2016 Chevrolet Volt Regenerative Braking On Demand – Video


Next Gen Volt

Next Gen Volt

“With regenerative braking on demand, driving the all-new 2016 Volt puts the power in your hands. A steering wheel-mounted paddle that allows you to control your regenerative braking takes power that’s normally lost and puts it into the battery. That’s just one of the many unrivaled technology features in the Next Gen Volt.”

In this video you’ll see Mark Reuss, General Motors’ Executive VP of Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply Chain and Andrew Farah, Vehicle Chief Engineer, Chevrolet Volt, demonstrate the new-for-2016 regenerative braking on demand feature found in the next-generation Chevrolet Volt.

We assume that this feature found in the 2016 Volt will operate much like the Cadillac ELR system covered in detail here.

Screen shot 2014-12-18 at 8.05.29 AM

Mark Reuss Demonstrates Regen On Demand

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50 Comments on "2016 Chevrolet Volt Regenerative Braking On Demand – Video"

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MTN Ranger

First time we have seen the dash (albeit with camouflage). I’m betting many of the touch buttons are probably regular switches/buttons now. The round shape on the LCD instrument display looks very similar to the ELR. What’s up with the shifter – is that a button on the top of it?

George Bower

Agreed. I don’t like the touch sensitive buttons on my Gen 1. Total PITA to use. Hope that gets fixed.


Yeah, I was trying to discern whether they fixed the horrible touch buttons, but I cannot tell with any certainty. I also noticed they very intentionally threw a sheet over the back seat.

Eric Cote

I will miss the capacitive buttons. They are a breeze to clean, haha.


Just thought of this for some reason:

Bill Howland

Good Star Trek tease: Can’t happen in my 2011 volt… I have no control whether the engine even starts or stops unless I fool it.


No doubt that the Gen 2 Volt will be a great car. Now put some money into advertising and it might even become a nicely selling car…


Outlander PHEV had this “unrivalled” feature from the very beginning.


Outlander not sold in US yet.


Not the same. The paddles on the Outlander allow you to change the setting from 5 different ones. It’s not an “on-demand” type like the ELR/Volt has.


To see how the Outlander does it, scroll down on the link to see 20 reviews:


Now we just need “sport-on-demand”.

I leave my Volt in L-mode all the time, so regen-on-demand won’t do much for me.

David Murray

Yep – After driving the BMW i3, I realize there is really no reason to have regen on the brake pedal at all. The brake should only be for friction brakes, the car should regen on its own when letting off the throttle.


That’s what Tesla does. What I would like is aggressive regen, lets say 75%, while in L-mode (or just all the time you let off the accelerator). Then, pushing the brake pedal, gives you the additional 25% of regen. After X amount of G-force, or below certain speeds, then blending occurs automatically, with the friction brakes.

So I still want some additional regen from the brake pedal. I think the car’s software is better at blending than humans and the thought that every time I touched the brake pedal, I was wasting energy as heat in a brake disc bothers me.

George Bower

How on earth can you stand driving in L all the time. Yuck.


Love (L)ow regen – one pedal driving. 50K miles using it.


George, I was against it at first and also said “yuck”. But I decided to try it for 2 weeks, leaving it in L the whole time. Now (for that past 1.5 years) I love it, and it feels weird/scary without it. Sometimes I forget to put it in L, and when I let off the accelerator it feels like the car is surging forward, because I was expecting it to slow down like normal. Same thing when I drive a gasser.

I suggest doing a 2 week test. 1-pedal driving is nice.


You are missing the benefits of D.

Roads with slight declines are perfect for coasting in D and extending time in regen, rather than being in L and having to use the accelerator to maintain the speed traffic flow dictates.

I also prefer to climb slopes in D rather than L, I feel it to be smoother.


My cruise control is on 90% of the time. I let the computer software operate the car in the most efficient manner.


Well, I rarely use cruise control. I suppose I could say it is unnecessary and just adds to the price of the car as others are saying about the paddles, but I won’t.


Good for preventing speeding tickets 🙂


Forgot to ask what year your Volt is. If you have a 2013 or later, you can watch where the power is coming from and going to, and how many kW.

Try a downhill coasting route in D and one in L and compare the #s. Putting it in L will not sacrifice efficiency. You can’t think of it like a mechanical gear with a lower gear ratio. It’s all done with electric fields/software.

