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One pedal driving in an ICE?


Active Member
Aug 8, 2016
One pedal driving is very popular in electric vehicles, doesn't seem like any technical reason you could not do it in and ICE with a CVT. Do you think any ICE manufacturers will bring it out as an option while they are playing catch up with Tesla? A lot of people will have an ICE and a BEV and it would make the driving similar. (except for the instant acceleration, quiet, etc. etc.)


Driving My Model 3
Dec 1, 2015
Dallas, TX
I drive a Subaru Legacy (2015) and its CVT has a strong drag when your foot is off the pedal. I think this is just engine braking with the car having been programmed to not supply the engine with gas without the pedal being pushed above 20-ish mph. While it's nothing like an EV's full regen, it might be on par with some low regen settings in some EVs as I can slow down in traffic fairly quickly without touching the brakes. While I haven't driven a manual before, it seems that this behavior is identical to constant downshifting. With careful driving, I can avoid using the brakes until at very low speeds. Personally, I really enjoy it.

Going full one pedal with nothing other than friction brakes to slow the car down would most likely result in higher gas usage as people would end up using their brakes more frequently. Coasting would also be very difficult to perform and there would be no energy benefit to being slowed down beyond engine braking. It's not like you can regen gas after all, so it's just a waste. In a time where all automakers are trying to eke out every bit of fuel efficiency for as little money as possible the last thing they'd do is shoot themselves in the foot.
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Reactions: pilotSteve
So the ICE car ends up braking and losing all the momentum without any gasoline getting back to the tank?

Yes, can you believe it? It's also worth noting that when they started actually looking at engine emissions in the seventies, they determined that revving the engine with the throttle closed was bad, so they designed (yet another) helper gadget to keep the throttle open during coasting, spelling the end of decent engine braking. I don't know if they've worked around that one in the meantime.

And, so a word on the Prius. You can kind of fake one-pedal it if you contrive to set the cruise control to a speed lower than you are actually going. This only works because the regen can slow the car down. A full ICE vehicle would have to apply its brakes. But if you fill the battery (long coast downhill), the Prius does an interesting thing: it switches to engine braking. The engine revs up to a very high RPM, initiating a test of nerves on the driver. Many will decline to listen to the sound of the engine apparently trying to tear itself apart, and step on the friction brakes.

The psychology of a CVT versus what the car is actually doing takes a lot away from the driving experience. Adding a braking scheme would make it seem all that much worse. I don't think it would sell very well. I don't think anyone wants transmissions to become even more complex, either.

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