Why is Regenerative Braking Limited in a Tesla?

Most Tesla owners will talk about regenerative braking to their friends.  Their friends are intrigued knowing that Tesla does self-charging, which will extend its driving range even further.  Just imagine how many owners became frustrated when the regenerative powers of Teslas are reduced.  One day, one is proud, the next day they are afraid to mention the phrase regenerative braking.

Why is regenerative braking limited in a Tesla? Regenerative braking has been reduced in a Tesla to deal with cold battery cells.  The lithium battery transfers ions through a solution within the battery pack.  When the temperature is low, there is more of a chance of damage occurring to the anode end of the battery pack.  Regenerative braking that is overactive could overcharge the battery cells while it is cold. 

This limitation of the regenerative braking is a safeguard added to the software.  Many people have noticed that if the external temperature is less than 50 F. that there is an indication on their touchscreen of how much of the regenerative braking is being temporarily reduced.  The battery pack needs time to warm up. The reductions appear in the form of several dots.  As the car warms up, the dots slowly disappear.  As they disappear the level of regenerative braking increases.

How much does regenerative braking help to increase the distance obtained by a Tesla?

Regenerative braking using kinetic energy to charge up the battery in a Tesla. Does it really increase the range by a lot?

The range is not greatly affected by the transference of kinetic energy to the battery.  A lot of it is lost in different ways, such as a high wind pushing at the car, and also the amount of friction created by the road surface on the tires.  Also, any energy that flows back is further reduced because it needs to go full circle back to the battery pack losing a lot of its power.  For instance, if the efficiency level from the battery pack is 80 percent, and the circling back is at 80 percent, the efficiency level of any converted kinetic energy is only 80% x 80% or 64%.

The amount of extra battery charging for the typical Tesla by regenerative braking is  13 percent when you take into account environmental factors.  This is actually quite aggressive and higher than most other electric vehicles.  The main reason is due to the low level of friction that is caused by the tires, a Tesla rolls a lot smoother.  For instance, another vehicle called the Porsche Taycan has more tire friction which lowers its regenerative braking ability.

Now that we know that regenerative braking is increasing the range of the Tesla, does Tesla give a range distance estimate based on some regenerative braking?

I have read in some forums that people believe that on a perfect day, going at 60 mph, that the typical model 3 will hit the top range of 310 miles.  If there are a lot of hills, then regenerative braking will come into play.  Nevertheless, going up the same hill will require more power to be used to climb.  So, things even out in the long run unless someone initiates more often regenerative braking.

Is there a way to maximize the regenerative braking increase to your typical range in your Tesla?

How can you maximize regenerative braking in a Tesla?

  1. To maximize the regenerative braking in a Tesla, you need to ensure that you let the vehicle start to glide to a stop from a distance that you are normally not used to.  Also, try to brake longer before you come to a complete stop, this active regenerative braking.
  2. Also, make sure that do not use the pedal as you reach the top of a hill. Just use the petal enough to reach the top and then release it.
  3. If you have a model of Tesla that allows you to change the setting for the regenerative braking, make sure that it is set at standard.  The low mode will cause less regenerative braking charging to happen.  The newest models do not come with different settings, they just have the standard level which will force you to create more regenerative braking energy. This is done so that people will have to adjust to just one setting.  When regenerative braking is activated, the car is pulled ahead slightly which shocks some people.
  4. If you are in a cold climate, make sure that you park within a warm garage or temperature-controlled underground parking.  Keeping the battery warm will allow you to use more regenerative braking.  The program for the tesla decreases the use of regenerative braking when the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Make sure that you have your tires checked on a regular basis.  Worn down tires will not deal with paved roads as well as flawless tires.  Regenerative charging can be increased when the tires deal with the road conditions since less energy is used.
  6. Try to not overload your roof racks.  More items on the rack will affect negatively the aerodynamics of the Tesla, reducing energy produced by regenerative braking.
  7. Never travel at more than 60 mph.  Slower speeds will cause more regenerative braking to occur, and also you will reduce your energy consumption by 14 percent.

Regenerative braking sounds like a fancy way to brake but is it like using a brake pedal in a gas car?  What is the pedal like in the Tesla?

If you wish to change your brake and accelerator pedal to red, click to check out the pricing on Amazon for the LFOTPP Pedal Covers.

Does the Tesla regenerative braking use brake pads?

Yes, the Tesla does use brake pads.  Nevertheless, the amount of use on the brake pads varies greatly from driver to driver.  With a Tesla, experienced users are practically able to come to stop without even touching the brake pedal. Will you never need to replace the brake pads on the life of your Tesla? This possible and it was mentioned by Musk on Twitter.  He stated that the vehicle motion to turned into energy that charges the battery.  It is the reversal of the generator that helps to slow down the Tesla, not just the use of the brakes.

The regenerative braking will not completely stop the car, at the last moment, you will need to use the brake pads.

The use of the pads is estimated to be at 9 times less than conventional gas cars that do not use regenerative braking to slow down.

Something else that you need to consider is that normal car use will corrode the brake pads in a Tesla.  They are not invincible.  Corrosion can occur due to the salt on icy roads.  Some places use a mixture of chemicals such as beet juice and molasses that can negatively impact your Tesla’s brake pads.

Another concept to consider is that since the brake pads are used less, more pitting could occur on the brake rotors.  These pads will wear down the brake pads that are being used to come to a complete stop after regenerative braking occurs. To buy the  Chming Tesla Model 3 Brake Decorators, click here.

What are the different settings for regenerative braking for the Tesla?

If you have a model of Tesla that has different settings for regenerative braking, you will notice: standard and low.  These settings were added so that new drivers would be able to gain some experience before they started to use the more aggressive standard level.  When regenerative braking starts, the generator works in reverse which will shake the car.  It feels as if someone is applying the brakes in a forceful manner.

Why do some people appreciate having the lower setting for regenerative braking even though is recharging the motor at a lower rate?

  1. I have read that some people feel nauseated when driving using the standard setting for regenerative braking since it makes the car feel as if some unknown force is applying brakes.
  2. Also, for those of us that have to drive in cold snowy weather, using the standard setting can make it harder to stop on a slippery surface.  It takes experience not to panic and not to steer too much when sliding on ice and a quick change in speed due to the regenerative braking can unnerve some drivers.

Can having just one setting for regenerative braking affect the long-term value of a Tesla?

I feel that resell value of Teslas that have this level option for regenerative braking will find it to be an advantage when trading in or selling outright a used Tesla.  There are already numerous messages on boards that illustrate that people are confused as to why Tesla would remove the option.  Others that have older models are starting to fear that a software update will take away the ability to set the level for regenerative braking.

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