When To Use Chevy Volt's Hold and Mountain Modes for Best MPG
2013 Chevy Volts brought few welcome changes adding an EV Hold Mode to the existing Normal, Sport, and Mountain modes. Both EV Hold and Mountain modes are similar, the difference is that the Mountain Mode will hold the battery at 45 percent state of charge, while EV Hold mode will hold the charge in your Volt's battery as soon as it’s switched on. Here some Chevy Volt owners share their experiences on how to use the Hold and Mountain modes for the best MPG.
Ways to use EV Hold Mode
Hold mode is good for freeway, it uses gas and keeps the battery where you left it (I'm told that you'll get better mileage when the battery is more full, but I'm not certain).
I'm in Michigan with a new-to-us used Volt. What I've found works best - and I've driven our Volt to Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Toronto on our longest trips - is I use the Hold mode for on the highway or any long stretches of certain miles per hour. That seems to get me the best MPG. I prefer to save the electric for in-town driving or stop-and-go on the highway stuff.
At high speeds use hold and round town/stop start use EV. But above all else: don't obsess and don't be afraid to use the engine (like some obsessive members). 70 miles is nothing for the Volt. Just make sure you don't come back with any battery remaining.
My commute is about 75 miles. I use Hold mode on the freeway, but switch to Normal mode in traffic jams. I average about 95-120 mpg. On a really bad day I hit 150 mpg round trip.
My commute is about 75 miles. I always use hold on the freeway and use the electric modes on side streets. It works well. I am not as concerned about efficiency as much as saving the quiet experience for the lower speeds, and using the gas engine when I can't hear it on the highway.
How To Use Mountain Mode
Mountain mode, if I understand correctly, will use battery, and give you an extra push - which depletes your battery faster than normal. So I'd use that sparingly.
Leave home in Mountain mode. Will switch to engine on the highway - and then with 16 miles to go, back to Normal mode. I do this all the time.
Mountain Mode is used for hilly travel. Keeps a 'reserve' in the battery to get you up those hills. Does not give the car any kind of "boost" in power/torque.
2 Concluding Suggestions
Whatever you do, with all the jacking around with Hold/MM, don't leave electricity in the tank, or you've wasted gas. I use Waze to know exactly how far I have left and I know how many miles / kWh I'm likely to get in around town driving, so I can typically nail it so that I get home just as I'm running out of charge completely, with maybe 1 mile remaining or I run out 1 mile from home. Last thing you want to do is burn up a quart of gas and arrive with 10 miles of electricity remaining.
On any drive beyond full-charge range with no recharging opportunities, you’ll get perhaps 3-5 more electric miles by careful use of Hold instead of staying in Normal, thus reducing trip gas consumption by perhaps one pint. Are you really that interested in saving pennies when using gas? Using Hold to choose when to use battery power can be a personal, not an economic decision (e.g., "I like to save my battery power for driving on residential streets"). Sure, if you forget to switch to Normal soon enough, you’ll burn a small amount of gas you didn’t "need" to use and arrive home with a bit of charge remaining, but you will arrive home on quiet electric power.
Also Watch New Chevy Volt Driving Modes Explained