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Getting used to regen one-pedal driving (or, how will the Model 3 handle regen)

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Az_Rael, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    So this is more of a general driving dynamics question under the assumption that the Model 3 regen will work similarly to how I assume the Model S does (i.e. almost one pedal driving similar to other EVs). Since I will be buying this car before I will be able to test drive it, I wonder how hard it is to get used to.

    I currently own a Volt that pretty much behaves like a "normal" car when you take your foot off the gas - it "coasts". I can activate the regen using the brake pedal and it transitions to the friction brakes as needed. I do NOT like driving my Volt in "L" which gives you that one-pedal driving experience with heavy regen as you remove your foot from the gas. I have heard an argument that its "just like a manual transmission", but I have owned more standard transmission vehicles than I have owned automatics and I don't really find the experience similar. I am guessing that is because in a manual, the amount of deceleration you experience when taking your foot of the gas is variable and highly dependent on what gear you are in. Whereas with regen, the deceleration amount seems to be pretty constant. Taking your foot of the gas in the top gear of a manual at highway speeds is nothing like taking your foot off the gas of a Volt in "L" at highway speeds.

    Do you think there will be variable levels of regen that one can set to give a less aggressive regen experience on the gas pedal? Do ModelS/X owners just get used to the regen level on the pedal? (FYI, I have never test driven a Model S, they are so far out of my price range there has never been any point)
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    1. There is a setting to make it act just like an automatic.

    2. Once you try it with real regen, you'll never go back to #1.
     
  3. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    #1 - I do hope the Model 3 includes the same setting. Its good to know it makes the experience more like an automatic

    As for #2 - that's doubtful. I already have the option on my Volt and hate it during daily driving except when I am coming down a mountain pass. I drive mostly highway miles and not being able to even twitch my foot off the gas without going into heavy decel is pretty unpleasant. Coming off of cruise control gracefully is near impossible. So I leave my Volt in "Normal" mode
     
  4. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

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    That's "accelerator", not "gas". :)

    I drive a Model S 85D. Before that I had an '05 Prius, whose regen behavior is more like a "normal" car. I noticed the heavy regen during my test drive, but after that it honestly wasn't a big deal to me. It took me about a day or so to get used to it, and the Model S feels "normal" to me now.

    Note that at least on the Model S, there are some circumstances where regen can be limited (by low temperature, or by a high SoC). In those cases you get a substantially reduced amount of regen when you let off the accelerator. Something to be aware of, especially if the start of your drive is downhill. Recent firmware revs on the Model S claim to have improved the low temperature regen.

    You said you do a lot of highway miles. In that case, consider that you might be doing that highway driving with TACC or autopilot (depending on what's available on your Model 3), so your foot might not even be on the accelerator.
     
  5. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    The S has an option to make it behave more like you want. It's hard to say whether or not they will put this same option into the 3, but if it's there on the S, there's a good chance it will be there on the 3.

    However, it is my understanding that for simplicity, there is no regen linked to the brake pedal on a Tesla. So when you put it in that mode, you *ARE* losing a lot of the regenerative braking benefit, unlike in the Volt.

    I'm sure you would get used to the strong regen eventually. It's not like it's a terrible thing. I doubt you will ever love it (I'm not as optimistic as others), but I do think you could get used to it and not mind it anymore.
     
  6. Foxhound199

    Foxhound199 Member

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    I would recommend just taking a test drive in a Model S. In the course of the test drive, I went from "I'm not really liking this and not sure I could get used to it", to "This is actually a huge improvement and I wish my car could do it immediately". It may be just a matter of preference, but I highly recommend sticking through the initial weirdness period and seeing if it grows on you as quickly as it did for me.
     
  7. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    THIS would be awesome. If autopilot and TACC is an option on the Model 3, I will probably spring for it just for this fact. My current one-way commute involves 40 long mostly-highway miles now with just enough traffic to have to cycle in and out of cruise control. Hence the whole not loving the regen one pedal driving thing.

    Its too bad you lose the regen benefits by turning it down. I didn't know that. I am not a huge fan of the blended brakes on my Volt since they do operate unexpectedly sometimes, but at least I know I am not missing out on regen when I drive it that way.

    Hmmm. I suppose I could test drive an S just to see, but I'd feel weird about test driving a car that I can't afford. Maybe I will put the Volt in "L" for a few days and see if I can get used to the experience.
     
  8. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    Then I suggest you should not wait a few more years for a Model 3, but run and get an S, perhaps a CPO if you are short on budget.

