Tesla “Low” Regenerative Braking Coming Back (It Seems)

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Regenerative braking is an important feature found in electric vehicles, and Tesla is now looking to make its regen braking more adjustable for its drivers (again). In late 2020, Tesla got rid of the ability to select a “Low” regenerative braking option, but the company is reportedly looking to re-deploy that feature in a coming update.

A Tesla Model S driver’s seat. Image by Casey Murphy, EVANNEX.

What makes us think Tesla is planning to reintroduce “Low” regenerative braking? It was spotted in one user’s upcoming release notes according to a recent report from Not a Tesla App. The feature will let drivers select between “Standard” and “Low” regen braking settings, choosing the extent to which releasing the accelerator pedal will slow down the car.

If you’ve driven a Tesla or another EV with regen braking, you’re likely familiar with the concept of one-pedal driving. With strong regenerative braking, drivers only need to drive with one pedal instead of using the traditional brake whenever they need to slow down. Regen braking lets drivers slow the car down by simply lifting their foot off the accelerator, rather than having to apply force to the brake pedal.

The feature also recaptures some of the kinetic energy from braking and restores it as chemical energy to the battery, later re-used to propel the vehicle. The feature can significantly extend the life of braking components, and can increase the vehicle’s range by as much as 10 percent.

When Tesla initially got rid of the Low regen braking option in 2020, it pushed drivers into the more efficient Standard mode. Crucially, drivers using Low regen braking may be subject to decreased ranges and will see more wear and tear on their brake components. However, some drivers just prefer that option. Some drivers transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to EVs appreciate the Low option, given its more subtle use of the one-pedal driving style.

Below are the descriptions Tesla uses in its regenerative braking menu for Low and Standard regen modes.

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.”

While drivers use regenerative braking, the brake lights on a Tesla also light up at a certain level of deceleration, as if the normal brake pedal was being pressed. The Tesla touchscreen also shows whether the brake lights are illuminated while using the feature.

It isn’t entirely clear when Tesla will roll out the Low regen braking option.

Originally posted on EVANNEX. By Peter McGuthrie.

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