Larry Nitz, GM�"s director of hybrid electric power engineering, today said that the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid will have a �Smountain 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. �SWe�"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. �SWe 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, �SIf 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. �SIt�"s the overall driving experience that we�"re after.⬝
Read More... [Source: HybridCars.com]