Electric vehicles have a lot of advantages over combustion vehicles on paper, and regenerative braking is a key concept in that regard. It enables the car to harvest energy while braking the car. Vehicular efficiency and range can increase using this harvested energy. Tesla, which is one of the leading brands in electric vehicles, has always had an efficient regenerative braking system. Initially, the system had two modes, Standard and Low. New Tesla customers are now reporting that the option to put it on Low is not available in cars post-June 2020.
Tesla Silently Removes Regenerative Braking Option In Newer Cars
What is Regenerative Braking?
The system basically converts the car’s kinetic energy into electricity using the motor while braking. The system harvests this energy back to the battery pack. This helps to increase the vehicle’s efficiency. It also helps in reducing the wear of the brakes.
A driver who has never driven a manual transmission car before can find it a bit difficult to get used to this system. This is because the system starts braking aggressively when you let go of the throttle pedal. Cars with automatic transmission normally do not brake this aggressively. Most electric vehicle manufacturers offer a simple solution to this problem. There are different strengths of braking available, which allow people to get accustomed to the braking of the car. Experienced drivers can use the standard regenerative braking to virtually drive the car with just one pedal.
Tesla’s Regenerative Braking
Tesla’s system was simple and had just two options – Standard and Low. Experienced drivers used to aggressive braking can use the Standard mode. New drivers, or drivers who only drove auto transmission cars before, can use the Low mode. They can slowly transition to the Standard mode according to their ease.
Now customers who have bought cars after June 2020 are reporting a new issue. They are saying that Tesla has removed the strength setting in their cars. These customers are uploading their issues on the Tesla forums (Reddit and Tesla Motors Club). Some of them were even told by service centers that this is not a bug.
Older customers who have received the latest updates are not facing this issue. Only vehicles manufactured after June have this feature removed. Tesla is yet to comment on this problem.
This seems like a very strange issue. Tesla has always been known for making their cars seem attractive. This maneuver, if permanent, will take a chunk out of the new customers, especially those who are switching to a Tesla from an auto transmission car.
The standard setting of regenerative braking is extremely efficient. All customers should try and get accustomed to this feature. But the Low setting also has a lot of uses. We have already discussed the issue of auto transmission drivers switching to a Tesla. Apart from this, the Low setting has a lot of utility in snowy conditions. Having an aggressive form of braking in slippery conditions is hazardous, and it can cause accidents.
The Low setting may compromise on efficiency, but it gives the drivers a sense of comfort and safety. Of course, you can always have two options ready for the customers to choose:
- An aggressive braking mode will give more efficiency
- A less aggressive mode will provide comfort, but reduce the efficiency
As long as customers understand the two sides of the coin, they will make the right decision for themselves. But not having an option puts a restriction on the driving style, and that can affect sales. What is your opinion on this?