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Dropping into Low Gear to slow down


Best Answer Tom_NC_1 , 29 April 2017 - 01:15 PM

My Neighbour has a CMAX Energi as well. He said the dealership told him to drop into low gear when slowing down to a stop light/sign or slowed traffic in order to more efficiently recapture energy.

Wouldn't that be harder on the transmission??

 

(Note: I am not meaning dropping it at 30 miles an hour to slow it down from that speed but around 10-12 mph

 

Dropping to L is a signal to the computer to increase regen and this will slow the car very efficiently. You can go to L at any speed without any adverse effects on the transmission. Shifting to L does not shift to a different gear like it would in a conventional transmission.

If using the brakes instead of shifting to L, you have to be careful not press the brake peddle to hard or the actual brake pads engage to slow down rather than just regen. Using L ensures that only regen is used to slow down. 

 

The downside to relying on shifting to L to slow down is that it an cause the engine to come on if the HVB is still full because there is no place to store regen energy. A second byproduct of using L at higher speeds is that the high current flow back to can cause quicker heat build up in the HVB. Excess heat buildup in the HVB in hot climates can contribute to loss of capacity in the HVB. 

 

Tom

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21 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   regnaston

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 10:51 AM

My Neighbour has a CMAX Energi as well. He said the dealership told him to drop into low gear when slowing down to a stop light/sign or slowed traffic in order to more efficiently recapture energy.

Wouldn't that be harder on the transmission??

 

(Note: I am not meaning dropping it at 30 miles an hour to slow it down from that speed but around 10-12 mph









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#2 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 01:15 PM   Best Answer

My Neighbour has a CMAX Energi as well. He said the dealership told him to drop into low gear when slowing down to a stop light/sign or slowed traffic in order to more efficiently recapture energy.

Wouldn't that be harder on the transmission??

 

(Note: I am not meaning dropping it at 30 miles an hour to slow it down from that speed but around 10-12 mph

 

Dropping to L is a signal to the computer to increase regen and this will slow the car very efficiently. You can go to L at any speed without any adverse effects on the transmission. Shifting to L does not shift to a different gear like it would in a conventional transmission.

If using the brakes instead of shifting to L, you have to be careful not press the brake peddle to hard or the actual brake pads engage to slow down rather than just regen. Using L ensures that only regen is used to slow down. 

 

The downside to relying on shifting to L to slow down is that it an cause the engine to come on if the HVB is still full because there is no place to store regen energy. A second byproduct of using L at higher speeds is that the high current flow back to can cause quicker heat build up in the HVB. Excess heat buildup in the HVB in hot climates can contribute to loss of capacity in the HVB. 

 

Tom


Edited by Tom_NC_1, 29 April 2017 - 01:16 PM.

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#3 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 01:27 PM

FYI, it isn't a traditional transmission with set gearing, it's an electronic CVT.

 

I don't have hills and use L about 99% of the time; even highway.  The exception is when I have a fully charged battery.  Then, I use D until after the first stop at the end of my block.  After that, the battery will have enough open capacity to absorb the higher regen that L gives.  Love that one pedal driving.  :happy feet:



#4 OFFLINE   regnaston

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 01:40 PM

FYI, it isn't a traditional transmission with set gearing, it's an electronic CVT.

 

I don't have hills and use L about 99% of the time; even highway.  The exception is when I have a fully charged battery.  Then, I use D until after the first stop at the end of my block.  After that, the battery will have enough open capacity to absorb the higher regen that L gives.  Love that one pedal driving.  :happy feet:

You can drive it in low all the time... wow



#5 OFFLINE   bdginmo

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 05:29 PM

It's definitely not any harder on the transmission. Ford calls it an eCVT but it is nothing like traditional CVTs. The transmission uses a planetary gearset design that requires no shifting. 
 
However it is, arguably anyway, slightly harder on the HVB. That's because it induces more charge/discharge activity.
 
I don't drive in L for two many reasons. First, it does not activate the brake lights. Second, it buys me nothing. Once you've learned how the regen braking behaves you can get 100% regen without using L at all. I just know how hard I can press on the brake pedal at different speeds and still get a 100% brake coach score. 

Edited by bdginmo, 29 April 2017 - 05:29 PM.

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#6 OFFLINE   stolenmoment

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 04:23 AM

I'm with fotomoto, leave it in D when fresh off the charger, switch to L at the first stop.

 

One-pedal driving had a small learning curve, but it only took a day or so to "get it", and now it's natural.  Knowing that the energy-wasting friction brakes don't activate unless I intend them to is a big win; there's no way to discover the limit of regen braking by looking at the dash.

 

I'd really like a regen/brake threshold on the "Empower" like the electric/gas indicator.



#7 OFFLINE   bdginmo

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 05:27 AM

I'd really like a regen/brake threshold on the "Empower" like the electric/gas indicator.


Absolutely. My 2012 Escape Hybrid had that. It's very useful especially when you're first learning.

#8 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 06:39 AM

I wonder if there's any way that info can be pulled off the CAN bus in either Scangauge or Torque. I use Torque exclusively and wouldn't mind grabbing an old phone and setting up a dedicated display for this stuff. Based on what I have seen on documented PIDs so far though is there isn't one specific PID for braking threshold. However if one could find out how the car calculates said threshold that would be a great starting point.

 

I agree with the point on the original Escape Hybrid's. I was originally looking at getting one prior to this and one of my must haves was the nav system specifically for the hybrid info screen and being able to have the extra 'coaching' meters.



