Understanding Regenerative Braking in Hybrids and EVs

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In addition to running off electricity instead of gasoline, hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) boast another energy-saving component: regenerative braking. Regenerative braking captures the energy typically lost as heat when a driver brakes. As the car slows down, all the energy being used to go forward dissipates into the brake pads as heat — contributing to brake pad wear — in friction-based braking systems. These traditional systems create stopping friction using brake rotors and brake pads, which connect when the pedal is depressed, as well as between the wheels and the road.

Regenerative brakeing systems use an EV’s motor to convert the kinetic energy lost during deceleration back into energy stored in the car battery. Stored electrical energy is used when it accelerates instead of working harder to use its own energy reserves. The motor operates as a generator to produce more electricity.

Regenerative brakes are most useful in certain driving conditions. They work best in stop-and-go situations, such as heavy traffic or city navigation. All hybrid and electric car braking systems also come with back-up friction brakes to operate when regenerative brakes do not provide enough power to stop the car, such as an emergency stop. The brake pedal may seem to depress more than normal in these circumstances but this does not mean the car will not stop.

The Benefits of Regenerative Braking

Regenerative brakes can be measured in terms of their overall effectiveness. Though an improvement in reusing energy compared to friction-run brakes on most cars, regenerative braking provides more significant benefits in specific driving conditions. Wherever a car stops and brakes frequently, more energy can be stored. Despite their limitations, regenerative brakes offer 2 important advantages:

  1. Fuel Economy. Specifically in hybrid vehicles, the car uses more electricity to power the vehicle instead of reaching into gasoline stores. It aids in lowering overall fuel consumption.

  2. Prolongs Battery Charge. Regenerative brakes do not only aid in acceleration energy. They capture energy that is used to recharge the electric vehicles’ and hybrids’ batteries. The car has an extended charge when incorporating regenerative brake energy.

  3. Brake System Longevity. Regenerative brake systems still include friction brakes to guarantee a vehicle will stop when it needs to. However, the traditional-style brakes aren’t used as often. The regenerative brakes slow down and reduce wear and tear on the braking system.

It’s important to know the total purpose of the system you’re operating. Driving an electric car or hybrid provides a variety of benefits over internal combustion engine-run cars while still working to catch up in other areas, such as driving range and affordability. Regenerative brakes supply some significant advantages in certain driving conditions. Understanding how they work helps the driver in using them most effectively.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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