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Why did Tesla remove option to disable regenerative braking?

Tipjar

Member
Oct 15, 2015
7
10
San Diego, California
I'm asking here instead of directly to Tesla because their only Contact Us options were for solar roofs or calling a store and neither of them knows....

While test driving the Model Y I noticed the regenerative braking was pretty aggressive. I called the sales person from the car to ask if I could adjust it. He explained that unfortunately Tesla removed the option to disable regenerative braking in the October 2020 software update, and suggested cheerfully that it's a driving experience drivers adapt to. (Some context here, I'm used to regenerative braking from my Prius of the past five years, but I like the freedom of easily toggling it on or off as needed, and its resistance is considerably milder than Tesla's.) I found Tesla's regenerative braking to be so strong it was similar to actively depressing a brake pedal half way to the floor when the foot wasn't on the accelerator. In my opinion it was a fatiguing nuisance having to stay on top of the accelerator all the time. I know you can engage cruise control as a workaround but cruise is only useful in certain conditions.

I went to an Earth Day fair a week later because many makes and models of EVs would be there and I wanted to hear pros and cons directly from owners. One Model Y owner said he'd always driven with regenerative braking at the maximum setting anyway so it didn't bother him, but he felt sure there was still a way to turn it off. Then a woman, intrigued by the topic, offered to take me on a test drive in her Model Y and go through all the settings for regenerative braking. We did and both agreed none of the settings made much difference. Then she confessed that she can't take her best friend around in her car because the regenerative braking gives her friend motion sickness, and that she'd heard similar stories from others. (But she was still crazy about her Model Y.)

What do you think Tesla's rationale is for removing the option of turning off regenerative braking, especially when it could limit their pool of consumers? It's a deal breaker for any buyer who has to consider how many kids/relatives, friends, business associates, or other unknown future passengers it might affect. My only thought has been maybe Tesla wants to pump up their range statistics and didn't realize that it could make some people ill or fatigued if they suffer from motion sickness or certain disabilities.

Aside from that, I'm bothered a seller can change something without my permission after I've paid for it.
 
Solution
For those with a tendency toward motion sickness, the solution is to drive more smoothly - feather the accelerator, plan your stops further ahead, etc. Chill mode helps with passengers that easily get motion sickness.

To answer your question, low regen was removed in order to boost the EPA figures due to the way the EPA handles driving modes.

73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
224
114
Torrance, CA
I was planning on purchasing a 3 or Y next year. Without the option to lower the regen, there's a good chance it will be a deal breaker. I will be 70 then and motion issues aren't going to get any better.

What does your age have to do with it,? I will be 70 in November and have no problem driving my 12/20 MY with full regen. It took perhaps a couple of hours to fully master one foot driving and come to smooth stops on a consistent basis. I started in standard mode with hold for about a month. Eventually, I decided to switch to chill mode, which made it even
easier to drive smoothly.
 
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Bizkit

New Member
Jun 28, 2021
1
0
The Patch
I'm asking here instead of directly to Tesla because their only Contact Us options were for solar roofs or calling a store and neither of them knows....

While test driving the Model Y I noticed the regenerative braking was pretty aggressive. I called the sales person from the car to ask if I could adjust it. He explained that unfortunately Tesla removed the option to disable regenerative braking in the October 2020 software update, and suggested cheerfully that it's a driving experience drivers adapt to. (Some context here, I'm used to regenerative braking from my Prius of the past five years, but I like the freedom of easily toggling it on or off as needed, and its resistance is considerably milder than Tesla's.) I found Tesla's regenerative braking to be so strong it was similar to actively depressing a brake pedal half way to the floor when the foot wasn't on the accelerator. In my opinion it was a fatiguing nuisance having to stay on top of the accelerator all the time. I know you can engage cruise control as a workaround but cruise is only useful in certain conditions.

I went to an Earth Day fair a week later because many makes and models of EVs would be there and I wanted to hear pros and cons directly from owners. One Model Y owner said he'd always driven with regenerative braking at the maximum setting anyway so it didn't bother him, but he felt sure there was still a way to turn it off. Then a woman, intrigued by the topic, offered to take me on a test drive in her Model Y and go through all the settings for regenerative braking. We did and both agreed none of the settings made much difference. Then she confessed that she can't take her best friend around in her car because the regenerative braking gives her friend motion sickness, and that she'd heard similar stories from others. (But she was still crazy about her Model Y.)

What do you think Tesla's rationale is for removing the option of turning off regenerative braking, especially when it could limit their pool of consumers? It's a deal breaker for any buyer who has to consider how many kids/relatives, friends, business associates, or other unknown future passengers it might affect. My only thought has been maybe Tesla wants to pump up their range statistics and didn't realize that it could make some people ill or fatigued if they suffer from motion sickness or certain disabilities.

Aside from that, I'm bothered a seller can change something without my permission after I've paid for it.
I agree Tipjar. I just started driving my Kona with regen off and love it. Now I’m selling it to buy the m3 with No Option to turn off!! I may cancel my order!!!
 
