The origin of the 'B' mode setting.

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JejuSoul

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The 'B' mode setting on the Soul EV gear stick is an awful design decision, so I was wondering why they did it.
I think I found the answer while on vacation in Japan.
I just spent a week driving a Toyota Aqua. In the US this car is known as the Prius C.
Here is the gear stick.

20170118_11402673bi1.jpg


On the Prius the 'B' mode setting is for Engine Braking.

It is explained here - Questions about B Mode

Use the B position of the Mode Selector Lever in exactly the same circumstances as you would change to a lower gear to slow down a conventional car. If you are going down a long and steep hill, controlling the car's speed using only the brakes can cause them excessive wear, get them hot and may also tire your foot. The solution in a conventional car is to select a lower gear. The engine then spins faster and the energy it takes to do this holds back the car. Less brake pressure is needed to maintain a slow rate of descent. The Prius, however, has no gearbox in the usual sense of the term. Toyota have made special provision for engine braking and to activate this you put the Mode Selector Lever in the B position. By a special configuration of the motor/generators, the engine spins and helps hold back the car just as in a car with a gearbox.

....the purpose of B mode is to throw energy away by spinning the engine.
On a Prius the 'B' mode setting saves the friction brakes from overheating when going down a hill, by using the electrical motor (in reverse) to slow the car down. The recuperated energy cannot all be saved in the battery, so it is 'wasted' by spinning the engine. The Prius has a small HV battery ~1kWh and cannot recuperate more than about 10kW.

The 'B' mode setting was copied by Nissan for the Nissan Leaf, and then Kia copied it from Nissan. But on a fully electric car this setting is not the same thing. It cannot be Engine Braking because a BEV has no mechanical engine into which energy can be 'wasted'. There is no longer a need to 'waste' recuperated energy because it can be saved into the battery. The Soul EV can recuperate more than 43kW.

What the 'B' mode setting actually does on a BEV is alter the level of recuperation on the accelerator pedal. It is about one foot driving. This mode is far better altered on the I oniq EV using paddle shifters. Hopefully the next generation of Kia EV's will lose the 'B' mode too.

( a different topic - the Prius gear stick being set diagonally is a much better design than the Soul EV which is straight. Just like the Soul EV if you accidentally push the stick into 'P' while driving; a mechanical b olt will be pushed into the transmission to stop it. This destroys the transmission. It's much less likely with the diagonal configuration than the straight.)

Lol - I just noticed how stupid this website is. It translates my use of the word metal 'b o l t' into the car 'B o l t'.
 
B Mode is equavent to L mode on other systems.

The Bolt has an L instead of B, but it is the same thing.


I think B mode is great, because, in the case of the Soul, it absolutely charges the battery, and increases braking force through regen. I use D on the highway as I want a longer glide when my foot is off the accelerator, and B everywhere else.

It is part of the design that drew me to the Soul.
 
If we follow the Ioniq strategy, the futur soul EV may have the "auto mode" button to choose between 3 modes.
It's like this that you can use the highway setting (D mode) or the city/inter-urban setting (B mode).

I don't like the paddles behind the wheel (because i want a predicted regenerative brake, so B is always used in my soul EV, i have not drived in D mode since i have my car).
 
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The reason that having a 'B' mode setting on the Soul EV gear stick is an awful design decision is because it confuses everyone.

If our 'B' mode was called Level 2 Regeneration and was accessed via the Navi and not the gear-stick I think people would be less confused.

2zps9pwnubsx.jpg


The picture and example below is from the I_o_n_i_q_EV. If you want to understand regen better I suggest you test drive an I_o_n_i_q_EV.

If you want to stay in the same mode all the time set it via the Navi. If you want to swap during driving then use the paddle shifters.
An example: coming down a steep winding mountain road I find it most comfortable in level 3. But at the bottom part of the hill, if the road straightens out I will use level 0 (no regen = 'N') to gain the maximum rolling speed to go up the next hill.

There is no difference in energy saved between using the different levels of regen and just using the brake pedal harder or softer. It is just a personal choice - do you prefer one-foot or two-foot driving.

The only way to save energy is to not use regen or brakes at all. (on the Soul EV the only way to get no regen is by putting the gear-stick into 'N'). I strongly recommend NOT to use this method on the current Soul EV because of the badly designed gear-stick. If you go into 'P' by mistake you will destroy the transmission.
 
automatic-transmission.jpg


That gear position has been around a long long time. People know it by muscle memory without having to look. Shifting into P while moving is a rare thing, people don't do it often.

I haven't met anyone who is confused by the gear shifter in my Soul EV, and I have never heard complaints on any reviews about B mode and the shifter. Most people like it, and as I said, it stormed to the Soul EV.