    I started a topic with a title "Autopilot is perfect for long highway commutes", and there is another topic on similar lines "Autopilot is saving years of life".

    You won't realize how much your commute will be relaxing and you will feel refreshed unless you do your daily commute routine a few times.

    Right. Ow the CPO pipeline is low, but hopefully that will change in a few months.
     
  9. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    As much as I would love to own an S, I would most likely have to pay to get rid of my 2014 Volt right now which makes the numbers tougher. Besides, being able buy a Model S and being able to afford to maintain a Model S are two different considerations. I will be stretching to get into the 50's to buy a (hopefully) nicely spec'd Model 3. That ain't gonna get me into an auto-pilot Model S any time soon.
     
  10. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    Don't assume so. I got my CPO Model S 85 for $63k. It is only a matter of time one will pop up - a S 70 perhaps - in low 50s.

    And what do you mean by ' afford to maintain a Model S' ?
     
  11. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    #11 Az_Rael, Feb 20, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
    I would have to do 2 service visits yearly to stay within the 12,500 mile limits. So that's at least (1) minor ($400) and (1) major ($700-$900) service visit each year. So $1100-$1300 a year plus tires (which aren't cheap either). That's more than any ICE car I have owned and completely blows my Volt out of the water since it won't require a major maintenance until 45k and I only need oil changes ~ every 6 months with my mileage. And we aren't even talking about costs of repairs once the car is out of warranty.

    In the end its a $100K car with $100k car costs even if I bought it for $55k. I would also never buy a CPO BMW 7 series or Audi A8 for the same reasons.
     
  12. Bokonon

    Bokonon Title-customizing Member

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    My $0.02, as someone who drove a Volt for three years, drives a VW e-Golf currently, and drives his parents' Model S a few times a year:

    1. I would be shocked if there weren't variable levels of regen on the Model 3. Not only does the Model S have it, but just about every EV I can think of has at least two regen modes.

    2. In my experience, the Model S regen levels are each slightly heavier than the Volt equivalent, so if you're used to driving in D, then you'll probably stick to "Standard" regen on the Model S. Like others have suggested, test-driving a Model S is really the best way to feel it out for yourself.

    FWIW, for the first year that I had my Volt, I drove it in D anytime I wasn't stuck in traffic. Like you, anytime I drove in L at highway speeds and took my foot off the accelerator, it was a bit jarring, much like downshifting from 5th to 3rd in a manual transmission. When my parents got their Model S about a year later, I similarly gave the "Low" regen setting a try, but found that I was more comfortable driving with the "Standard" setting.

    About halfway through my Volt lease, though, I started experimenting more with L mode, gradually training my foot to let off the accelerator in a smoother, more gradual motion... essentially un-learning 16 years of muscle-memory. As I got better at modulating the accelerator, I started driving in L more often (though I always left it in D when cruising on the interstate... trying to find and hold the "sweet spot" in L at that speed required more effort than I preferred). Not surprisingly, the next time I drove my parents' Model S, "Standard" regen no longer felt as natural as it once did, so I switched my driver profile's regen preference to "Low" as well.

    In a way, stronger regen is a bit like coffee, in that it is an acquired taste that is highly variable in nature: (1) the degree to which one acquires the taste (if at all) will vary from person to person (e.g. some folks like their coffee black, others prefer a latte); (2) once acquired, one's specific preference for the taste can change over time (see regen example above); and (3) once acquired, one can become addicted to the taste rather quickly (e.g. anytime I find myself "downshifting" the CVT on my wife's Subaru when exiting the highway).

    Personally, I really like the way VW implemented regen control on the e-Golf, and I hope Tesla does something similar with the Model 3 (and Model S through a software update). First of all, there are *four* different levels of regen (including none, which is the default). Additionally, you can quickly toggle through these four levels while driving by flipping the gearshift left or right. This setup gives you very fine control over how much regen is applied from one moment to the next, without any need to take your eyes off the road. On my daily commute (about 15 miles each way, 70% on the interstate), I typically use maximum regen on local roads, no regen on the highways, and regen levels 1 and 2 on on-ramps, off-ramps, and steep downhill grades.

    The most likely scenario, though, is for the Model 3 to have the same regen characteristics and settings as the Model S. As a "mass-market" vehicle that is supposed to appeal to life-long ICE drivers, I do not expect the Model 3's approach to regen to be particularly adventurous or aggressive (e.g. like, say, the i3).
     
