On your Volt, is the implementation the same as on the Cadillac ELR?
On the Cadillac ELR, the amount of regen was (is?) proportional to the amount of time the paddle is pulled back, gradually increasing the longer you held the paddle (I never tried it, but was told that's how it worked).
pbui, with your long downhill grade into Los Gatos from home, I bet the Volt's regen stops working at some point as its battery gets filled.
I haven't driven the ELR so can't tell you. But I've heard the ELR regen is proportional. In the Volt, it's just on/off and quite aggressive. Passengers can be lurched forward, especially at high speed. In that case, it's better to regen with light foot on the brake than engaging the paddle. I think of the paddle as a "pre-brake". I am not sure GM's logic to negate the paddle regen once the brake is applied though.
Yes, living at 2200 ft elevation does present a twist. Ideally I like to charge to 90% SOC, but neither the Volt nor the iMiev has the setting/ability to stop charging. I have a timer on my EVSE setup so I can sort of guess, but it's not very user friendly. So in the winter time, we blast the heater going down to at least recapture some of that energy.
The most I can recover is about 1kwh, on either vehicle, and it costs about 5kwh to climb.
My other problem with the Volt and the hill is that my commute is 50-mile roundtrip. With the Volt EV range (EPA 53 miles), it's just a little short to do the whole drive (in winter time) without having the darn ICE turning on the last mile or so, especially if my wife drives. It's bad for the engine, inefficient, and polluting. I find myself looking to charge, even just for an hour on level 1 with the Volt as with my iMiev. I've been thinking of rigging up an extra battery pack with a DC/AC inverter to charge with L1 during working hour. I save one of your post Joes, when you documented your experiment with your 48v pack.