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ChrgdTeCHick

Member
May 7, 2017
352
183
Florida
I've owned a Tesla since 2017 and never had the option to remove it, just to lower it. I've only had a Y since March though (if it was a 3/Y thing) and it didn't have it. I never lowered it but the Y is certainly more oomph when letting go of the accelerator that I can see how lowering it would be a perk for some.

Problem I can see with them having the option to completely remove it is people complaining that the range isn't as high and blaming Tesla, not their decision to turn it off.
 
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Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
5,815
10,791
Springfield, VA
This entire EPA argument would disappear if Tesla would just implement blended braking as just about every other EV out there has.
Do not want. One of the key benefits of a Tesla is not having goofy blended braking. My two other EVs both have blended braking and I really dislike it.

The EPA factor would disappear if Tesla made it default to standard regen, but then there would be angst about having to manually select low regen on every drive cycle.
 
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jsimon7777

Member
Feb 1, 2018
306
129
Castro Valley
The standard regen is too strong. It takes constant pedal manipulation to deal with. It causes motion sickness among passengers. We're also trained from all the years of driving ICE to not have strong braking when we just lift off the gas. One pedal is for going and one is for stopping. Tesla now has one for going and stopping, and the other for faster stopping. I don't consider this better. Every other EV we've owned has had blended braking, which allows higher levels of energy recovery and a more intuitive system that also matches all my other driving experience. It's extra annoying to switch back and forth with cars with the normal system. The Tesla system simply gives far less control to the driver.

It's not a deal breaker. Teslas have their advantages. It's just another way that Tesla makes mistakes in car design. I've got a long list.
 
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smogne41

Member
Jun 13, 2019
165
327
Pennsylvania
Do not want. One of the key benefits of a Tesla is not having goofy blended braking. My two other EVs both have blended braking and I really dislike it.

The EPA factor would disappear if Tesla made it default to standard regen, but then there would be angst about having to manually select low regen on every drive cycle.
Or best of all have the EPA fix their stupid rule that means the setting has to reset every drive or you have to quote the range for the worse setting available.
 
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DaveORD

Member
Mar 12, 2020
732
641
Chicagoland
Wondering about those who cannot drive with standard regen, willing to bet they cannot drive a standard either. If they could drive a stick then this standard regen would be practically no different in my opinion, just some clutch work when coming to a stop. I was not allowed to get my driver's license until I could drive a stick, that was the family rule, so you could drive anything in a pinch if you had to later on.
 
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frankvb

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 29, 2020
915
558
San Diego, CA
Do not want. One of the key benefits of a Tesla is not having goofy blended braking. My two other EVs both have blended braking and I really dislike it.
The fact that your other EVs have a bad implementation isn't really a good argument to dismiss it. Obviously I am not advocating for Tesla to do a poor job.

Though I'd agree that it makes no sense at all for the EPA to somehow use the worst setting for its ratings.
 
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ChrgdTeCHick

Member
May 7, 2017
352
183
Florida
Wondering about those who cannot drive with standard regen, willing to bet they cannot drive a standard either. If they could drive a stick then this standard regen would be practically no different in my opinion, just some clutch work when coming to a stop. I was not allowed to get my driver's license until I could drive a stick, that was the family rule, so you could drive anything in a pinch if you had to later on.
Haha good point, I don't find the standard regen an issue at all and I too grew up in manual cars, I learned on a manual, have/had manual cars myself.
 
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electricloris

Member
Apr 27, 2021
86
50
Texas
Chill Mode + Roll seems to get it feeling somewhere in the middle. I did have an older Model S loaner while some service was happening, and I noticed even with full regen setting the car literally coasted like my ICE vehicle.
 
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smogne41

Member
Jun 13, 2019
165
327
Pennsylvania
Yep, Tesla's have a '1 speed manual transmission' and if you have experience driving a manual transmission car it helps a tone with having a feel for regen. It should still be an option for those who would prefer to not have it though.
 
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73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
224
114
Torrance, CA
Wondering about those who cannot drive with standard regen, willing to bet they cannot drive a standard either. If they could drive a stick then this standard regen would be practically no different in my opinion, just some clutch work when coming to a stop. I was not allowed to get my driver's license until I could drive a stick, that was the family rule, so you could drive anything in a pinch if you had to later on.
Or in other words, not being able to drive smoothly with standard regen is like being unable to walk and chew bubblegum at the same time?
 
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electricloris

Member
Apr 27, 2021
86
50
Texas
Funny thing since Im somewhat new to my tesla I never really charge it all the way but decided to the other day and regen was like 90% gone. I guess the energy has nowhere to go or something. Im not sure of the engineering of it. The infotainment even said regen disabled
 
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ChrgdTeCHick

Member
May 7, 2017
352
183
Florida
Funny thing since Im somewhat new to my tesla I never really charge it all the way but decided to the other day and regen was like 90% gone. I guess the energy has nowhere to go or something. Im not sure of the engineering of it. The infotainment even said regen disabled
That's correct, charging to 100% disables regen for a bit (a message should have popped up to tell you that). And yes it's because there's no room in the battery to add charge to since it's already 100% charged.
 
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