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A show-stopper for my eventual Tesla ownership...

I've followed Tesla from its early days when the Roadster was first introduced.
My enthusiasm has been steadily solidified.
I was 110% absolute that the model S Performance will be my next car.
...That is until I was "driving home" after a "beautiful" test drive a model S Performance few weekend ago.

Here are my 2 problems:

1. Show-stopper: Tesla cars are not able to "coast".
Letting off you accelerator and Tesla car "actively" slows you down.
In normal driving, both stop-and-go city traffic and highway driving, as a "green" driver, I "coast" my car quite often.
I even coast when temporarily breaking out of cruise control.
In my test drive, from the ram I merged into the fast highway. I got the Tesla to 100 mph in a blink (LOVE IT!!!) and without knowing it. Once I realized that high speed, as usual my foot was immediately off the accelerator.
I expected the car's momentum will gradually, steadily, and safely slow down to desired speed, i.e. 75 mph.
But...NO!
Tesla car "actively" slowed down significantly.
This is very dangerous as my Tesla would be slowing down and obstruct the vehicle behind me.
It thus required me to constantly pressing my accelerator to control the precise deceleration.
HATED THAT!

2. Another lesser but still is a show-stopper: Brake-lights are on...but I didn't even brake.
I supposed this is the programmed brake-light-on by Tesla's own implementation.
Due to its "actively" slowing down when foot-off-accelerator, Tesla turns brake lights on to warn folks behind us.
Though this is only a "visual indicator" and not as critical as the "not-able-to-coast" problem above, it bothers the heck out of me. It annoys me quite a bit when folks apply brake for no real safe-driving reason, especially on the highway.

Obviously I had a GREAT test drive.
I'm still crazily IN LOVE with Tesla.
I'm so PROUD that TESLA was invented and manufactured in the USA.
I even equate Elon Musk to Henry Ford for his innovations.
But I'll confess that unless I'm completely wrong on the above 2 issues or Tesla will correct them, I'll find myself not a Tesla owner :-(

Those who own a Tesla, please, please...prove me wrong! I'll appreciate you so much!

Go to the control page, and turn the regeneration off. Then you can coast. Personally I like the slowing down caused by regen. To make it smoother, you can feather the accelerator.

You can solve both problems by select the mode that it reacts similar to ICE cars. BTW why don't you arrange for a test drive and ask to try both modes?

#1. turn the regenerative braking off. still doesn't completely coast, but doesn't have hard deceleration either.
#2. #1 will take care of #2. the break lights come on based on force being applied to stopping the car. since regen is off, the break lights will not come on unless you apply the breaks. Did you do a test drive with a Tesla Rep? if so i am surprised they did not point these things out to you.

we all must have answered at same time. :)

Don't forget to turn on creep as well to get that true "ICE" feel. B-)

-Joe

@npham
Electrical regeneration is a feature, not a bug. When I must drive my wife's ICE and I take my foot off the gas, I forget half the time that I need to apply mechanical resistance to slow the car - and I get NO benefit - the brakes just wear out quickly.

If you want to "coast", just modify the pressure on the Go pedal - I feel that I've gotten pretty good at that over the last 6 months.

Can't you just put the car into neutral to coast?

You have to be a bit of a pioneer to commit to this car at this point - so it's not for everyone (yet). This is one of several things that are a bit shocking at first, because they ask us to change the way we think about driving.

But it's amazing how fast you get used to it. The beauty is the one-pedal driving. Your response time for braking gets much faster, because you no longer have to lift your foot and put it down somewhere else to get any braking - it's immediate. In my humble opinion, this is MUCH safer than the old two-pedal way we were all used to.

As a "green driver," you should prefer the Tesla method - because instead of losing all that kinetic energy while your car is coasting, you are turning it into fuel for your car.

Again, everyone has their preferences, and maybe this isn't for you. I don't think Tesla is going to "fix" the way they do regenerative braking, because they think their way is better - and I have to agree.

Try the test drive again, letting go of your preconceptions - and consider the advantages as well as the disadvantages.

Oh, yeah, and you can turn it off, like they said. Forgot about that - :)

I admit, I didn't really like it at first, but after getting used to it I really do like the one pedal driving. Now when I drive my wifes car I feel like I am being 'forced' to constantly move my right foot between pedals in stop and go traffic. It gets to be pretty easy after a little bit to just rest your foot on the accelerator and 'coast' (i.e. power bar near 0). Takes a bit more practice to apply the right amount of pressure to come out of cruise control smoothly, but not too hard to master after a couple weeks. Seems like it should be easy to offer a future update to allow one to turn off regen completely, but maybe have it display a warning that your range will be reduced and brakes will wear prematurely.

If you are driving a long time and need a moments rest from the accelerator pedal, tap the shifter up to neutral. Sometimes I'll do this to coast on long downhill stretches.

I do feel like the brake lights come on a little too soon with regen, but I suppose avoiding rear end crashes is higher priority than annoying brake light flashing. Overall, I've found setting regen on high is a better total driving experience.

As an owner for 3 months, I can tell you that after a few hours of driving the regen way, you will never want it any other way. It feels more and more natural coz you don't have to brake as much. You tend to get better and better at anticipating the lift-off accelerator to slow the car as if you were braking.

You gain energy, and don't wear out your brakes. For me, it feels unnatural when I coast in my other car.