  13. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    Excellent info! Its good to hear from someone who has driven both a Volt and a Model S. I did put my Volt in L on the drive home from work today - I decided I am going to drive in L exclusively for several weeks and really "learn" this method of driving. Rather like when I got my first standard - I knew how to drive one, but you don't REALLY learn until its your only vehicle.

    I found that I don't mind it on city streets and cruising through neighborhoods. I will eventually learn the stopping distances on it. (Although with some trepidation as there was a guy in the Volt forums who rear-ended someone with his wife's ICE car because he got too used to one pedal driving, LOL). I also messed with dis-engaging cruise control several times and figured out that if I use the button, its a smoother transition than tapping the brakes.

    I am going to treat the Volt as a training ground. See if I can learn to drive in L well and how much I like it over time.

    I still hesitate to test drive an S as a trial of this (why torture myself and set unrealistic expectations about a 3?). We have no idea if driving an S is going to be anything at all like driving a 3. I have to assume driving a 7-series is a much different experience than a 3-series. I know an A6 has a much different drive than an A4. And there is the "mass market" argument where Tesla might go less heavy on the regen (or at least give several easily changed levels - that VW system sounds pretty awesome)
     
  14. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    +1...

    I migrated from a manual Jetta to the MS. I was used to popping out of gear and coasting a lot in my Jetta. The strong regen of the MS caught me off-guard during my test drive but now I love the 1 foot driving.
     
  15. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    1 foot driving is something you will learn to love after a week or two of driving. I have several friends of mine who drive Leaf but gave up on the stronger regen mode (B mode) after just a day or two, because it is jarring for them.

    1 pedal driving is one of the joys of driving an EV, and it sure takes a while to get used to it and then you start to wonder how poorly an ICE drives that forces you to constantly switch between gas and brake pedals.

    I am worried about rear ending and have had close calls when I drive an ICE occasionally.
     
  16. MiamiNole

    MiamiNole Member

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    The way I drive now, I try to limit putting my foot on the brake pedal as much as possible, so I'm pretty sure I can adapt to one pedal driving with regen fairly easily. I test drove a Model S before and it wasn't a shock to me at all. It actually played right into my style of driving. Granted I didn't get to take the S on a highway, but even then I'm pretty sure I can adapt fairly easily. I already drive mostly with cruise control on highways anyways, accelerating and decelerating with the controls accordingly. I also make it a habit to press cancel to get out of cruise control vs tapping the brakes. Pretty sure a Tesla with AP enabled will be a match made in heaven for me!
     
  17. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    Please, please, please do NOT give me stupid extra controls (like paddles) to control regen during braking.
    Give it an option to let it drive like a braindead automatic ICE for the folks who have to cling to thinking the ICE metaphor is required
    or
    let me drive it like a real EV with proper regen so I can drive with one pedal.

    Brake pedal=friction brakes
    accelerator pedal=motor power and regen
    Once control is all I need
     
  18. diamond.g

    diamond.g Member

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    is it correct to assume tesla does not use blended brakes? Trying to understand why Tesla can hake ACC but Chevy says they need blended brakes.
     
  19. mutle

    mutle Member

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    I'm driving an i3 and love the strong regen. When I test-drove a Model S the regen felt good except that it is very weak on the low end and you need the brake pedal to come to a full stop. In the i3 the regen is strong enough to stop the car in time in most situations.

    I honestly don't see a reason for multiple levels of regen and it doesn't take very long to get used to and the advantages are amazing once you got used to it.
     
  20. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    No blended brakes; the side benefit of slowing is purely from the inverter regenerating electricity back into the battery. At about 3-5 mph, the slowing is quite weak and you may have to actually move your foot to the brake pedal (gasp! horrors!) to come to a smooth full stop.

    Yes it takes a bit of getting used to. The first month with our S, I thought my wife was constantly agreeing with me (which... can't happen I think), but it turned out it was just her head bobbing forward and backward while I was not being careful enough with the fun pedal. After a month it's easy to modulate the pedal for smoothness all the time; it just becomes a habit. I use the brakes, including that 3-5mph full stop, about 2% of the time counting all driving; regen does nearly all the work. It's like brakes are for emergencies or unexpected driving situations only.

    Imagine this: merging from a 20 mph road to a 60 mph freeway that is packed with cars doing 50-60 (or... 60-80...). With the Model S, it is *SO EASY* to modulate speed (a little faster here, a little slowing there) to fit gracefully in to whatever gaps. No slamming the foot back and forth between the fun pedal and the brake pedal. It's blissful.
     

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