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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.

electricloris

Member
Apr 27, 2021
86
50
Texas
Had not drove a tesla before yesterday, but was able to adapt to the regen almost instantly. Was a little nervous about it after reading of peoples dislike, but I much prefer one pedal driving now, find it much easier than having to use the brake to stop.
Ive told people I actually find it more fun, it feels like I have more control over things and I find going into turns to be much more tactile and engaging
 
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webbah

Active Member
May 22, 2012
1,001
950
Lucerne, Switzerland
I drive with max regen most of the time and my car has the option to lower the regen. I DO use low regen when it is raining or snowing. Why? This way I keep my rotors and pads in perfect condition, no rust or crap buildup, etc. Yeah, I know I can hammer on the brakes with heavy regen, but this is just my way. I even setup a rain/snow driver profile and the settings I want change with the weather. I'd be kinda bummed to lose that but I suppose I would then adjust. Tesla should give customers a choice though in my opinion.
 
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gregincal

Active Member
Oct 26, 2012
3,773
2,315
Santa Cruz, CA
Lots and lots of people aren't smooth on Teslas. My wife makes my kids nauseous when she drives it. And she can't drive a manual to save her life. Anyway, Tesla did a bad job here. Give us the options.

I don't mind options, as long as they don't take away the perfect current implementation for people that like driving. I find it the best and smoothest driving experience of any car. I don't want blended braking anywhere near my car.
 
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Gauss Guzzler

Member
Dec 27, 2020
453
560
Thousand Oaks, California
Yes, options are always good. BMW has a huge (albeit difficult to access) list of configurable options that range from the number of times the turn signal blinks to whether or not the sunroof will automatically close if it detects rain while parked. Even my old 2006 Lexus has a list of configurable items regarding gongs and climate defaults, ability to roll up the windows with the key fob, etc. It'd be great if Tesla added a sort of about:config page that just let people tinker with some of these parameters.
Fortunately they do seem to be steadily increasing the number of options presented in the UI (other than this regen topic) and the fact that they've put a lot of effort into UI customization with the new Model S suggests that they are at least aware of the value.
 
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jsimon7777

Member
Feb 1, 2018
306
129
Castro Valley
I don't mind options, as long as they don't take away the perfect current implementation for people that like driving. I find it the best and smoothest driving experience of any car. I don't want blended braking anywhere near my car.
Separate braking is perfect for people that like driving? That sounds like a completely baseless assertion. I prefer blended braking, and I love cars and driving.
Yes, options are always good. BMW has a huge (albeit difficult to access) list of configurable options that range from the number of times the turn signal blinks to whether or not the sunroof will automatically close if it detects rain while parked. Even my old 2006 Lexus has a list of configurable items regarding gongs and climate defaults, ability to roll up the windows with the key fob, etc. It'd be great if Tesla added a sort of about:config page that just let people tinker with some of these parameters.
Fortunately they do seem to be steadily increasing the number of options presented in the UI (other than this regen topic) and the fact that they've put a lot of effort into UI customization with the new Model S suggests that they are at least aware of the value.
I think even Firefox is trying to get rid of about:config. Tesla is all about control. They know where you drive. They know how you drive. They limit your options. Count me unimpressed on this score.
 
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73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
225
114
Torrance, CA
Separate braking is perfect for people that like driving? That sounds like a completely baseless assertion. I prefer blended braking, and I love cars and driving.

I think even Firefox is trying to get rid of about:config. Tesla is all about control. They know where you drive. They know how you drive. They limit your options. Count me unimpressed on this score.
So Tesla knows where you drive (which they do via the built in ATT cell phone). Well guess what, there are a whole lot of cars on the road from just about every manufacturer that have built-in cell phones (even if they don't let you make phone calls). GM uses cell phones for its On-Star capabilities. Ford has Ford Pass and Ford Connect. Others like Audi/VW Toyota, Mercedes offer standard or optional Wifi (on selected models. Do you really think they don't know where you drive? The same is true for your cell phone provider and the vendors of any mapping software that you may have enabled on your phone (so Google and/or Apple). Count me unimpressed by your objections.
 
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jsimon7777

Member
Feb 1, 2018
306
129
Castro Valley
So Tesla knows where you drive (which they do via the built in ATT cell phone). Well guess what, there are a whole lot of cars on the road from just about every manufacturer that have built-in cell phones (even if they don't let you make phone calls). GM uses cell phones for its On-Star capabilities. Ford has Ford Pass and Ford Connect. Others like Audi/VW Toyota, Mercedes offer standard or optional Wifi (on selected models. Do you really think they don't know where you drive? The same is true for your cell phone provider and the vendors of any mapping software that you may have enabled on your phone (so Google and/or Apple). Count me unimpressed by your objections.
Tesla goes further than most, but your core point that we're being spied upon by many is true.

But then you completely ignore my main point, which I repeat in my post, that Tesla likes to take away options. Which is the entire point of this thread. I want to be able to control my regen level.
 
