or smarten the hell up. not sure which one yet. :)
 
I know this is an old thread but I ran across a recent video from Bjorn Nyland that essentially supports my original theory. I think it is worth noting that driving in B mode all the time is equal to or more efficient than driving in D or coasting. If you can get used to having your foot on the accelerator all the time, you are likely to get more range, though ultimately on the highway it will make little difference.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=equ1wPjeETU
 

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