D vs L is a subjective personal preference. I prefer to 1-pedal drive w/heavy traffic. I don’t like to have to keep touching my brake pedal when the car in front of me does.


I’ve a 2012. I do have the power flow graphic which visually illustrates when the battery is providing the power and when regen is putting charge back into the battery. Coasting in D always puts charge back into the battery, maintaining speed in L via touching the accelerator drains the battery, as per the graphic.

Heavy traffic – I’m always in L, just like you for the same reasons. L is great and the majority of my driving is there, but at times, D has benefits and I will take advantage of them.


I’m talking about the graphic behind the steering wheel which gives the actual kW reading.

You could also just use a $5 bluetooth ODB2 device and your smartphone. I have one that I like to use every once and awhile to check things.

When driving in “L”, and letting off on the accelerator, BUT still pushing it in to maintain speed, you get plenty of juice flowing back to the battery. In fact, I can duplicate the readings given by using the brake pedal and driving in “D”. That’s my point. They are doing the same thing, but with “L” mode you only have to use 1 pedal. Also for downhill driving GM suggests “L” mode.

no comment

it’s all a matter of preference; i used to use “D” all the time for the very reason you cite: it’s easier to coast. but since then, i have gotten somewhat used to using the accelerator to modulate my speed.

i would say that that is one of the nice things about the Volt, it allows you to use regen if you want do do so, but it does not force you to do so. using “D” makes the driving experience more like that of a conventional car, which i think is one of the objectives of the Volt. certainly, the EV enthusiast will always want high regen, but the general public would likely find such to be jarring and inconvenient.

no comment

i was against using “L” at first also, but i read one of your comments and gave it a try. now i drive in “L” all the time as well.

one problem is that it can throw you off if you rent an ICE car…

Blind Guy

I agree, using mostly one pedal control of speed and almost instinctive use of the brake pedal for final stopping is more natural. KISS

George Bower

I still say the paddle is a gimic. No difference than feathering the brake peddle. Almost easier and more instinctive than the paddle…..but I’m cool with it as well.

Looking forward to my 2nd Volt.


I think using the paddle will allow you to come to a complete stop to avoid using the brake pads at all…


I can almost do that in L-mode now, but has to be correct conditions. The creep feature will pull you forward w/your foot off the brake. If I’m stopping at a slight uphill spot, I can get my Volt to stop w/out touching the brake. I don’t think the regen-on-demand will apply the friction brakes though, and blending occurs around 7mph, so my prediction is it will be the same as L-mode. I think it’s just for those ppl that don’t want to leave their cars in L. Some people like to coast more when the let off the accelerator. Options….

Eric Cote

You don’t want to let the electric motor hold you at a stop. That can be bad for it. See the owner’s manual.


I don’t leave it like that. Once stopped I push the brake pedal to let traffic behind me know I’m stopped. I’ve been hit from behind before while stopped. Not fun.

no comment

i was wondering whether there was something that you can do with regen paddles that you can’t do with the brakes. it sounds to me that the main purpose is to give the driver the sense of driving and f1 race car as i understand that braking paddles are used in such vehicles.


How is this a feature? Why would you not want to have regenerative braking? Will they also add a button to their gas cars that allows you to lower your MPG?


There are plenty of roads for which coasting is possible and preferred, but with spots where strong regen can be used instead of braking. At least where I live….

The paddles give a driver better control over regen strength. That is why it qualifies as a ‘feature’.


True. Forgot coasting. It is more difficult to approach free-wheeling in i3 and Tesla, w/o going to neutral. The Volt has a relatively broad window, in ‘D’ mode.


Doesn’t Tesla allow you to adjust the regen % on the touchscreen?

That would be a nice feature on the Volt, so I could adjust what level “L” is actually at.


Some people, like auto-journalists, get wigged out at the regen to caliper hand-off. OTOH, overly aggressive throttle regen can be its own pain to get just right. I think the paddles are an alternative. FWIW, I didn’t find the B-class paddles did much.

Part of what’s nice about one-pedal, or paddle regen, is that you will be quicker on them, than it takes to move your foot from throttle to brake.