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ChrgdTeCHick

Member
May 7, 2017
352
183
Florida
How is this any different than Apple removing a setting when they feel it doesn't benefit their products in the manner they invisioned it to?

Side note: I'm not a fan of Apple and their total control over products. However, they work as they were intended so I understand why, same as how I understand why Tesla makes changes like this too.
 
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CorneliusRox

Member
Mar 3, 2021
158
170
MN
Does anyone know if the Performance model has more severe regen braking? I wonder if there's a disconnect there.

UPDATE FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:
After making a profile in 'Chill' mode, I find it easy to drive without making my wife and kids sick. When I'm by myself, I drive in the standard/sport mode and the regen is very touchy/violent. I don't mind it but passengers do.

Someone made the comment that people who can't drive it smoothly must not be able to drive a manual. I completely disagree. I've raced in the past, can heel-toe well, and like to think I have better than average throttle control. It just seems like the amount of effort I have to put into a 'smooth' decel is way too high.
 
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electricloris

Member
Apr 27, 2021
86
50
Texas
Does anyone know if the Performance model has more severe regen braking? I wonder if there's a disconnect there.

UPDATE FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:
After making a profile in 'Chill' mode, I find it easy to drive without making my wife and kids sick. When I'm by myself, I drive in the standard/sport mode and the regen is very touchy/violent. I don't mind it but passengers do.

Someone made the comment that people who can't drive it smoothly must not be able to drive a manual. I completely disagree. I've raced in the past, can heel-toe well, and like to think I have better than average throttle control. It just seems like the amount of effort I have to put into a 'smooth' decel is way too high.
I find Chill + Roll +Comfort steering for some reason seems to have the most profound effect on improving smoothness. You just can't reliably one pedal stop signs but I find it to be real smooth. Ive done the same as you, I have a profile for family and one for my own driving which is standard - Hold - Normal steering
 
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CorneliusRox

Member
Mar 3, 2021
158
170
MN
I find Chill + Roll +Comfort steering for some reason seems to have the most profound effect on improving smoothness. You just can't reliably one pedal stop signs but I find it to be real smooth. Ive done the same as you, I have a profile for family and one for my own driving which is standard - Hold - Normal steering
Good to know! I'll try adding Roll to that profile. Right now I have it at Chill + Hold + Comfort.
 
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CorneliusRox

Member
Mar 3, 2021
158
170
MN
Yea I think Im just beating my brakes up more. Btw, your spec of the M3 is what Im hoping to add to my garage next year, same color too.
I really like it. I wish the suspension was just slightly lower, and the wheels were spaced out just a hair more, but I've very happy otherwise.

One point of caution, make sure you wrap it all in PPF. I'm just getting the car back from being fully repainted and PPF wrapped at only 2,800 miles (paint falling off). Tesla said it was the Model 3 design since it doesn't have plastic around all edges like the Model Y, the Performance being lower, and me living two miles down a dirt road. It's been a nightmare to get it repaired and I had to pay half of it. So... Just a heads up ;-)
 
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GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,254
1,089
Quebec City, Canada
Yep, many many owners in Quebec, Canada have had the same experience as you @CorneliusRox . They put sand and even small rocks on the streets in winter to give traction over snow and ice, it's as rough as dirt roads it seems. It's pretty much essential to have ppf on the lower parts of the car around here.
 
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smogne41

Member
Jun 13, 2019
165
327
Pennsylvania
Chill+roll seems to be the important settings for me to put the car into 'don't make the wife vomit' mode. The steering options all seemed about the same for that purpose (I just keep it on 'standard').
 
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jsimon7777

Member
Feb 1, 2018
306
129
Castro Valley
How is this any different than Apple removing a setting when they feel it doesn't benefit their products in the manner they invisioned it to?

Side note: I'm not a fan of Apple and their total control over products. However, they work as they were intended so I understand why, same as how I understand why Tesla makes changes like this too.
It's not different from Apple, which removes settings and gimps programs, all while trying to keep its customers within a walled garden of mediocrity. I used to be a massive, massive Apple fan. I'm now all Windows and Android.

I'm not a fan of Tesla as a company. They make a lot of bad decisions. However, sometimes the products shine through. I have four Power Walls and one Model Y. I said solid no to the Solar Roof, Model S, Model X, and Model 3. I could have possibly said yes to the Plaid+, but it got canceled, so...
 
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srlawren

Active Member
Aug 3, 2020
1,005
665
Vancouver, BC, Canada, Eh?
Why would you want to use your brakes? It certainly easy enough to drive smoothly in Hold Mode. You end up getting a better WH/M and saving on the cost of brake repairs.

@73Bruin that was my mental reaction to @CorneliusRox's post as well. I supposed we are all unique individuals and have individual preferences, but it just seems a shame not to adapt to what is arguably the better way to drive a MY (or any EV with regen), for exactly the two reasons you mentioned. I guess old habits are hard to brake? (Misspelling pun intentional.)
 
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