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Tips for getting used to single peddle driving/regenerative braking

So i've put about a 100 miles on my AWD M3 so far, and I think i'm having a bit more trouble than most getting used to regenerative braking.

One thing that bugs me is I feel that it does not kick in consistently and as a result, I have trouble throttling my turns. Sometimes I can do them without taking my foot off the peddle, other times I have to quickly bake because the car did not regen brake as much as I had expected it would. Is it just me or does it activate with variable force?

Has anyone else had trouble adjusting?
 

swaltner

Active Member
Oct 13, 2012
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Kansas, USA
Don’t charge to more than 90%. When the battery is full, it can’t accept the energy generated by regenerative braking. If ambient temps are less than 50F, you’ll also notice a slight reduction in the amount of regen available. In both situations, you’ll see dashes on the left side of the line right below the speedometer indicating how much reduction there is.

It just takes time to develop a little more muscle memory. Give it a little more time. You’ll get the hang of it.
 
It seems very consistent to me, within the charge and temperature limitations already noted. I can consistently take my foot off the peddle and stop right where I targeted.

Regen does start a little before you are fully off the peddle. You can control the amount by feathering the peddle. That gives you control over it, but I suppose that could make it seem inconsistent. It is power limited, so the deceleration seems less at higher speeds than at 35 MPH. Regen continues when your foot is off the peddle, including when you're on the brakes, so there's no need to keep your foot on the peddle for it. Regen does decrease significantly when you are almost stopped, at which point you need to use the normal brakes to fully stop the car.

It's very much like engine braking a manual-shift car by downshifting so I had no adjustment period to be comfortable with it.
 
I like to see how long I can drive without ever touching the brakes. Doing so does require that I ease into stop signs and traffic lights more gently than if I was driving an ICE car and just slamming on the brakes, but I like the feel of the very gradual stop so it works for me. It does mean I’m usually the last one to get to an intersection but I’m not in any hurry so it never bothers me.
 
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ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
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Buford, GA
First of all, you don't have single pedal driving. The new Leafs do, but the Tesla definitely doesn't. In the Leaf, even without one-pedal driving, the brake pedal engages additional regen before adding physical brakes. In the Tesla the brakes are only connected to the brakes.

Semantics aside, although they are a little important here. You will have to use brakes. Your foot is going to switch pedals.
The amount of regen that you get will vary upon the speed (and sometimes state of battery i.e. full or cold) of the car. It will be at its higher when the car is moving and drop to zero at very slow speeds. And it definitely won't stop the car (if you have turned creep off, turn it back on)
As animorph suggested, feathering the pedal is now important. To control the speed of deceleration, you slowly release the pedal. You also learn what a released pedal stopping distance is. (which is abrupt to most passengers) You then learn to feather the pedal down to a speed that you need at a point that you need it.

If you are able to stop worrying about it, it will probably come more natural than you expect. I don't even think about it anymore. But as I alluded in the semantics, don't expect more out of it than it has.

Maybe a learning option is to go to the extreme and see how much green bar (the one under the speed) that you can create when decelerating. Once you learn to control the green bar (by making it bigger and not red) you should have a better feeling of controlling the regen.
 
If you drive the same route every day, you'll soon pick up on when to release the "gas" and the distance you can go at a particular speed to stop. You can also still keep your foot on the accelerator to regenerate while still moving forward, like as you enter school zone, release to slow, and keep on to maintain. The nice thing about Tesla is the infinite smooth acceleration, but you don't want to jackrabbit start and hard brake every 50 feet.
 
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Snow Drift

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Feb 10, 2016
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Long Island
@Sagester Do you have "creep on?" If you turn off creep then the car will not try to drive forward without using the accelerator pedal. I find my wife uses the brakes a lot more than I do, and she uses creep.

You can almost 99% one pedal drive the M3. I only use the brake pedal for a complete stop (light or stop sign), or for an emergency. I merely modulate the amount of pressure applied to the accelerator pedal to control the car. If I am coming to a turn, or exiting a highway, I just release pressure (your foot never fully leaves the pedal, as there is a lot of useless travel).

Driving the M3 is just like driving a manual transmission in 1st/2nd gear. I love it. It is my favorite part of driving the M3.


Don’t charge to more than 90%. When the battery is full, it can’t accept the energy generated by regenerative braking. If ambient temps are less than 50F, you’ll also notice a slight reduction in the amount of regen available. In both situations, you’ll see dashes on the left side of the line right below the speedometer indicating how much reduction there is.

