Driving with one pedal

One pedal? What? This is a “mode” many EVs can be put in to drive without touching the brake pedal at all. How does that work? This is accomplished with some very specific changes to the driving experience:

  • Creep is turned off–the car no longer inches forward if you take your foot off the accelerator.
  • The brake lights are automatically controlled by an accelerometer or some other system rather than a switch on the brake pedal.
  • The calibration of the accelerator pedal is changed such that the first few degrees of depression is regen (braking using the motor) instead of forward torque.
  • That accelerator regen is enough to bring the car to a complete stop.

Now the FFE did not have such a mode–being a first generation EV they probably didn’t think of that. Even so with the Focus’s blended brake you kind of got the same result by driving it in a conventional manner (the FFE would automatically choose how much regen vs how much friction brake to use when you hit the brake pedal).

All the Tesla’s have a one pedal mode–of course, I believe the i3 also has a one pedal mode (while searching to see what has one pedal mode I did find this article about one pedal driving; makes the point better than I do–but I’ll continue nonetheless LOL).

In the Bolt putting the shifter in “L” enables one pedal mode. Taking your foot off of the accelerator will bring the car to a stop on level pavement (the owner’s manual does say that if you’re on an incline you may have to use the brake pedal to ensure the car doesn’t move at the stop; it also mentions that the brake pedal should always be used at a stop as the brake lights will turn off once the car stops moving). The max deceleration with your foot off the pedal is 0.2G; if more is desired there is a regen paddle behind the steering wheel that will increase that to 0.4G. One pedal mode does work much better if you drive relaxed and start “braking” much earlier than you normally would–something I’ve already gotten used to thanks to the brake coach in the FFE. You can still use the brake pedal if needed–indeed you’ll still instinctively stomp on the brake pedal in a panic situation. Of course this means that the brake pads on the car will never wear out if all you do is drive in “L”.

Which is something I do; its just muscle memory now putting it into L for every trip. The car’s range increases somewhat when you drive in one pedal mode vs “conventional” driving–simply due to the fact that you are not regenerating nearly as much driving it conventionally. This also makes it fun hopping back into any other car as they feel like they are on ice when taking you foot off the gas (which just makes you instinctively hit the brake so adjusting back is pretty easy).

When I drove a family member’s Tesla I tried out one pedal mode briefly–not nearly long enough to get the hang of it. Now, though, I drive that way every day (in the Bolt, of course, not a Tesla LOL).

 

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Driving with one pedal

The Tesla invasion..

Hasn’t hit Southeastern Michigan yet. I am seeing more and more Tesla’s when I’m out and about on the roads, however. In the past month or so I’ve seen several Model X’s (different colors so I know they are different cars), and a few Model S’s. I believe I’ve only seen one Model 3 so far–you’d think I’d start seeing more given that Tesla has really started cranking out the cars and deliveries.

Of course Michigan isn’t really a Tesla friendly state: The auto dealers managed to get a law passed “clarifying” that its illegal for OEM’s to have a dealership–must be a franchised dealer not owned by the OEM to be able to sell cars. As such I think there is only one Tesla gallery in Michigan at The Somerset Collection in Troy, MI. That pretty much makes it so only the people that really want a Tesla get one. (Tesla does go to great lengths to make it easy to purchase: You can even order one right off their website.)

(Saw a Model X this morning which was the inspiration for this post…)

Waiting for the 3’s to arrive en mass.

 

The Tesla invasion..

A Tesla in the family

For the past few hours I’ve had this guy plugged into my home EVSE:

Tesla

A relative picked it up and will be visiting for a few days. Now my little 30A @ 240V charger really can’t do much for a Tesla (the Tesla app says its charging at about 20 miles an hour–for this afternoon they have been here long enough for maybe 60 miles of charge). Fortunately for them we do have a supercharger about 20 miles away (which they plan to hit on the way home).

I’ll likely have another post soon after I take it for a spin…

 

A Tesla in the family

Where is Ford?