I agree that being able to tweak the amount of resistance that regen provides would be a good thing, but I disagree that it should be on the nav. Having something that requires you to take your eyes off the road to engage/disengage is a bad idea. You should be able to do it by feel.

I like that I can shift between D and B, even with cruise control on, and not disengage cruise. This is handy for me as I commute along a rural highway where sometimes I need to be in B, and sometimes D is more efficient.

I do wish I could alter the amount of pull B had, but that is a minor quibble overall.
 
MrFlibble said:
That gear position has been around a long long time.
That is exactly why it shouldn't be there on the Soul EV.
Everyone knows what a low gear on an ICE car is. An EV doesn't have gears.
It's silly to confuse people by pretending it does.

What car is the picture?

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Note: I really like my Soul EV. I too almost always drive in 'B' mode. But this doesn't stop from wishing this car was better.

Here's an example of what I'd like to see.
One of the steering wheel buttons is labelled 'mode'. It has a little steering wheel icon.
When pushed it adjusts the steering wheel setting from 'normal -> comfort -> sport.

If however this was the 'regen' button. When pushed it adjusts the regen setting from 'level 0' -> 'level 1' -> 'level 2'
This is all software controlled. Every year or so an update tweaks the settings so we get extra levels.

Think about it; ICE cars never get a software update to add more gears.
My existing Soul EV will never get a new gear-stick.
The 'regen' on the accelerator pedal is just software . It can be updated easily.
Sadly unless you own a Tesla it never will be.
 
My contrarian view. The shifter design of the Soul was a major reason I bought the car. I wanted something for all the others in my family that was perfectly intuitive for them to drive just like the Auto transmission ICE cars we already have. They've learned safe driving on snow and the importance of being able to move to N in a split second without thinking.

For me, the beauty of the Soul is that it ISN'T different than the ICE version in many respects. It's good, basic transportation and happens to be an EV.

I'd be even happier if it still hand a hand brake like all cars should have (but seems I'm losing that battle as more and more cars implement pedals and push buttons).

My $0.02 anyway.
 
JejuSoul said:
There is no difference in energy saved between using the different levels of regen and just using the brake pedal harder or softer. It is just a personal choice - do you prefer one-foot or two-foot driving.

It isn't quite that way on my 2016 Soul EV+. I have a steep off ramp near me and I tried using both D and B when slowing down from 70mph going down the hill. While regen did increase the harder the brake pedal was pushed, the regen was higher in B mode for the same deceleration rate as evidenced both by feel and the regen value given on the NAV display. In B mode the brake pedal pressure had to be relaxed when in B mode compared to D mode.

I do wish that regen levels could be set with the mode button on the steering wheel. I also wish that when in cruise control mode and in the B position that when cruise is canceled and the brake hasn't been pressed that regen ramps up slowly to make the transition off of cruise control smoother.
 
JejuSoul said:
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The only way to save energy is to not use regen or brakes at all. (on the Soul EV the only way to get no regen is by putting the gear-stick into 'N'). I strongly recommend NOT to use this method on the current Soul EV because of the badly designed gear-stick. If you go into 'P' by mistake you will destroy the transmission.

Are you aware that the shifter will move up from B to N without pressing the button on the shifter? You can just press up and end up in neutral. The button is required to move to reverse and park. I often change between N D and B when traveling in very hilly areas.
 
cmiller82 said:
Are you aware that the shifter will move up from B to N without pressing the button on the shifter? You can just press up and end up in neutral. ...
Yes, I am aware. But pushing the button can become a habit.
To go back from D to B you do need to push the button.
And you always push the button when starting, stopping and going into R.

I have never accidentally pushed into P while driving. Someone else did.
But, I did accidentally push into R one time. Nothing bad, happened! There was no one close behind me.
That was why I don't use N while driving, and recommend against it.
 
JejuSoul said:
Here's an example of what I'd like to see.
One of the steering wheel buttons is labelled 'mode'. It has a little steering wheel icon.
When pushed it adjusts the steering wheel setting from 'normal -> comfort -> sport.

If however this was the 'regen' button. When pushed it adjusts the regen setting from 'level 0' -> 'level 1' -> 'level 2'
This is all software controlled. Every year or so an update tweaks the settings so we get extra levels.

or use the ECO switch behind the parking brake switch, it actually has dots on it so you don't even have to look down to find it.

cycle between D, D with ECO, B
that would give you 3 levels of regen.
 
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There's an excellent DIY video on how to upgrade your gearstick on a Peugeot EV by KiwiEV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwsHidbzfmw

Starting with this



He adds B mode and C mode. (Level 2 regen and level 0 regen)



Note - He did wait until the car was out of warranty before doing this. Am hoping that in 5 years time there will be some easy DIY option to upgrade our car's regen.
 
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I started this thread by remarking how the 'B' mode setting had its origin in hybrid vehicles.
The most recent post showed an i Miev which had both a 'B', and a 'C' mode.