It just takes time to develop a little more muscle memory. Give it a little more time. You’ll get the hang of it.
This too. Cold weather and 100% charges will cause "......." to show up on your energy bar, which reduces the amount of regeneration available until the battery warms (or is used).
 
You will get used to it. The main thing to remember is that "neutral" (the accelerator, untouched), is never "neutral" when you are moving. It will always be brakes. You need to ease off the accelerator pedal when you want to slow down a little unlike in an ICE car where you can let off the pedal completely and the car will coast and slow a little. Even going downhill (where you might normally be coasting and braking in an ICE car), you will likely be pressing the accelerator to some degree.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,388
10,298
SF Bay Area
What level of regen do you have your car set to? That's another variable. Setting is under Controls > Driving > Regenerative Braking, either Standard or Low. I may have started out on Low being new to the whole regen thing but after getting my feet wet (so much to learn on the car if first time owner) I think I switched to Standard within the week. Found the feel to be alot like the manual Accord I use to have. And the best part is that it puts energy back into your battery.

I also keep Creep off too by the way and use the Hold most times when I'm stopped at a light etc. so I can relax and take my foot off the brake and have it ready to press on the accelerator when I'm ready to go. Creep's another setting people will have strong feelings about. I tend to think Creep On might be involved in drivers who say they experience unexpected acceleration when parking. They tend to be new to the car too so don't have a lot of experience in how they react to the settings.

creep - 1.jpg
 
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JulienW

Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
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Atlanta
....I also keep Creep off too by the way and use the Hold most times when I'm stopped at a light etc. so I can relax and take my foot off the brake and have it ready to press on the accelerator when I'm ready to go. Creep's another setting people will have strong feelings about. I tend to think Creep On might be involved in drivers who say they experience unexpected acceleration when parking. They tend to be new to the car too so don't have a lot of experience in how they react to the settings.

You can use Hold with Creep on. I was very anti-creep because my ELR had an unnatural implementation. I need to backup to within 12" of a wall to charge and you can only do this with Creep. So I started driving with it and it is natural torque converter feeling (unlike my ELR) and after stop just relax and then press brake and you have Hold. You can then take your foot off just like with Creep off/Hold. So with Hold Creep is not as big a deal.

Just to add a regen advantage my ELR had was you got a medium regen and there were "shifter" paddles that you press to apply max regen. I'm still pushing on the back on my Model 3's steering wheel after almost a week.:eek::D
 
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WilliamG

Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
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You can use Hold with Creep on. I was very anti-creep because my ELR had an unnatural implementation. I need to backup to within 12" of a wall to charge and you can only do this with Creep. So I started driving with it and it is natural torque converter feeling (unlike my ELR) and after stop just relax and then press brake and you have Hold. You can then take your foot off just like with Creep off/Hold. So with Hold Creep is not as big a deal.

Just to add a regen advantage my ELR had was you got a medium regen and there were "shifter" paddles that you press to apply max regen. I'm still pushing on the back on my Model 3's steering wheel after almost a week.:eek::D

Agreed. Creep on is the only way to drive if you need to get close to objects. I need to park within 2-3 inches of my garage wall to fit, and without Creep this would be a nightmare. Throw in an incline and without Creep is near to impossible.

Creep has all the benefits in these situations and on hills, and no downside that I can tell. And yep, you can still make the car Hold by firmly pressing the brake. Creep. Is. Awesome.
 
So i've put about a 100 miles on my AWD M3 so far, and I think i'm having a bit more trouble than most getting used to regenerative braking.

One thing that bugs me is I feel that it does not kick in consistently and as a result, I have trouble throttling my turns. Sometimes I can do them without taking my foot off the peddle, other times I have to quickly bake because the car did not regen brake as much as I had expected it would. Is it just me or does it activate with variable force?

Has anyone else had trouble adjusting?
1600 miles now, but got used to regen breaking 1st day. Now hate to drive our other ice car. Love hold feature too. Have owned 3 Lexus ES and our Model 3 is best car yet!
 
So what's this 'hold' feature people have mentioned?

When you come to a stop and hold the brakes for a moment, there should be a H within a circle showing on the MCU screen. It's analogous to the ebrake on a manual transmission car. Let off the brake, it will hold the car on a non-level road surface. Otherwise, if you see 0 mph on screen there is no brakes holding you in place, you will roll forward or backward like being in neutral in a manual trans.
 
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