Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

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.

CorneliusRox

Member
Mar 3, 2021
158
170
MN
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.)

On paper, I totally agree with you guys. In reality, I think the calibration for 'Hold' doesn't mesh as well with my family's equilibriums and feeling sick as my foot on the brakes does. It's also not bad for the pads and rotors to get a little action from time to time. I figure a standard set of pads lasts an ICE vehicle ~80,000 miles. These should last significantly longer since there's still significantly less braking.
 
  • Like
Reactions: smogne41
Upvote 0

srlawren

Active Member
Aug 3, 2020
1,005
665
Vancouver, BC, Canada, Eh?
On paper, I totally agree with you guys. In reality, I think the calibration for 'Hold' doesn't mesh as well with my family's equilibriums and feeling sick as my foot on the brakes does. It's also not bad for the pads and rotors to get a little action from time to time. I figure a standard set of pads lasts an ICE vehicle ~80,000 miles. These should last significantly longer since there's still significantly less braking.

@CorneliusRox 80k miles on a set of ICE vehicle factory pads? Maybe on a 2,900 lbs Civic, but MY is basically a half civic of extra mass. Regardless, the "hold" setting only affects what happens when you're at a full stop, so I'm not sure how that experience is different than your foot on the brake pedal, in terms of impact to equilibriums.
 
Upvote 0

CorneliusRox

Member
Mar 3, 2021
158
170
MN
@CorneliusRox 80k miles on a set of ICE vehicle factory pads? Maybe on a 2,900 lbs Civic, but MY is basically a half civic of extra mass. Regardless, the "hold" setting only affects what happens when you're at a full stop, so I'm not sure how that experience is different than your foot on the brake pedal, in terms of impact to equilibriums.
The pads on my 8,000 lbs truck lasted around 80k as well ;)

Hold vs Roll/Creep seems to change the regen braking characteristics below ~5mph. At least on my Model 3.
 
Upvote 0

73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
225
114
Torrance, CA
On paper, I totally agree with you guys. In reality, I think the calibration for 'Hold' doesn't mesh as well with my family's equilibriums and feeling sick as my foot on the brakes does. It's also not bad for the pads and rotors to get a little action from time to time. I figure a standard set of pads lasts an ICE vehicle ~80,000 miles. These should last significantly longer since there's still significantly less braking.
I never got close to 80k miles on my Toyota's before I got a Prius, and the front roters and pads are still original on it, so I can see your rational there. However, I wouldn't be surprised the Tesla's weight caused more brake wear.
 
Upvote 0

smogne41

Member
Jun 13, 2019
165
327
Pennsylvania
The 'hold' braking mode was only introduced a few years ago. Tesla brakes were already lasting a super long time before it was introduced just from using the normal regen to get you to 5 mph. Which makes sense, the amount of brake wear from 5-0 mph is crazy tiny compared to the wear you would have if braking from full driving speed to 0. Almost nothing in fact, because kinetic energy goes as v^2. Also, the fraction of recovered energy is also tiny for the last 5 mph. I gave 'hold' a good month-long try when it was released but stopped using it because I also found it vastly smoother (and controllable) to handle the last 5 mph of stopping myself. The fanboies in here criticizing people for using their cars the 'wrong' way are really pathetic. I am glad you like the Tesla implementation of one-pedal driving. I find it janky and unpolished, and absolutely not something I enjoy.
 
Upvote 0

TooManyYs

Member
Aug 1, 2021
27
-3
Falls Church, VA
Interesting discussion. I have two Model Ys, a 2020 dual motor long range and a 2021 single motor standard range. The 2020 has low regenerative setting and the 2021 does not. On the single motor car, the regenerative braking is not as aggressive as the dual motor car. I use regen braking when I drive both cars, but I prefer the less aggressive single motor regen braking. When my wife is a passenger, she gets carsick in both cars. When I put the 2020 in chill mode and low regen, it really helps her motion sickness. And despite all the comments, I cannot drive smoothly enough in standard regen and acceleration mode to get rid of her motion sickness.

Bottom line. : I need low regen and chill modes for my passenger’s comfort. I won’t give up to 2020 for that reason. Tesla better not take it away!
 
Upvote 0

a2t2

Member
Jul 8, 2021
282
139
Atlanta
I hated it at 1st.

now I’m addicted. I love 1 pedal driving but takes a little coordination. Why the hell should u use brakes what a waste of potential energy. The car needs every bit to help range and this is a freebie. It’s possible to drive as smooth but takes coordination
 
  • Like
Reactions: captanzuelo
Upvote 0

CorneliusRox

Member
Mar 3, 2021
158
170
MN
I hated it at 1st.

now I’m addicted. I love 1 pedal driving but takes a little coordination. Why the hell should u use brakes what a waste of potential energy. The car needs every bit to help range and this is a freebie. It’s possible to drive as smooth but takes coordination

I get that argument. I really do. But one of the things that's nice about the car is all the TACC and FSD features. It's totally unneeded stuff, but it removes effort from the driver. I could drive much further using TACC without my shoulders feeling stiff or my body aching because I get to relax more when driving. When it comes to braking, this is the complete opposite. If I was skilled enough to not my my wife and youngest son car sick in my car (questionable if I am or not), it takes considerable effort. I'd say about 10X the brain power and foot-eye coordination as in a car without regen braking. That is definitely a big negative for me on this car.

