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Regenerative braking software upgrade needed for a perfect drive

The Model S' strong and mild setting of regenerative breaking are preset and one cannot change them while driving. Well, part of the fun of driving a great electric car such as the S, is to be able to do just that. For those who have driven the Volt know what I mean. In that car, you can easily change the settings by flicking the floor-mounted shift lever back and forth, but not in the S, where there is no such an option. The question is: can a software upgrade make this possible? Will we be able to change the setting by touching a single button at the screen one day? I really hope so.

@ed - do you own an S? It's infinitely adjustable based on how much you lift off the go pedal. It's perfect.

This is also a concern of mine. I love driving my Volt because I can shift the "regen" on the fly. Even though I am amped to get our Tesla S, there are many things I think are superior in the Volt.(Like the CC on the wheel with your thumb) The Volt is just to small, and only has 10.5KW of battery available. I really would like to shift "regen" on the fly in the Model S.

Hello Got Amped. I just traded in a Volt for a Performance S for the same reasons skymaster mentioned.
I understand you can control regen braking through the amount of pressure you exert on the pedal. However, since I often use cruise control by switching it on and off during my drive, the car jolts if the setting is on strong. It is not a good feeling. I want to be able to control the regenerative braking by pushing a button since there is no L option on the steering shift lever.

Every car is different and not all cars are going to have the same features and controls. I personally like the one pedal driving that the model s gives. It's like having the control of a clutch, only in one pedal and with energy efficiency and without engine revving noise. It is a new way of driving and it does take time getting used to. And it certainly is part of reason why model s has the range it does.

Like may things on the S, CC takes a little getting used to the paradigm change from an ICE. If I disengage CC by using the brake, it does indeed jolt as the regen kicks in. So I only do this for times when I want to slow down fast. Otherwise, keeping the foot on the accelerator and disengaging using the wand allows you to slow down much the same way as in an ICE. I've started doing that and I am getting better at smooth transitions.

I thought when I test drove the car that I would like to use the light setting (and by the way, I seem to remember the Tesla guide changing it while I was driving the car), but since I got my car I keep it on high all the time. Just like me in the car.

@Got Amped +1 (not only perfect but also amazing)

As a Volt owner and now a MS owner, I can say that wondered if I would be changing back and forth between high and low regen options on the S like I have done on the Volt. After a week and a half, the incredibly well thought out regen functionality on the S is a world and a half away from the crude implementation of regen on the Volt. I leave it on high and don't mess with it on the S. Far easier to modulate the degree of regen with the accelerator on the S than on the Volt. I hope they don't mess with that, as it is nearly perfect. IMHO, of course.

I think the regen (which I love) is just right for normal driving, but I would like one more setting for having fun with the car. Low, normal and high.

The jolt coming out of cruse and into regen used to annoy me. As I did with my old car I tapped the brake lightly to drop out of cruse. That leads to quite a jolt in. The S. I have learned to take cruse off bypushing the lever forward, and applying a small amount of go pedal pressure, causing the car to coast, not regen. No more jolt!

Yeah, I found that it just takes a little practice to come out of cruise control perfectly without a regen jolt. Putting just a light pressure on the go pedal first works great. I also think being able to quickly change regen settings aren't needed because when you set it to max regen, if you want to just regen a little, you just let off the go pedal a little or if you want to max regen, you just let off the go pedal a lot. Once you get used to it, its rather disappointing having the low regen setting or having regen limited when it is cold because every time you have to hit the break, it is just wasted energy that is thrown down the drain.

So coming off cruise in the model s is just like coming off cruise in a manual ICE - it will start engine braking if you don't use the accelerator.

I love the Model S regen and typically only use the break when I get below 5 to make a complete stop... it works perfectly.