I test drove the BMW i3 Rex. It was not what I was looking for in a range extender, but I did like the regenerative braking very much. When I buy the Chevy Volt this feature will not benefit me much because I will be driving in L mode all the time. Some of these features are unnecessary and just add to the price of the car. On icy roads the strong regenerative break may cause the car to slide. That’s the only argument I can think of for having these several options.


Using your finger to provide additional braking seems like it could be dangerous in some situations. When you are in a braking situation you should have a firm grip on the steering wheel with both hands. I prefer one pedal driving not two pedal and finger. Keep it simple. GM please stop trying to make the Volt more like a regular gasoline car.

Tesla Fan

How the heck is it dangerous? ROFL

i’ve never had a problem, smh

never drive with 2 hands on the steering wheel, only 1, old people drive with 2 hands

Tesla Fan

Been had this since 2013


I think regen (whether activated by the brake pedal, L gear, or paddles) should turn on the brake lights above a certain threshold. I usually don’t use L in my 2013 since it can decelerate the Volt pretty quick but with no brake lights. Seems too likely I will get hit from behind.


This is because the deceleration in L is actually quite mild, whether you feel that way or not. By law it does not meet the requirements to required brake light activation, and most of the time its actually in the zone that says brake lights MUST NOT be activated.

You can’t fix stupid drivers, they’re going to rear end you either way.
And if you’ve ever driven in rush hour freeway traffic,you know that too much brake light can actually be worse than too little 😉
Of course, you’ve found the solution, press the pedal if you want brake lights.

Also, unless you’re coming to a full stop (in which case you’ll want your foot on the brake pedal anyway), you really shouldn’t be full releasing the pedal, you should be tapering the decel so it’s not abrupt and drivers behind you won’t be taken by surprise.


If there is a law that governs deceleration and break lights (bit skeptical about that), then my Volt is violating it.

The brake light DOES come on under very light deceleration when I barely touch the brake peddle. Just like every other vehicle I’ve owned.

The brake light DOES NOT come on under much larger deceleration when I let off the accelerator pedal in “Low”.


There are set levels where the vehicle must or must not show a brake signal, and a grey area in the middle where it is neither required nor prohibited.
This only pertains to the vehicle controlled functions, I.e. engine braking
Your foot on pedal is a manual override (there’s no accelerometer to control this in most cars, it’s cheaper to just turn on the second you depress the pedal instead of measure the vehicle’s relative deceleration)
It’s just like you turning on the headlights vs automatic headlights or DRLs. They can mandate what the car is programmed to do on its own, but they can’t stop you from turning it on manually.


You guys that are not using “L” are simply releasing the accelerator pedal too fast, like in a gas car…

You simply need to learn NOT to let it go all at once, and just the height needed to give you the deceleration needed.

That is how cars should have been in the first place.

Bill Howland

I test drove an ELR with those, to me, dopey regen paddles. The car slows down except lurches ahead when you have to go around a corner. Another reason why I didn’t buy the car I wanted to Like.

Why can’t they give me a feature that gives me maximum regen at all times, just like my Roadster Does? (That is, when the ‘bug’ doesn’t kick in).

L kinda does it, but even here it would be nice if it gave you max regen all the time. People who don’t like it can use D.

If I ever buy a 2016 volt, can I duct tape the paddle ‘ON’ so that I can go around a corner without losing my regen?

I drive my Ampera sometimes in D, sometimes in L, depending on the situation. For highway and for my daily commute (very little traffic on this route), I prefer staying in D. I use mostly the cruise control and switch it off by hand on the steering wheel when I’m quite far from the red lights, and let the car slow down really slowly in coasting mode. If I do this in L, the regen will quickly apply and brake strongly since my foot isn’t on the accelerator pedal. I find it uncomfortable. When in heavy trafic or on a small winding road, I tend to prefer the L mode because 🙂 i feel I have more control, but I don’t like doing it for long periods, because as soon as I reach a small straight line or a place where I am able to reach and maintain the speed limit, I really want to engage the cruise control and feel the jolt when I disable it. An other place where I use the L mode is during my daily commute, when I reach the garage at home, because of the steep slope when enetering my underground garage. But switching… Read more »

Are there any details on how this feature will work?

Does it offer a free wheel coasting mode, and then several levels of regen? This would be my strong preference.

Or, is it only some regen / more regen?

Coasting is always better efficiency for driving, and regen should only be used to actually slow the car down. Having to find the neutral position on the accelerator is not good enough.