AUSTIN, Texas – Numerous media reports indicate Tesla is bringing back a two-level regenerative-braking system for its electric vehicles (EV). The reports have been based upon accounts of the two-level system reappearing to certain owners following a software download.
Regenerative braking recaptures the energy of an EV braking by slowing the vehicle by running its motor(s) in reverse (thus becoming a generator(s) when the driver lets off the accelerator pedal. The amount of the slowing/stopping power can be regulated by software control coupled with the driver’s actions.
Historically, Telsa, the nation’s primary EV manufacturer offered a two-step regen system, but dropped the lesser aggressive level for a standard, more aggressive one.
This “standard” level provides the most aggressive braking activity and greatest amount of energy recapturing, thus range extension.
According to Electrek, Tesla has begun rolling out the software upgrade with the regen changes:
With the update, the automaker is again offering “standard” and “low” settings:
- Standard: Provides the maximum amount of regenerative braking. When you release the accelerator pedal, your vehicle will slow down.
- Low: Limits regenerative braking. When you release the accelerator pedal, your vehicle will take longer to slow down and coast farther than if set to “Standard”.
The low regen setting, according to many owners, was helpful in poor weather/road conditions including snow and slushy surfaces. Under these conditions, overly aggressive braking can result in less vehicle control.
Regardless of settings, like any new driving experience, the use of regenerative braking demands drivers spend time learning the system’s operations; getting to understand how it operates under all circumstances. In its ultimate form, drivers might adopt one-pedal driving, foregoing the use of the brake pedal except under very limited, unique instances.
Regen braking also saves the wear and tear on traditional brake components, potentially decreasing maintenance costs in this area.