#9 OFFLINE   cwstnsko

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 09:48 AM

I haven't played with it lately, but I have a cheap 7" android tablet that I use with a Bluetooth reader and Torque Pro. The tablet wedges in right over the top of the existing touchscreen for those times when I need to get my geek fix and I am not so worried about nav etc.

 

 I have a gauge set up for current flow which goes positive under acceleration and negative under regen. There's a tiny bit of lag, so it's not perfect, but it is quite interesting.



#10 OFFLINE   stolenmoment

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:06 AM

Yeah, that's the same info available with the little arrows above and below the battery icon, but I'd *really* like to know how close I am to triggering the friction brakes.


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#11 OFFLINE   bdginmo

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 11:54 AM

You might be able to use the HVB amp PID for this. There is maximum regen amps that seemed to be somewhere in the 50 amp range.

#12 OFFLINE   jdbob

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 12:16 PM

You might be able to use the HVB amp PID for this. There is maximum regen amps that seemed to be somewhere in the 50 amp range.

 

Higher than that. The max regen is 35kW. Here's a screen capture from Forscan showing 101 amps going into the battery. At that battery voltage thats 34.2kW.

 

IMG_0082.PNG


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#13 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 06:18 PM

I don't drive in L for two many reasons. First, it does not activate the brake lights. 

 

IMO a needless concern.  Having owned and driven numerous car and motorcycles with manual transmissions, I am very confident in saying they have greater deceleration rates without a brake light when downshifting to a lower gear than the Energi does when using L.   In fact, the DOT has regs for maximum decel rates before brake lights must be activated.  The new chevy bolt does it when using its regen steering wheel paddles and will come to a complete stop without using the brake pedal.


Edited by fotomoto, 01 May 2017 - 06:22 PM.


#14 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 04:47 AM

You might be able to use the HVB amp PID for this. There is maximum regen amps that seemed to be somewhere in the 50 amp range.

 

It you use a Scangauge and are only seeing a maximum of 50 amps, check the formula and change the multiplication factor from 1 to 2 to get a correct reading. (Mth : 000200010000)

The display will be a maximum of about 110 amps during braking. I used to try and get 100% on brake score but I'm less hard on myself these days and am happy to get in the high 90s. 

 

Tom



#15 OFFLINE   bdginmo

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 05:50 AM

It you use a Scangauge and are only seeing a maximum of 50 amps, check the formula and change the multiplication factor from 1 to 2 to get a correct reading. (Mth : 000200010000)
The display will be a maximum of about 110 amps during braking. I used to try and get 100% on brake score but I'm less hard on myself these days and am happy to get in the high 90s. 
 
Tom


Thanks. Yeah, that could be the problem. I may have the math wrong in my SG entry.

#16 OFFLINE   cwstnsko

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 05:52 AM

Yeah, that's the same info available with the little arrows above and below the battery icon, but I'd *really* like to know how close I am to triggering the friction brakes.

 

The gauge I set up on Torque pro is the same PID referenced in the other replies here.  It shows a variable number, I just made reference to positive and negative to indicate that it is one gauge that is used to reflect both acceleration and regen, in opposite directions. It is much more informative than the little arrows, but for me it is only really useful until the weather warms up a bit more. Once it is warm out, my driving style changes from maximizing regen to minimizing battery heat build-up.  In the warmest months of the summer, I don't use L, and try to avoid braking altogether in favor of coasting to a stop wherever possible.  It sounds a bit more dramatic than it is, but the summer months do require adjustments to driving style to avoid accelerating the degradation of the battery.



#17 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 06:26 AM

There's another rare but possible kind of oddity I've run into only ever a couple times.

 

If you get your battery fully charged and you use L, the ICE will spin up awfully fast, even at slow speeds.  If you have multiple short/easy/downhill stops together, this is...  Well "clumsy" is about the best word I can use to describe it.  You end up creeping to a stop with the engine racing, then it trying to switch over to friction brakes, then shutting the ICE down, then you go EV and quiet for a second at a slight incline at an intersection, but then it's downhill a bit again and the engine starts racing again, while still barely creeping along in road speed...

 

 

As far as "normal" L usage...  I'm a bit torn.  I think it depends on your situation.  Lots of people like the one foot driving technique, and theoretically if your foot can find the exact middle position to replicate Neutral then that should be fine.  But the truth is any time you're coasting and won't need brakes, you're wasting energy in and out of the battery as opposed to being in Neutral and just coasting down the road.



#18 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 06:50 AM

I agree, driving in L increases the potential of slowing down unnecessarily, and slowing down and having to speed back up is more inefficient than just coasting in D.  

 

I use L when I need to slow down to take a turn or the light changed suddenly, otherwise if I have all the time in the world I use the brakes.  I know how much I can push before I dig into the pads, coming up on 4 years driving this car you get the feel or it.

 

You have D, L, Hill decent and the brakes.  Everything has its place in this car you learn what is best to use in each situation.

 

-=>Raja.



#19 OFFLINE   bdginmo

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 08:20 AM

But the truth is any time you're coasting and won't need brakes, you're wasting energy in and out of the battery as opposed to being in Neutral and just coasting down the road.


That's a good point I hadn't thought about. L could actually be less efficient than D in those cases owing to the inefficiency of getting energy in/out of the HVB.

#20 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:06 PM

I find the best place to use L to slow down is at highway speeds.  This is because its very VERY easy to dig into the pads while going down the highway with the brake pedal.  If you need to slow down a little bit drop it into L and see if that is enough, if so go back to D when you have stopped gaining on the car in front of you.    Also works good to slow down while taking the exit to go around the ramp if you are still too fast. 

 

Just food for thought.

 

-=>Raja.


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