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Why did Tesla remove option to disable regenerative braking?

Tipjar

Member
Oct 15, 2015
7
8
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
106
113
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.
 
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srlawren

Member
Aug 3, 2020
853
564
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.
 
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CorneliusRox

Member
Mar 3, 2021
106
113
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.
 
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73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
205
101
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.
 
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smogne41

Member
Jun 13, 2019
132
242
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.
 
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