As stated before, using Chill mode and Creep helps a ton.
 
Upvote 0

TooManyYs

Member
Aug 1, 2021
27
-3
Falls Church, VA
I have two Model Ys, a 2020 dual motor long range and a 2021 single motor standard range. The 2020 has low regenerative setting and the 2021 does not. On the single motor car, the regenerative braking is not as aggressive as the dual motor car. I use regen braking when I drive both cars, but I prefer the less aggressive single motor regen braking. When my wife is a passenger, she gets carsick in both cars. When I put the 2020 in chill mode and low regen, it really helps her motion sickness. And despite all the comments, I cannot drive smoothly enough in standard regen and acceleration mode to get rid of her motion sickness.

Bottom line: I need low regen and chill modes for my passenger’s comfort. I won’t give up to 2020 for that reason. Tesla better not take it away!
 
  • Like
Reactions: positiv
Upvote 0

NY_Rob

Member
Feb 13, 2020
786
812
Long Island
There’s an amount of re-training your foot movement for regen. After a few months, I’m now at the stage where new passengers don’t even know I am one pedal driving or mention the regen.
Exactly!

When I mention to first time passengers that I never touched the brake pedal for the entire ride... they are always amazed and even skeptical. After driving for some time you get used to feathering the accelerator pedal to the point where it's no different than a regular ICE vehicle and you're not even "thinking" about it because it's more reflex/muscle memory than anything else.

I used to be a helicopter flight instructor... learning to hover has been equated to "learning to stand on a beach ball in the deep end of a pool" and it is very much like that to new pilot candidates. But, after hours (amount varies greatly per individual) of training and experience it becomes easier and easier to hover to the point where you can literally hover with your eyes closed.

So, if you're strugling with one-petal driving... give it some time, it will most likely get easier and easier the more you drive.
 
Upvote 0

avs007

Member
May 14, 2021
306
219
PacNW
i'd wish they'd bring it back - I have some passengers in the rear seats quite sensitive and that low regen has helped along with chill mode with motion sickness.
Maybe it just takes more practice.. My mother in law is very sensitive as well, and gets motion sick easily. With that being said, I took her along for a road trip, where she sat in the back with the kids, and I keep it in Sport/Sport/Hold, and she hasn't gotten motion sick.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 73Bruin
Upvote 0

73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
225
114
Torrance, CA
I don't think it takes that much practice as long as you don't insist on driving it like an ICE car. My youngest daughter regularly gets car sick. She sat in the rear seat of our MY LR from Glacier Point in Yosemite to Oakhurst. This road has a lot of twist and turns for 53 plus miles with about a 5,000ft elevation drop. The typical drive time is about 90 minutes. I was dead tired so I asked her boyfriend if he wanted to drive. He had never driven an EV or hybrid of any type. His regular vehicle is a Ford Explorer SportTrac (a truck with 4 wheel drive setup for off-roading). He was excited to try 1 foot driving and said it was very easy to get used to. Bottom line, my daughter didn't get car sick. The MY is setup in chill and hold modes with sport steering.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dennisis
Upvote 0

JBAR

Member
Jun 26, 2021
16
10
HI
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.
Learn how to drive.
 
Upvote 0

ZapCarM3

Member
Dec 19, 2019
251
47
Sacramento, CA
Lol. This response kind of reminds me of Steve Jobs' "you're holding it wrong" reply.
Right? Or...what if a car was so modern you could have both options? Imagine that.

But I definitely think max regen is much more the way to go. It's almost enforcing a progressive direction of driving.

I'd advocate for getting better. I love it. Prefer it. If I want to coast I go into cruise control. Even if just for like 30 seconds to rest my foot or something.
 
Upvote 0

TooManyYs

Member
Aug 1, 2021
27
-3
Falls Church, VA
Maybe it just takes more practice.. My mother in law is very sensitive as well, and gets motion sick easily. With that being said, I took her along for a road trip, where she sat in the back with the kids, and I keep it in Sport/Sport/Hold, and she hasn't gotten motion sick.
Long road trips are fine. Constant city stop-and-go driving is where the problem is.
I've had the 2020 Y for 11 months now. It is possible, but quite difficult, for me to be smooth enough so my wife cannot tell. Full disclosure, she did get car sick in our Lexus NX as well, but it is worse in the model Y.
 
Upvote 0

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top