The question is: Where is Ford in this market?

The answer is: being left in the dust.

What market is that? The 200+ mile EV club. Granted the only members in the club right now is Tesla, but Chevy is knocking at the door with the Bolt.

If this review is any indication the Bolt is going to be a hit. You can spend hours debating if the Model 3 is “going to kill Chevy” or that the Bolt “will be the death knell of Tesla”. Personally I’d hedge towards Chevy: If the Bolt is as good as that review indicates then with a solid year (plus?) lead on the market it will give Tesla some solid competition.

The next few years promises to be exciting ones if you are an EV enthusiast.

So again: Where is Ford?

 

Where is Ford?

Well, its “here”…

Late last night (11:30pm Eastern) Tesla revealed the Model 3:

Already there’s been 150,000+ reservations. So if you’re at the end of that list, and they ramp up production slowly (or even moderately) from the projected “late 2017” start then you’ll be lucky to see your Model 3 by 2019?

Wow. Don’t get me wrong it is a sharp car (personally I’m not too thrilled with the “blank” nose, but then again originally I wasn’t sure I’d like the fake grille on the FFE but it grew on me). Am I one of the 150,000? No–I had given it considerable thought: the deposit is refundable and it would be likely that I wouldn’t get the car until after my current lease ends but in the end I decided not to.

By the time the Model 3 does hit the market there is going to be a lot of competition in the class. Some will be cheaper, some will be more expensive; will any of them be “better” than the Model 3? That is a question I cannot answer and greatly depends on how much of a fan you are of Tesla (just read through some of the comments on any article about the Model 3’s reveal and you’ll see what I mean).

One thing is for sure, though, we are definitely living in interesting times…

Well, its “here”…

Chevy is close to making Bolts

Check out this Ars Technica article about the Chevy Bolt.¬†Seems like Chevy is going to handily beat Tesla’s Model 3–makes you wonder if Chevy timed this news release to beat Tesla to the punch as the Model 3 prototype will be unveiled next week.

The thing is, when I look at the picture in the article, below:

This side view really looks like a BMW i3 to me…not sure why (perhaps its just the relative proportions).

By the time my 3 years is up on the C-Max I’ll have plenty 200+ mile BEV’s to choose from thats for sure.

 

Chevy is close to making Bolts

Whats it like to own a Tesla Model S

Internet comic “The Oatmeal” has written a rather lengthy graphic about what its like to own a Tesla Model S. This is very interesting reading. Many of his points also apply to the FFE:

  • Charge the car by plugging in at home
  • The fact that its different from standard cars
  • Partial: Proximity locks (on the Tesla the door handles extend and retract when you approach, on the FFE the doors unlock when you touch them–I’m calling this a 1/2 point for the FFE LOL)
  • Another 1/2 point: “no ignition”–ok yeah you start the FFE like a car but it does have pushbutton start (yeah I know I’m reaching here)
  • No noise/very quiet drive train
  • A/C Motor (Tesla has an induction A/C motor and the FFE uses a synchronous A/C motor)
  • Don’t stop at gas stations
  • Handles well (I’m not saying the FFE handles like a Tesla but it is known to handle very well with a 50/50 weight distribution–better than the ICE Focus in some respects)
  • Another 1/2 point due to My Ford Touch (some people would say this is a -1 for My Ford Touch. I still like it and find it easy to work with)
  • Can’t install apps on either screen (but rumor has it that we may be able to use applink this year)
  • “Unlockable Achievements”! Something the FFE has (on My Ford Mobile) that the Tesla doesn’t
  • Smartphone interface
  • Full safety ratings–now the FFE didn’t break the testing machine but it crash tested even better than the ICE Focus
  • Zero fires for the FFE–at least I haven’t heard of any

Keep in mind the above is just for fun but it is interesting how many items are in common. It is likely that many of them are common with all of the BEVs and not just the FFE.

 

Whats it like to own a Tesla Model S