• Category Archives BoltEV
  • Cruise Control

    Sorry. Not sorry to be going on about the car… I just keep finding interesting things that I want to share…..

    Freddy and I did a backroads trip to Borrego Springs and back over the weekend.
    It was our first solid trip with little traffic on a road that we both know pretty well. Once we got out of the canyon it becomes an open winding road in pretty good condition with lots of rolling hills. I could then engage the cruise control and watch it work for the first time.

    Just blown away with the dead nuts on accuracy of it holding the speed. I mean it was dead nuts on. Not a single mile per hour (1.6ish kph) variation up and down hills or anything else that the countryside threw at us.
    All the cars I have driven that have cruise have never (ever) been that accurate.
    It was just creepy really because the sound does not vary, the car is holding the same speed at all times and so the road and wind noise never changes.
    The car never feels like its braking to hold speed going downhill, the regen just keeps the speed dead on.
    It never feels like it’s accelerating as it has more than enough silent power to hold the speed going uphill.

    Best way to describe it is in Freddy’s words ‘It’s like flying in a hovercraft’….. It really is an odd experience after a little while.
    At first it’s just like, eh, cruise control works, but then you stear and steer and steer and then it starts to sink in, the car has not varied one little bit in any way. Just steer, that’s all there to do.

  • EMoke

    One of my fond memories growing up as a kid is of a Mini Moke that my Dad bought…. in jars…. someone had pulled apart a Moke with the intent to clean it all up and rebuild it, but lost interest after the pulling apart stage. I seem to recall that we did not pay a lot of money for it, but the experience of ‘helping’ (not sure I actually helped all that much) putting it back together was gold. (Along with learning how to drive it in the sand dunes out the back of our house).

    So, with the last few posts on BB and my love of Mokes explained, I present this timely article of electric Mokes.


    I love the look of the big one. What a cracker. Very Martty-esk.
    My takeaway is described toward the bottom of this article…. we need a street legal fun EV.
    With weather like we have in Southern California, an electric Moke would be perfect.

  • Warm up

    I have always tried to be nice to my car engines. Mostly by warming them up each and every time before relaxing how I drive (ie, keep the rpm down till they are warm).
    The thing is, with a 6 mile (9.5km) commute, there is not a lot of relaxing that you can do.

    BB changes that with a motor rather than an engine. Now, I have 4 wheel bearings and I suppose two bearings in the electric motor (one each side?).
    It is direct drive, so there is no gearbox……

    I didn’t really expect this aspect of my daily commute. It’s nice and welcome, I don’t drive any different really, but have noticed that the car drives exactly the same from the moment I pull out of the garage to the moment I pull into work, the performance is exactly consistent.

    The one thing that does need warming up (or cooling down) is me!
    There is an electric heater for the cab, my computer data from my Android has shown at times some 2500 watts of heat being used to warm me.
    I have a steering wheel and seat heater, so these cool mornings I might try those.
    The real question I have (just out of interest) is what pulls the most power, the ac or the heat? (And does it really make that much difference to the range?)

  • One Pedal Mode

    One of the things I really (really) love about BB is one pedal mode.

    In short, it means that the regen (charging the battery by using the motor as a generator when slowing down) is so strong it will bring the car to a stop after a nice smooth ramp down in speed.
    There are two ways this works.
    In ‘D’ (on the gear stick) the regen is very soft and easy going, you put your foot on the brake and regen is applied, at some point of pushing the brake, it will actually engage the 4 disks and bring you to a pretty solid stop…. But, if you just brake gently, it is not actually using friction, its using the regen. You can tell because it feels different between the two stopping ‘forces’.

    The second way you can use regen is to leave the gear stick in D and use the ‘regen on demand’ paddle behind the steering wheel.
    This is like a gear shift flappy paddle if you have ever used them. It is easy to reach and hit with your fingers and just applies regen like usual. There is no modulating, on is on and is just a set amount and its pretty strong.

    The third way (I can’t count) is the one I love and use the most…..
    Put the gear stick in L. Its not low, remember, there is no gear box, it’s just the label they use….
    What happens now is really cool. As you push on the accelerator, you go faster, but as you let up, you adjust the amount of regen, so pull it back fast and you brake fast, gently let up and you slow to a gentel stop.
    In effect, you modulate your speed from the one pedal.
    It feels amazing from a driving perspective and does take some getting used to, but if you love driving, you will soon get the hang of it and never look back.
    As I said, it’s the main mode I drive the car in now. I am still getting smooth with it, but want to put the effort in to learn as it just seems so much more efficient and smooth (when I get it right – I am getting there, just need to get my consistency dialed in).
    It’s a great feeling to pull up at a stop light/sign and stop on the mark without using any brake at all.

    To answer your question, yes, the rear brake light comes on in any and all modes as you would expect. When your slowing down, its off, when you are stopping its on. Smart software guys are smart.

  • What gear am I in?

    One unexpected ‘feature’ of BB is that she is always. ALWAYS. In the right gear for every driving condition.
    You just regulate the speed with the regen smoothly and she just drives right every time all the time.
    I guess years of constantly nursing Marttys manual gearbox with low power has soiled me a little, you had to keep it dialed just right all the time to get it to go, like at all.
    Words can not really do it right, you just have to trust me on this one, it’s a very surprising experience, being in the one gear all the time is remarkable.