Currently I drive with regen on low setting, and I don't use CC very often, but still I do wish there were a 'no regen' setting available so that I could take my foot off the accelerator rather than having to feather it to a neutral position. I live in a hilly area and would like to just coast down hills instead of having regen kick in. There are also other situations when I prefer to coast without either accelerating or regenerating. Technically, regenerating is a slight waste of energy, since there is some net loss of energy when converting your momentum back to charge.

The solution I have come up with is to put the car in neutral when I want to coast, by flicking the shift stick down to its first slight detent. When I want to put the car back into gear, I flick it down past the first detent which then puts it into drive. (Although you can also put it into neutral by going the up direction, I intentionally only go down so that I never have chance of putting it into reverse while moving forward, although not sure what exactly would happen). You do have to have some slight pressure on the go pedal when putting back into gear so that regen doesn't initially kick in.

May seem like a lot of work to some, but I like to be engaged in the driving process and it's part of what the car fun for me.

Not sure why you even want to do that pbfoot. I'm trying to train myself to coast by keeping the orange line and green lines invisible with just enough accelerator pressure. It's like riding for free. And safer than shifting to neutral.

I am all in with "being one with the car" when driving (one of the reasons I enjoy driving a Tesla). I don't understand your approach Pbfoot, but to each their own.

Reason I don't like using accelerator pressure is that one ends up watching the orange and green line, rather than keeping eyes on the road. It's a distraction, for me personally at least.

I don't watch anything but the road and I've only got 500 miles on the car. It just feels natural now.

I would like a harder setting but I guess the battery can't take it. The harder setting would just be for hard cornering and agressive spirited driving in corners.

I don't see the need for a switch to jump between since the peddle controls it already. I think that is just throw back to people wanting a shifter.

Like Dick B. I also would like to have a HIGH REGEN setting While using the go-peddle to control my speed and stopping. That would not only give me better control of the Model S. while decelerating, but would put the energy into the battery instead of heating the breaks.

Brakes---Why is it that always see the typos after sending--Where the heck is Edit?????

I don't think there is a difference between using passive regen and tapping the brake pedal in terms of whether it goes to the battery or not. If it is like most hybrids i have driven, the non-regenerating brake pads only kick in when doing hard braking.

@ Pbfoot You do understand that the regen mechanism in the S is completely separate from the brakes? The nice things about the S regen is the "drag" is in the rear of the vehicle. A completely different feel (more like engine braking) than the regen you get from regenerative brakes.

Ah, didn't know that. Thanks for the info. Although, I still rarely use the brake pedal except for the rare occasion when something / someone pulls in my path unexpectedly. Usually coast to a stop using go pedal manipulation and find that the low regen setting is enough for me. Having owned two hybrids prior to the tesla, have gotten used to using the low level regen in those cars to minimize use of brakes. However, acknowledge that high regen may be preferred by majority of people.

@Pbfoot

I agree with you 100%. I like to coast and will use the low regen most of the time. If you look ahead and plan your slowing/braking, the low regen should work out well. The trick is to not use excess energy with the go pedal in the first place. You get less back even with heavy regen than you wasted with the go pedal..Look ahead, and stay ahead of the airplane, oops, I mean car.

I still think it is a great idea to have a short cut icon on the screen to switch between settings of regenerative breaking. After all, it is only a software upgrade.
So please let us have the tools to enjoy more an already great vehicle.

Leadfoot;
The other difference, of course, is that the brake engages on the front wheels as well as the back (though I imaging TM has some tricksy s/w compensating the added brake drag on the rears so they don't break loose and skid!).

I agree with DocDog. After a year of driving the Volt, I was concerned until driving Model S. The regenerative braking could not be more perfect. The only frustration is the amount of pressure required for the accelerator at all times with either setting. It's more than my GM ICE vehicles and can get a bit tiring after an hour of freeway driving without cruise control. Adaptive cruise control would help with busy fast freeways where the constant use of the accelerator is necessary to maintain proper distance from the car ahead.

Having previous regenerative braking experience, I feel that Tesla is just fine. Your right foot will soon learn how to optimize it.


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