Tesla has mysteriously removed the option for drivers to control the strength of the regenerative braking capacity for new cars.
The reason behind the change is not clear.
Regenerative braking, which uses an electric vehicle’s electric motor to convert kinetic energy into electricity to charge the battery pack while slowing down the vehicle, is a flagship feature of electric cars.
It’s one of many features that makes them more efficient than cars with combustion engines and it also results in less wear on your brakes.
However, it comes with a learning curve to get use to it, especially for people who have never driven a manual transmission since downshifting has a similar feel to regenerative braking.
Most electric cars offer a solution to this learning curve by making different “strengths” of regenerative braking available in order to ease people into using the feature.
Depending on the strength, electric cars slow down more or less aggressively with regen braking when the driver lets go of the accelerator pedal.
With an electric car equipped with a powerful regen braking system, an experienced EV driver can basically do what is called “one-pedal driving” and only use the accelerator pedal.
Tesla’s Regen Braking
Tesla had one of the most simple regen braking settings: standard and low. That’s it.
However, new Tesla buyers are now reporting that the automaker has removed the option of choosing the regenerative braking strength.
Owners of new Tesla vehicles built in the last few months are reporting on the forums (Reddit and TMC) that they don’t see the option in the settings anymore and some of them are being told by Tesla service centers that it is not a bug.
Tesla is now delivering new cars with the regen strength being standard without the option to put it to ‘low’.
The automaker is not taking away the option for vehicles who had it before even with the latest software updates.
It appears to only affect new vehicles delivered since around June 2020.
As usual, it’s hard to get official information from Tesla on the change since the automaker doesn’t have official press communications anymore.
This is a strange move. The standard setting is definitely more efficient and most people should just try to get used to it.
However, the low setting was useful for first-time electric vehicle owners and some people also preferred the setting when driving in the snow or other bad conditions.
Living in Quebec, I’ve driven Tesla vehicles in plenty of icy and snowy conditions and never felt the need to put regen braking in low, but I use good winter tires, which I think is the thing that makes the single greatest difference for safe winter driving.
But I do understand why someone would want less aggressive regen braking on a slippery road.
I don’t see why Tesla would not want to give drivers the option to use it as long as you understand its impact on efficiency.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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