Gear shifter in L for more regeneration warning.

A warning about keeping the gear shifter in L, on Chevy Volts.

I keep hearing people using their Chevy Volts in L for more regeneration.  I even hear of engineers suggesting to always keep it in L for more efficiency.  Trying to put this in perspective for efficiency.  I can see the typical driver that is not disciplined on braking and stops the last minute.  L will be more efficient for them.   If on the other hand you already slow down easy and not at the last minute, then L will actually be less efficient.  I am not talking about crawling to a stop either, or pissing off cars behind you.  Just a normal flow for deceleration.  Let me explain.  If you are already using the brake pedal to capture all of the available regeneration, and you also take advantage of coasting and preserving momentum when you can (without disrupting traffic of course), you will be more efficient than driving in L.  In this case, for L to be more efficient, it would need to regenerate more than 100% of the energy.  We know that is impossible, and we actually know there are losses.  The energy regenerated by slowing down from 40 mph to 30 mph will not be enough to bring the car back up to 40 mph.  So why not just keep coasting at 40 mph.

Now for the warning.  Do not drive your Volt in L.  I finally got around to testing it to see if the brake lights come on.  Nope.  The brake lights do not come on, and the deceleration is quite aggressive.  I do not know how this is even legal, but regardless.  Unless you want to get hit in the rear by some idiot, do not do this.  I already got smacked in the rear pretty hard by some idiot driving a stupid Nissan and I drive in D.   So just think how much more likely you will be to get crashed into by driving in L.   It nearly killed me to see my car get hit.  Actually there was only an abrasion on the rear bumper, and I rubbed it out already.  Good as new.  But I love my car so much, I do not want it getting hit.  That stupid Nissan on the other hand, had the whole front bumper bent and totally off alignment with the hood and front fender.  It was a hard hit that pushed us 10-15 feet.  Everyone ok thankfully, and this car is strong.  Chevy Volt is built right.

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