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Test Drive/Regen Braking Impression

Greetings!

I finally took a test drive in a Model 3 recently. I look forward to ordering one soon. I was initially surprised by the aggressiveness of the regen braking. Even at the lower setting, I thought it was too much. However, I understand the purpose (I believe) and that is to slow the vehicle and provide a single pedal control. I wondered if there might be a different mode.
In a 5 speed ICE I had, I could place the car in neutral and coast for a good long way. In one stretch of road where there are a series of small hills, I coasted for about a mile. My MPG showed some improvement with this practice. I was hoping for something similar for the Model 3 regen braking. However, the primary purpose of regen braking is to stop the car while re-charging the batteries.
A different mode might switch the priority from stopping to charging. What if I prefer two pedal operation of a car? Could there be a regen mode where I can coast farther by taking advantage of gravity? In this mode, would I get more charge in the batteries?
Additionally, if the Model 3 could detect the slope of the hill, the amount of regen charging could be dynamic. That is, if the hill is steep, allow the car to move a little faster to provide more charging. Thoughts?

Thanks!
Joe
 

Kevy Baby

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Aug 11, 2019
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One of the first things when quickly realized when I bought my M3 was that I had to completely re-learn how to drive. I easily have 1MM miles of ICE driving under my belt, so that was not a quick thing. Not difficult: just unexpected.

The point being, get the car; you will love it. There will be some minor details you won't like and some things they could have done better will be apparent. But in the grand scope of things, you will be very happy with your purchase.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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Nov 28, 2018
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OP in an Ev you are actually going to be the most efficient, "driving" not coasting, and not under regen. What I mean is, you will learn in an EV that you keep your car at a constant speed, not "speeding up to slow down" and not "coasting". There is no "coasting" in tesla. Coasting is resting your foot on the accelerator and driving at a constant speed (or using Autopilot to do so).

Regen is not better than just driving at a constant speed, and no its not better to regen than drive at that constant speed, unless you are talking about going downhill or something.

If you are used to driving a manual transmission car you will get used to it fairly easily, as long as you can unlearn the "coasting for a mile" type behavior and are not a person who drives by "pulsing" the accelerator, which more people do than they realize.

In any case, its a fairly easy transition, and the regen is one of the best parts of the car, and as @ewoodrick said, I miss it when I drive my wifes car.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
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San Diego
I could place the car in neutral and coast for a good long way. In one stretch of road where there are a series of small hills, I coasted for about a mile. My MPG showed some improvement with this practice.

In this case coasting in neutral probably was more efficient, though in general it is not (and in general is illegal and less safe).

In any case you can coast in Model 3 by keeping your foot on the accelerator. You’ll find it coasts over that series of hills better than any ICE car you have ever driven. Just keep that regen/power bar right at zero and you are good.

Then add to that that enormous acceleration and massive “engine” braking are available at the flick of that pedal and you have a very awesome car to drive - so much easier than searching for the right gear in a manual transmission!

 

mswlogo

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Aug 27, 2018
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In this case coasting in neutral probably was more efficient, though in general it is not (and in general is illegal and less safe).

In any case you can coast in Model 3 by keeping your foot on the accelerator. You’ll find it coasts over that series of hills better than any ICE car you have ever driven. Just keep that regen/power bar right at zero and you are good.

Then add to that that enormous acceleration and massive “engine” braking are available at the flick of that pedal and you have a very awesome car to drive - so much easier than searching for the right gear in a manual transmission!


That video is wrong. You’ll roll much further when in neutral vs turning the engine.

Feathering the throttle doesn’t work on Tesla when using TACC. Which is almost always on when on the highway.

So OP is correct. A coast option would be nice. Not sure about legality or safety though. Even though neutral on a stick is a safety/legal issue, my wife and I both did it. She got amazing mpg. My understanding some other EV’s offer much wider range of regen modes.
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
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Seattle
I finally took a test drive in a Model 3 recently. I look forward to ordering one soon. I was initially surprised by the aggressiveness of the regen braking. Even at the lower setting, I thought it was too much. However, I understand the purpose (I believe) and that is to slow the vehicle and provide a single pedal control. I wondered if there might be a different mode.

It's just muscle memory .. the "new shoes" feeling. All new shoes feel odd, but once you get used to them, going back to the "old familiar" pair you abandoned feels equally odd. It took me no more than 2-3 days of driving to get used to regen braking, and love it, especially the new HOLD mode, which is true one pedal driving.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
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San Diego
Feathering the throttle doesn’t work on Tesla when using TACC

Neither does putting the car in neutral when using an ICE with TACC.

You’ll roll much further when in neutral vs turning the engine.

Sure. The question is how much gas you will use. As I said, there are situations where it is better to coast in neutral. Not trying to litigate that sticky discussion, since it is not really relevant to EVs.

