The Chevrolet Bolt EV alters your refueling routine, but when it comes to how you drive the car, you have options. You can put it in Drive and go straight to driving as you would in another vehicle, or you can drop it down and enjoy its regenerative braking ability, which completely alters your way of driving.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt
Chevrolet calls it “driving to a pedal,” and as much as I hate repeating marketing slogans, it’s really the best name for it. The regenerative braking level at the bottom is aggressive enough that, once you learn to dry it properly, you almost never touch the brake pedal. Unlike most other EVs, braking at the Bolt’s regeneration will slow down the vehicle throughout the stop while still providing enough room.
To know exactly how accurately I asked the test team to do two additional braking tests in addition to our standard emergency stop from 60 km / h. First, I stopped them from 60 mph using only the regenerative braking provided by the Low mode. Then I made them use a combination of the Low mode and the on-demand regeneration pallet on the left side of the steering wheel. Using the brakes, the Bolt will stop from 60 to 128 feet. In Low Low mode, it stops at 60 mph in 665 feet. Using the Low mode and the pallet on demand of regen, it stops at 60 mph in 528 feet.
Obviously, then Low or Low plus paddles are useful in an emergency, but in daily driving they are super useful. The amount of regenerative braking provided by the Low mode is roughly similar to that of engine braking in a manual transmission car (not a squish automation that unlocks the torque converter and virtually freewheels). As such, you usually remove the accelerator in Low mode at about the same time you would have anyway if you were driving another car. But rather than walking on the brakes, you simply let the regen handle it. It’s like a slowdown slowing down, only better.
What makes it better is its variable. Regenerative braking begins as soon as you have reduced the acceleration under the point of maintaining your current speed (do not accelerate or decelerate). From that moment on, the more you release the accelerator pedal, the more you regain braking. Maximum regeneration occurs when your foot is completely away from the pedal. If this is not enough, you can retrieve the On-Demand Recovery Palette for additional power to stop. If you get too much, add a new timer. Depending on your stopping or slowing down of traffic, you end up modulating the accelerator pedal to get your perfect braking distance, as you would using the brakes but without switching the pedals.
Using it to control both acceleration and deceleration with the same pedal takes a little practice, just like learning when to start engaging in the regen and the amount to give. Then there is the question of when to use the on-demand recovery palette and how long to remember. Finally, there are unexpected situations, such as when a light changes before you expect it and you must slow down quickly. How long do you stay in Regen before going to the conventional brakes? Luckily, it’s very intuitive, and I was driving regen regularly during the first few days. Part of this is a personal experience with other electric cars, but it is not difficult to get used to even a rookie.
I love a pedal car, I drive the car exclusively in low mode. As far as I’m concerned, every time I use regenerative braking, I get free electricity. Yes, the majors of physics, I know that I recover the energy I have already spent, but in a gasoline vehicle, this energy is extinguished. In an EV, I can recover a bit. It’s like someone is pouring a little gas into your tank every time you hit the brakes. I have no data to show that this increases my scope by any significant amount, but even if it’s just a mile, that’s a mile I would not otherwise have traveled.
I also appreciate the challenge. Getting my timing right so that I do not need to modulate the regen, but let me slow down exactly as much as necessary is rewarding in its own way. I also like to use it when I drive fast. Because I would be modulating the brake pedal the same way I’m braking the recovery, I can use it to slow down precisely as needed for a corner while extending my range. At the full regen, enough braking force is enough for the front tires to start shouting if you sink, so it’s really useful when driving fast.
The disadvantage: long readers. The Bolt does not offer adaptive cruise control, so if traffic is too heavy for standard speed control, you will work a lot on the pedal for a long period of time. Because the pedal is spring loaded, it always pushes back against your foot so that your muscles are always tense, which keeps it exactly where you want it, so you do not brake by recovery. After a while, my ankle starts to get very stiff. To lighten it, I move the car from Low to Drive, so it will walk as I pull my foot off the accelerator and hear my ankle.
source : http://www.motortrend.com/cars/chevrolet/bolt-ev/2017/2017-chevrolet-bolt-ev-review-long-term-update-2