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2014 Cadillac ELR
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I picked up my 2014 ELR late last year after finding one that met most of my conditions (e.g. original owner, lower mileage, condition, etc). Although, I really wanted the red Crystal Claret Tintcoat exterior with Kona seats, I did end up with the Ashen Gray Metallic with black interior seats, which is another great combo.

I had done a good amount of reading and research on the car before taking the plunge. One thing that I was unable to locate a question to is regarding Mountain Mode.

I know Mountain Mode is an inefficient method of generating battery mileage. However, if forced to use this, I was wondering if anyone knows whether it is more efficient to do so during low speed driving (street driving) or at highway cruising speeds? This when the battery has no more range available.
 

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Catera 2000 & Catera 2001
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385 Posts
Mountain mode is to have extra power climbing hills. The most efficient way to use battery is anything after 55 mph to use engine, below that just touring mode. Just my .02. other people might drive it differently tho. I know, when I get to my community with no battery, good acceleration prior that revs the engine and that charge is enough to take me through two stop signs to my parking lot with out kicking engine in. I don't like when engine runs and stops constantly, less stop-go cycles is always better

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Cadillac Owners Troll
2019 CT6 Sport 3.0TT,2015 Luxury ATS , 2016 ELR, and Volt
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2,436 Posts
On long trips I use Mountain mode--it acts more like a conventional hybrid running off the engine with battery assistance for grades or passing maneuvers. I will consistently get 38 mpg during high speed and aggressive driving. Other than long trips I run in full electric sport mode and let it switch to the engine when the battery range craps out.
 

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2016 ELR, 2009 CTS Sedan, 2005 CTS-V
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495 Posts
Be sure you're using Mountain Mode correctly. It's meant for retaining (or recharging to give you) about a 45% battery buffer so your car has enough power to climb a substantial mountain grade. With just the gas engine, on long grades, the engine will work really hard and you may eventually enter a "reduced propulsion" mode. Putting the car in Mountain Mode won't ever fully recharge the battery, though.

The most efficient use, if you're planning to climb a mountain, is to engage Mountain Mode with a full battery charge when you leave. The car will start the gas engine early (with about 45% charge instead of zero) and it won't have to build back the buffer just propel the car. When you get to the mountain, the car can dip into the electric buffer and give you plenty of power to drive at full speed or pass as needed. It works really well over the Grapevine, Siskiyou Pass, etc. Just be sure you engage it ahead of time to give the car time to build up the buffer if it's actually down to zero electric range.

If your battery is fully discharged and you're just driving around town, it's substantially more efficient to let the gas engine propel the car as it will automatically. If you engage Mountain Mode, the gas engine is both moving the car and charging the battery. Building up that buffer with Mountain Mode shouldn't be needed unless you're planning to go over a major grade. As for what speed is most efficient for Mountain Mode to build back a buffer from zero if you're planning to go over a mountain, I'd guess a steady, moderate freeway speed (55-62) would be best. Your speed probably won't make very much difference, but I'd avoid doing it at really high speeds because it puts more strain on the small gas engine that's struggling to move the car and charge the battery at the same time.

Remember to turn off Mountain Mode when you're done, too, assuming you'll be able to recharge at the end of your route. (If you're not recharging and turning around to go over the same mountain, then obviously keep the electric buffer.) Your goal should usually be to end up with zero electric range so you're using as little fuel as possible.

Hope that helps answer your question!
 

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2014 Cadillac ELR
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your insight with my question.

One last question (which is away from the main topic)... as I mentioned, I just picked up the car late last year. After driving it for a while now, I notice that my HV battery available power tops out at 9.4kwh used before the gas engine engages. I am assuming this is low, based on most of the posts I have been reading on here.

Although the car has a little over 50k miles on it, about 40k+ is via electric miles so it does have quite a bit of recharge cycles on it (has a 150-160 lifetime mpg). Would this be something I should be concerned with? I am able to travel about 40mi with that available battery storage when I do street driving. It does drop to the mid 30s when I am on the highway at 65mph.

Thanks again
 

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2016 ELR
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168 Posts
After driving it for a while now, I notice that my HV battery available power tops out at 9.4kwh used before the gas engine engages. I am assuming this is low, based on most of the posts I have been reading on here.

Although the car has a little over 50k miles on it, about 40k+ is via electric miles so it does have quite a bit of recharge cycles on it (has a 150-160 lifetime mpg). Would this be something I should be concerned with? I am able to travel about 40mi with that available battery storage when I do street driving. It does drop to the mid 30s when I am on the highway at 65mph.
Sounds about right for a 7 year old 2014 ELR. My 2016 ELR started with about 12.5kWh new, and is now 10.5kWh. A little less mileage at 43K, but mostly electric driving also and similar lifetime MPG. You'll find the number will vary a bit based on temperature (less capacity at very cold), but should be fairly consistent drive-to-drive. The 2014 has a bit smaller battery than the 2016, so the 9.4kWh you describe sounds in the ballpark for expected loss for mileage/time/cycles. Other's with 2014's - feel free to chime in.
 

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2014 Cadillac ELR
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Awesome. Thanks for the added info. Hoping it will only degrade 20% in another 7 years of ownership. Maybe replacement packs will be more lower in price at that time as well.
 

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2014 ELR
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122 Posts
I purposely ran my electric out yesterday it use 9.7 kilowatts. So on the same subject I have been making a habit of plugging it in every night even if I only go 5 miles or so. Is this a good or bad idea
 

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2016 ELR
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168 Posts
I have been making a habit of plugging it in every night even if I only go 5 miles or so. Is this a good or bad idea
Always advisable to plug-in whenever possible. Also says the same in the owners manual. The car runs battery thermal management (to heat or cool the battery) even when off. It puts more wear on the battery if this is under battery power instead of wall power.
 
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