I'm still adjusting to my week old MS60 with the regen braking. Please note that I've been driving a hybrid for six years with regen brakes too.

My take is that MS is far more aggressive in regenerating energy and it is better than my hybrid.

It will take a little bit to get accustomed to the regen brakes, but you have a choice to adjust between high, low regen function. I found that the default regen option actual increase the driving range vs. the low regen option.

I love the regen. I think it's now more dangerous to drive an ICE car as it won't slow as quickly.

Remember that from an efficiency standpoint, it's less costly to let the car coast a greater distance than it is to use regen to slow the car down in order to put a charge back into the battery. Every time you convert energy from one form to another - in the case of regen, from potential energy to electrical energy - you are going to lease something. Allowing that potential energy to propel your car forward through coasting involves less conversion and fewer losses. So on a downhill, for example, you will ultimately get farther on less energy by coasting than by using regen.

lease=lose ugh!

@npham1212

Although as many have told you you can turn off regenerative braking, and turn on creep in order to make the car behave more like the ICE cars to which you're accustomed, it would be a mistake.

First, you would be wasting energy by not allowing the regenerative braking to recharge the battery.

Second, as a Tesla Model S driver of two months, I can assure you that you would get used to it and it becomes second nature very quickly.

Third, you can simulate coasting if you wish simply by easing up on the accelerator rather than taking your foot off of it.

Fourth, the regenerative braking will save you a huge amount of money and hassle in maintenance. It is relatively easy to drive most of the time without ever using the brake except to stay stopped at stops (stop signs, lights) on ground that is not level. That means you hardly ever need to use the brakes for braking and the breaks will not wear out quickly. If the normal life of brakes is, say, 50,000 miles before you have to spend a fair amount of money for new pads, adjustment, perhaps rotors, it might be 150,000 miles or more before you'll need to get your brakes worked on, because you hardly ever use them.

This really is a feature (on all electric or hybrid cars with regenerative braking) and not a bug or difficulty at all. And it does very quickly become second nature. It is much like braking on an ICE with a manual transmission by putting it in a lower gear and letting the engine slow the car, except you don't have to shift. Or wear out the clutch plates.

Also if you had been driving a manual transmission car the S would feel very natural in the regen feel as a car with manual transmission slows down very similarly to the S.

Doesn't the MS have cruise control? You are not trying to slow down, just maintain a steady speed. If the highway has a long, moderate downhill won't the CC essentially let you coast (no regen, no motor input)?

I'm asking because I don't know, still a dinosaur owner.

I like to drive the Model S in "Low" regen. (which gives you much more of a coast feeling) Whenever I let people drive my car, I show them the difference between "normal" and "Low". Everyone likes the "Low" the best. I have no idea why Tesla does not show people the difference on test rides!!!

@npham1212

Take another test ride and select "Low" regen, and then tell us what you think...

As others have said, you can set it to low regen, but in my opinion, that would be a huge mistake. You claim to like to coast because you are a green driver. The entire point of the regen is to make the car more green. Yes, you have to change your driving habits - you just have to keep your foot lightly on the accelerator rather than take it off completely. This is your new "coast". If you are approaching a red light, you just wait till you are closer to take your foot off completely, and the car will stop all on its own, regaining all of that energy AND saving your brake pads.

The regen is a good thing. It's good for your wallet and good for the environment. Embrace it, don't turn it off!

I hate my ICE cars now. Every time traffic slows I have to use the brake! And this coasting thing- it's freakin' dangerous that you lift off the ACCELERATOR and the car doesn't slow down at all at city traffic speeds because in an automatic transmission the engine is always coupled to the wheels.

I think all ICE cars should autobrake to simulate the Tesla feel. It's safer and more under control.

evpro:
"Doesn't the MS have cruise control? You are not trying to slow down, just maintain a steady speed. If the highway has a long, moderate downhill won't the CC essentially let you coast (no regen, no motor input)? "

Yes there is cruise, but as other have mentioned, it does not "coast" - it applies the necessary acceleration or regeneration to maintain the desired speed - often on a gentle slope it will keep the energy use around zero (which is essentially a coast), but on steep downhill grades, it will not let the car gain speed and will apply regen to maintain the selected speed (this is good to avoid speed traps). The car will never vary more than 1mph from the setting.

Low regen is a "huge mistake" ??? I beg to differ!

I hated regen at first. After about 3 days of driving I loved it, and continue to love it.

It's definitely better in every way. Easier on the foot, easier to control the car, just better.

+1 on regen saving your breaks. I've had my Prius for five years and have driven over 120,000 miles. I'm still on my original set of break pads.

just keep driving the car. You will soon realize you MUCH prefer one pedal driving. It's silly to crush the brakes all the time in an ICE. It's also so much more fun to drive the car with regen.

I admit I was a bit thrown by the standard regen mode on my test drive. I was looking forward to it though after reading so much about it here. I drive a manual and it doesn't slow that much, that and I'm used to quickly putting it in neutral to coast. I can see how I'd get used to it though!

I didn't get to try the "low" mode. I'll have to make sure I do the next time.

One point of contention in this thread though, they are BRAKES not BREAKS!

Break - To cause to separate into pieces suddenly or violently; smash.

Brake - A device for slowing or stopping motion, as of a vehicle, especially by contact friction.

OK, all better now. ;-)

Cheers!

A Troll?
Test drive cars are limited to 80 mph
Otherwise, learn to drive.


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