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All you need to know about Regenerative Braking

Regenerative braking would be an awesome addition to your EV conversion, but how does it work and how do you get it?

Both plug-in hybrid electric cars (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) have regenerative braking systems, which use braking to recharge the battery. Electric cars frequently employ this straightforward, but highly successful technology as a means of reducing the energy lost when braking.

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energy is produced when a moving object moves, and when the brakes are applied, this energy must go somewhere. Friction-based disk brakes are used in a traditional braking system to slow down moving objects. The vehicle is losing energy because the kinetic energy from its motion is being transformed into heat through friction and evaporating into the atmosphere.

Regenerative braking is the process through which kinetic energy from a slowing electric vehicle is captured and returned to the battery as useful energy. Simply put, stopping an EV increases its range and regenerates power.

Does Regenerative Braking really work (enough)?

However, not much power is recovered during this process, and it frequently runs out as the car speeds up. Regenerative braking is effective enough to extend an EV’s overall range when compared to a comparable car with traditional braking systems, albeit it does not entirely recover the power used to accelerate. Regenerative braking’s overall goal is to reduce an automobile’s inefficiency, not to increase it.

The most effective way to drive is to maintain a constant speed while never accelerating or decelerating, but because this is not practical in everyday driving, the next best thing is to use regenerative braking to reduce energy loss.

Note that disk brakes are frequently found on EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to replace the restrictions and as a failsafe when the regenerative braking system fails. In order to deliver energy to the engine via rotation of the motor shaft, regenerative braking engages the motion of the wheels as a form of the crankshaft as you slow down an electric car.

Due to this energy transfer from the wheels to the engine, EV owners commonly refer to their style of driving as “one-pedal driving” because they rarely apply the brakes.
A counter-electromotive force, also known as a reverse EMF, is produced by the rotation that is applied from the wheels to the motor to resist the movement of the motor shaft.

In other words, your motor’s magnets undergo a reverse force that transforms rotational energy into electrical energy. It’s a bit like with an alternator, which produces electricity, but with a battery, it can also drive a small vehicle like a bike or DIY quad.

The balance between Regenerative Braking and Range

It is impossible for any car to operate with 100% efficiency (without violating the rules of physics), as some energy will be lost as sound, light, heat, and other forms of waste. Regenerative braking systems typically have an efficiency of 60–70%, depending on the vehicle, motor, battery, and controllers.

It is important to remember that 70% does not imply that regenerative braking will extend the range by 70%, according. Your range won’t go from 100 to 170 miles because of this. Instead, it means that 70% of the kinetic energy wasted during braking can later be converted into acceleration.

Regenerative Braking Simplified by semanticscholar.org

Limitations of Regenerative Braking

The regenerative method, however, has certain drawbacks. It works well only up to a certain speed, especially when driving in “stop-and-go” traffic. When compared to traditional brakes, the braking is typically slower. Additionally, at slower speeds, it is not particularly effective. As a result, regenerative braking is not the only method used for braking. It just enhances the effectiveness of the standard brakes. If the motor is unable to stop the car quickly, the electronic control module applies the standard friction brakes and brings it to a halt.

What does this mean for my Brakes?

The hydraulic brakes are utilized less frequently and, in principle, ought to last longer because they are essentially a backup system. The reality, however, can be very different; with less use, rust and impurities can quickly build up and harm the caliper piston/slider pins, the pad mounting, and the friction surface of the disc. The essential brake parts still deteriorate, albeit in a different way.

Consider the caliper carrier as an illustration. The brake pads may not be able to fully retract from the disc due to corrosion from infrequent use, which can accelerate and cause uneven wear. Alternately, depending on the location of the corrosion, the pads may not make good contact with the disc. As a result, any rust on the disc’s friction face won’t be entirely removed, leading to disc wear.

Of course, the system components will become worn out with time, use, and environmental elements including water, salt spray, and temperature fluctuations. As they would on any other type of vehicle. Therefore, whether driving a hybrid, electric, or internal combustion engine-powered car, doing routine maintenance checks on the complete braking system is still recommended. Just be sure to follow the safety instructions given in the owner’s manual of your car.


Yes, it does work quite well, but it is not magic. Regenerative braking performance may be affected by road conditions. In comparison to, for example, interstate commuting, you will observe far greater effectiveness for regenerative braking in city traffic where stop-and-go driving is typical. The more you brake, the more energy will be recovered for use in regenerative braking.

The terrain is also important since you will have more opportunities to apply the brakes and gain the benefits of recouped energy when you are driving downhill.

In the end, it is at least as important to anticipate as efficiently as possible to other traffic and road conditions as it is to have regenerative braking in your Electric Converted Car. The mix of the output of kWh will always be higher than the input via regenerative braking

Hopefully, you’ve learned everything there is to know about regenerative braking from this article, and it will now be easier for you to choose your next vehicle.

References: https://www.evup.com.au & www.hotcars.com & https://carbiketech.com/

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