One-pedal driving is a convenience of electric cars that is completely foreign to those who’ve never driven an EV. We’ve mentioned it many times in the past, but we haven’t ever taken the time to talk about what it is. Well, today we’re pulling back the curtain on the feature you didn’t know you’re missing out on in an ICE car.

Regenerative braking

One key feature of electric cars is their regenerative braking. The electric motors of the car can essentially be used as generators, charging the batteries and slowing down the car. Regenerative braking can increase range dramatically, helping cars today achieve some insane ranges.

Newer electric cars can go a step further, with regenerative braking powerful enough to bring the car to a complete stop. This can be a game-changer when moving through heavy traffic.

This can also help greatly reduce wear on your brakes. During normal driving conditions you hardly ever touch the brake pedal. EVs already require far less maintenance than ICE cars. While one-pedal driving is convenient, easier maintenance might be even more appreciated.

Choose your preference

This powerful regenerative braking can be surprising to some people. Coming to a stop so quickly can be jarring if you don’t expect it. It’s a different way of driving and it can take some time to get used to.

Drivers have options though. If you don’t want your car slowing down at all you can disable the feature, allowing your car to roll along. You can also set it to use the regenerative braking, but not come to a complete stop. This way you can creep up in traffic when you’re feeling impatient at a traffic light.

If the braking is jarring and you want to come to a stop more slowly you can also turn down the strength. This can help new EV drivers get used to the feeling of one-pedal driving.

Of course, we recommend using the strongest regen braking and setting it to bring you to a complete stop. This will maximize the range of your EV and keep brake pad wear minimal. But these settings can be very helpful to adapt to this new style of driving. And once you’re used to it you’ll never want to go back.

One-pedal driving is possible in most popular EVs on the market today, like the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model 3. While I don’t think many will switch to electric just for this, it’s definitely a convenient feature. But I do think EV manufacturers should put some effort into marketing this feature, rather than letting it be a nice surprise after purchase.

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