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Tesla Blog - Ditching Gas - My Tesla Model S Story
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EV Tips - The Joys of Regenerative Braking

Tesla Model S Regenerative BrakesIn the much underrated movie Fletch Lives, Cleavon Little’s advice to Fletch is very fitting for Model S drivers. He said, “If you want to stop, you need to think ahead.” Regenerating battery power as you slow down doesn’t work the same was as many hybrid vehicles. Instead of pulling energy from the brakes, the Model S pulls energy into the battery when you release the accelerator. The faster you are driving when you release the accelerator, the more energy you pull into the battery. However, there is limit to how much you can pull in, so slowing down gradually may recoup more energy than dramatically stopping. Hitting the brake pedal will slow you quicker, but it will not increase the rate you reclaim energy into the battery. Therefore, the most efficient drivers will plan to stop ahead and slow down at a more gradual rate.

The obvious benefit of this is the reduced brake wear. My guess is my brakes will last well past 80,000 miles. It’s one of the reasons Tesla can include brake pads as a maintenance item they pay for under the service plan. Most people won’t need to replace their brakes before 50,000 miles. Another, less obvious benefit is with less brake usage comes less brake dust and therefore much cleaner wheels. I for one hate scrubbing the black crud off my shiny wheels.