Low brake regen vs. standard

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#1
New owner here. M3, long range battery, dual motor.

Does anyone have data (or well considered opinions) regarding the drawbacks (if any) of leaving low brake regen setting permanent? I have not seen any battery range efficiency reduction yet this winter vs. standard brake regen setting. Who needs the pull of the aggressive regen if there are no efficiency reductions.
 

SMITTY

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I think the bigger impact regen has is on the life of your actual brake pads. Ive seen stories of Tesla brake pads lasting hundreds of thousands of miles because of regen braking. So in theory, low regen would cause you to use your actual brakes more - which will shorten their lifespan.

Now to your point about range efficiency... I haven't a clue. ha.
 

FRC

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#3
I have no efficiency numbers. I would use standard regen even if it cost more energy, just because it's so damn fun! I love the feel when regen kicks in and would use ludicrous mode regen if available.
 

Nautilus

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Once you get used to it (takes 2-3 days of driving) the standard regen also provides better control in slippery conditions, and also just going into curves. You don't have to brake before going into the curve, you can "brake" while going through the curve via regen, with no loss of control or risk of skidding or anything.

Then there's also the argument of brake pads lasting longer.

Try the standard regen for a week and you'll find you really like it.
 

JasonF

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#6
I use low regen all the time. I feel like it’s more flexible, I can control when I want to regen more (engage the motor, but not enough to accelerate) and when I want to let the car coast more. I still get around 260 wh/mi without really trying.

That might be easier for me to adapt to, though, because in my last car I tended to use brakes as little as possible, and slow down with light engine braking by reducing acceleration gradually. Those brakes lasted about 60,000 miles.
 

garsh

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Does anyone have data (or well considered opinions) regarding the drawbacks (if any) of leaving low brake regen setting permanent?
If you mostly do highway driving, it won't make much of a difference.
It'll give you somewhat better range/efficiency in lots of stop and go driving, when you normally find yourself using the brake pedal.

Even at low regen, a Tesla gives you more regen than my Nissan Leaf did on the high regen setting. So it's not a terrible decision to use low. But if you find yourself using the brake for anything other than coming to a complete stop, I suggest giving the "standard" setting a try.
 
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BW984

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I agree with the others. Stick with normal for a week or two before reverting to low regen mode. I didn’t like regen the first couple days of ownership but now it’s one of my favorite aspects of EV ownership. Rarely have to touch the brakes and generally if I do it is under 10mph and becuase I waited too long to let off the gas pedal (IE in a hurry). Merging into fast but dense traffic is great with regen braking, its very easy to get the exact speed you want and get merged.
 

CCIE

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#9
Low Regen is incredibly inefficient. Two of the best things about electric cars are their ability to recover 70-80% of their kinetic energy sing regen, and one-pedal driving. By using the low setting you’re throwing away most of that kinetic energy by using the friction brakes to convert it to heat.

Drive on normal for a week and you’ll be used to it.
 

Ed Woodrick

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#10
leave it on high, generally about 30% of your range comes from regen.
I suspect that traction control will make sure that the wheels keep spinning when needed.
 

Jetstreamsky

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Low regen is useful on a snow/ice covered road, especially going down hill to avoid effectively brake locking effect and losing traction similar to over using brakes, but other than that standard regen is soooooo much better when driving stop sign to stop sign so over used in Quebec. On the highway, modulating the go peddle makes managing regen effect simple enough.
 

Nautilus

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I wanted to pull the thread a bit more in this discussion regarding control while using standard regen in slippery conditions vs. control using brakes.

The crude analogy I use is that regenerative breaking achieves an effect similar to downshifting to decelerate, or a big rig using their engine brakes, which may also just be downshifting. It is impossible (impossible? is that correct?) to lock up the wheels with regenerative braking. Unlike applying regular brakes, where in slippery conditions it is very easy to inadvertently lock up one's brakes, that can't be done with regen.

I'm asking because there are two replies in this thread from people in the northern reaches who feel they have less control in slippery conditions with standard regen on.

I'm still a big advocate of standard regen., but wanted to make sure my understanding on some of the rationale I posted previously was indeed correct.
 

garsh

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#13
It is impossible (impossible? is that correct?) to lock up the wheels with regenerative braking. Unlike applying regular brakes, where in slippery conditions it is very easy to inadvertently lock up one's brakes, that can't be done with regen.
It's possible for regen to cause the tires to "skid" if the regen force is greater than the available traction.
I would hope that Tesla's implementation of traction control will mostly prevent this from happening by dialing back the regen if tire slip is detected.
 

iChris93

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Thanks guys. I have used the standard regen but switched to low since Michigan winters are slippery and the regen made me feel I was losing traction.
I use Low Regen, in Michigan, only when winter conditions on the roads are present (i.e. ice or snow). I have a special profile for this that also puts it in chill and prevents the side mirrors from folding. I used standard besides that.
 

Jetstreamsky

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#15
On a snow/ice covered road the standard regen can be agressive enough to cause loss of traction if you move off the throttle quickly, if you moderate the throttle then it doesn’t cause that break away; however doing that takes mind over fear when someone pulls in front of you or that snow bank was closer than you thought. It isn’t actual wheel locking, just sufficient breaking of traction. I only use low regen on a really snowy road, if the road surface is showing through, generally low regen isn’t needed. Likewise, over braking can break the traction, but you have control over that to release the brakes if you’re brave enough when heading for disaster.

It’s really all about smooth driving, add throttle to slow less quickly when standard regen is on or less braking when low regen is on, hopefully stopping before you reach the limits available.
 
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garsh

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#16
It's possible for regen to cause the tires to "skid" if the regen force is greater than the available traction.
I would hope that Tesla's implementation of traction control will mostly prevent this from happening by dialing back the regen if tire slip is detected.
Oh, BTW, I've now taken the car down a very steep, bumpy hill in Pittsburgh several times.
I can confirm that Tesla will limit regen for a fraction of a second when traction is limited (by the bump), then bring it right back when traction is restored.
MUCH better than Nissan's solution to handling that bumpy hill.
 

cllc

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#17
I'm a new M3 owner, I was wondering about the aggresive rengen braking and if the brake light comes on when this happens even though we don't actually touch the brake pedal?
 

Jetstreamsky

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#20
It was something I was also concerned about before getting my car, YouTube seemed to have several rear ended Teslas so I sit with my foot on the brake at a junction or when trying to cross the oncoming lane unless there’s at least one stopped vehicle behind me rather than rely on just the hill hold brake function, just so there’s illuminated red light that people just expect from all the automatic ICE vehicles, I think people perceive a car is moving still when there’s no brake light and they’re not paying enough attention.