I guess if you are proposing a cruise control option that does no slowing of the vehicle (like old school cruise control), I suppose that would be nice, but educating users would be impossible.
 
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mswlogo

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Aug 27, 2018
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Neither does putting the car in neutral when using an ICE with TACC.



Sure. The question is how much gas you will use. As I said, there are situations where it is better to coast in neutral. Not trying to litigate that sticky discussion, since it is not really relevant to EVs.

I guess if you are proposing a cruise control option that does no slowing of the vehicle (like old school cruise control), I suppose that would be nice, but educating users would be impossible.

No, I’m proposing an option that deliberately does exactly what it will do now when regen is max limited (TACC or no TACC). No mystery, no change in a behavior than already exists. It may use more hydraulic braking. Just More coast than regen when it can, within reason. Other EV cars offer such things.

That is all Low regen does is apply limited regen. Just another option for max limited regen, as in none.
 

TIppy

Active Member
Jul 8, 2016
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Tampa, FL
In this case coasting in neutral probably was more efficient, though in general it is not (and in general is illegal and less safe).

In any case you can coast in Model 3 by keeping your foot on the accelerator. You’ll find it coasts over that series of hills better than any ICE car you have ever driven. Just keep that regen/power bar right at zero and you are good.

Then add to that that enormous acceleration and massive “engine” braking are available at the flick of that pedal and you have a very awesome car to drive - so much easier than searching for the right gear in a manual transmission!


This doesn't take into account that you can convert kinetic(or potential) energy through regen. Tesla published drag vs speed and battery energy requirements vs speed (including losses) for the original roadster. Using these plots, I compared coasting to a stop from 80 mph vs regenning quickly to the average coasting speed and then covering the same distance at that average speed. Doing this means that you would cover the same distance in the same amount of time. It took less energy to drive the distance at the average speed than was recovered by regenning from 80 mph down to the average speed. Therefor you end up with more energy in the battery by regenning.

Because of the non-linear increase in drag with speed, the car is dissipating much more energy per unit time at high speeds while coasting. Instead of heating the air, it's better to capture the kinetic energy in the battery and drive at slower speeds where drag is much less.

If you want to coast, you can put the car in neutral. I don't know if it's true with the new fangled permanent magnet motor, but with the induction motors on my p90d, the inverters were turned off while in neutral.
 
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We have an Audi A3 e-tron (hybrid) where the default behavior is full EV mode + zero regen and in cases where you do not need to stop, lifting off the throttle does indeed coast the car. The stability nannies are ever present though, dealing with the (to me) disquieting feeling that the car is indeed coasting. You do get better efficiency only in the case where you lift and have no intent of stopping but just slowing a little.. regen always wins as being more efficient than friction brakes.

Because of how unsettled that car feels in it's normal mode (to me) I find myself manually downshifting when needing to slow, which puts the DSG tranny one gear down and engages regen followed by the car continuing to downshift until it comes to a stop, with blending of regen and friction brakes done by the car when you press the stop pedal.

It seems really overly complicated to me and I 100% prefer the Tesla's regen + unblended brakes any day. OP will easily adapt I feel, given a small bit of time and an open mind :)
 
Greetings and Thanks!

I appreciate all the points of view and mostly, thanks to the diversity on this topic, I look forward to experimenting when I finally get a Model 3.
I was unaware of the legality of driving in neutral for manual transmissions. My present car is a Camry with automatic and it does pretty good at coasting if I meet a certain threshold of momentum going into a hill or hills.
I thought the video posted by @AlanSubie4Life was interesting. There are a few spots of rollercoasting on my way to work where, I believe, there could be benefit from gravity helping the car move as well as charging through regen. I think experiments will be interesting also because of the different weight compared to the Camry I am,begrudgingly, driving now.

Joe
 
Greetings!

I finally took a test drive in a Model 3 recently. I look forward to ordering one soon. I was initially surprised by the aggressiveness of the regen braking. Even at the lower setting, I thought it was too much. However, I understand the purpose (I believe) and that is to slow the vehicle and provide a single pedal control. I wondered if there might be a different mode.
In a 5 speed ICE I had, I could place the car in neutral and coast for a good long way. In one stretch of road where there are a series of small hills, I coasted for about a mile. My MPG showed some improvement with this practice. I was hoping for something similar for the Model 3 regen braking. However, the primary purpose of regen braking is to stop the car while re-charging the batteries.
A different mode might switch the priority from stopping to charging. What if I prefer two pedal operation of a car? Could there be a regen mode where I can coast farther by taking advantage of gravity? In this mode, would I get more charge in the batteries?
Additionally, if the Model 3 could detect the slope of the hill, the amount of regen charging could be dynamic. That is, if the hill is steep, allow the car to move a little faster to provide more charging. Thoughts?

Thanks!
Joe

Just wait till you get used to the regen and then drive your wifes car.
 

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