I had assumed that the 'C' mode was for coasting and that this mode would offer no regen.
On an ICE car coasting and gliding are the same. You can push down the clutch and just roll.
That is my assumption about coasting. There is no regen.

But the two terms coasting and gliding got separated in hybrid vehicles. from https://priuschat.com/threads/coasting-vs-gliding.129796/
Coast: no pressure on either accelerator or brake. In this mode, there is regenerative braking taking place naturally.
Glide: No arrows. This requires the foot on the accelerator in order to avoid engaging Coast or acceleration.
Coasting in EVs is now assumed to be deceleration that occurs with some regen.
Gliding is the term for no regen.
The 'C' mode on the i Miev turns out to be a low regen mode, not a zero regen mode.

This is another legacy from the hybrid era that I hope gets forgotten as we transition to electric only driving. For me coasting and gliding will always be the same.
 
There's an interesting article on one-pedal driving in green car reports.- What IS 'one-pedal driving' in an electric car?

Clearly the author places great importance on the ability to come to a complete stop and avoid 'creep', rather than the ability to vary the amount of regen. (The BMW i 3 has the same strong regen in all modes). I have the opposite view. It is why I prefer the regen settings in the I oniq to the B olt. In the I oniq you can easily set the level of regen using the paddles. This includes level zero - gliding. The B olt regen gets stronger the longer you hold the regen-on-demand switch in.

Here's a great graphic comparing the B olt's regen paddle with the I oniq's 4 modes.

 
JejuSoul said:
The 'B' mode setting on the Soul EV gear stick is an awful design decision, ... Hopefully the next generation of Kia EV's will lose the 'B' mode too.
Looks like I will be in luck. Kia must have read this thread.

Kia N iro EV concept, 2018 Consumer Electronics Show

 
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Great news. The Auto - Regen feature from the K ona Electric is also in the N iro EV.
This means it will almost certainly be in the next version of the Soul EV.
We can say goodbye to the 'B' mode setting.



Here's the best video I've seen so far explaining how this setting works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DPGl8NE8LQ

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MrFlibble said:
B Mode is equavent to L mode on other systems.

The Bolt has an L instead of B, but it is the same thing.


I think B mode is great, because, in the case of the Soul, it absolutely charges the battery, and increases braking force through regen. I use D on the highway as I want a longer glide when my foot is off the accelerator, and B everywhere else.

It is part of the design that drew me to the Soul.

Is it ok to leave the Soul EV in "B" mode while driving in the city? I had been using it only when slowing to a stop, thinking it was much like a "lower gear" on ICE cars. So ok to leave in B all the time?
 
mikejody said:
Is it ok to leave the Soul EV in "B" mode while driving in the city? I had been using it only when slowing to a stop, thinking it was much like a "lower gear" on ICE cars. So ok to leave in B all the time?

Yes, it's exactly what you should be doing. I drive everywhere in B mode. You have all the regen levels imaginable available under the control of your right foot. In my book that's better than buttons, levers, paddles, etc.
 
There is a "school of thought" that suggests there being more battery degradation due to aggressive/high levels of regenerative braking.
Personally I could see how such extremes could be a factor in battery life, but worrying about every little aspect gets in the way of enjoying it.
I'd imagine more benefit from having a proper charging regiment (80% limit unless travelling further) than restricting regenerative braking in day to day driving.

Just something to consider.
 
I know this is a bit late for this discussion but I am new to EV driving having only recently purchased 2015 Soul EV+.

I have driven many ICE vehicles over the years and for the past 5 or so have driven two hybreds (2016 Prius Four Touring, and a 2017 Ford Fusion). The Prius has an "EV"mode which allows the driver to rely only on the battery, however the regenerative capacity of the car does not provide enough recovery for this to be practical for more than a few miles (less than 15 in my experience). No doubt this is due to the smaller size of a hybred's battery and the lack of adjustment of the regeneration settings.

I find I quite like the Soul's "B" mode. I have learned that when driving back roads and around city streets to stay in this position and I get a much better range as well as the benefit of "one pedal driving". One thing did concern me, the greater deceleration experienced when in "B" made me wary of the proximity of following vehicles. I was concerned that they would not be aware of my quicker slowing. I searched in vain through the Soul's Owner's Manual trying to discover if the brake lights came on automatically when the accelerator was released when in "B". Similarly I was not able to find any reference to this (specific to Soul EVs) in any discussion around "one pedal driving" on EV sites. Finally I did an experiment. I had my daughter watch me drive down the block ant told her where I intended to release the accelerator, and where subsequently I would apply the brakes. She confirmed for me that the brake lights did come on in two separate intevals. So I was happy to learn that my expectations were met.

Happy to be a part of this forum and the EV world in general. Thanks!
 
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