Chevy Volt Will Have "Mountain Mode"
Larry Nitz, GM’s director of hybrid electric power engineering, today said that the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid will have a “mountain mode,” as a standard feature, in addition to the normal and sport mode. In a conference call with journalists, Nitz said the new mode will allow Volt drivers to set a larger reserve capacity in the battery in terrain that would require extra power.
GM engineers have been taking a fleet of 10 Volts throughout the California—experiencing steep terrains as well as city gridlock conditions. “We’re very pleased. It’s a wonderfully driving automobile. You hardly notice that it’s an EV,” Nitz said. He said that the 10 Volts were making a strong impression on observers. “We pulled into a McDonald’s. It was remarkable how many people walked out and said ‘Wow, that’s a Volt.'”
Nitz acknowledged that the mountain mode will reduce the Volt’s all-electric range. Nitz said, “If you’re going up the hill, you want that engine to come on sooner,” for the sake of efficiency and optimal driving experience,
Nitz suggested that the Volt team was spending a lot of time testing and calibrating the vehicle to make sure the vehicle has an enjoyable quiet ride past its first 40 or so miles of all-electric driving—and in all conditions across the country. He said that engineers are using the electric car capability regardless of whether the engine is on or off. “It’s the overall driving experience that we’re after.”
New to EVs? Start here
What Is An Electric Car?
Before we get going, let's establish basic definitions.
A Quick Guide to Plug-in Hybrids
Some plug-in cars have back-up engines to extend driving range.
Electric Cars Pros and Cons
EVs are a great solution for most people. But not everybody.
Eight Rules of Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette
Thou shalt charge only when necessary. And other rules to live by.
Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
Eight Factors Determining Total Cost of Ownership of an Electric Car
EVs get bad rap as expensive. Until you look at TCO.
Federal and Local Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
Guide to Buying First Home EV Charger
You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.
Electric Car Utility Rate Plans: Top Five Rules
With the right utility plan, electric fuel can be dirt cheap.
The Ultimate Guide to Electric Car Charging Networks
If you plan to charge in public, you'll want to sign up for charging network membership (or two).