The difference between gas and electric – Regenerative braking 

What is regenerative braking? 

When our Next Ride team is getting you ready for an electric vehicle (EV) test drive, one of the first things we’ll tell you about is regenerative (regen) braking. You’ll likely be wondering what it is—and you may be surprised when we add that it can bring the car to a stop without you ever touching the brakes!

    What is regen braking?

    The electric motors used in electric vehicles (EVs) feel completely different under acceleration in comparison to gas-powered cars which changes how the EV comes to a stop. When you take your foot off the pedal in an EV, depending on the model and the settings selected, the car will begin to decelerate more rapidly than if in a gas-powered car. This is because, when slowing down, the electric motor is being driven by the wheels and sending power back into the battery.

    Why do EVs use regen braking?

    The main reason EVs use regen braking is that by using the motor, rather than using the brake pads, to bring the vehicle to a stop helps to recharge the batteries as you drive. This effect is most utilized in urban settings where there’s a lot of stop signs and traffic lights.

    The other advantage is it reduces maintenance costs over the vehicle’s lifetime. In most situations, EV use their motors rather than their brake pads to come to a stop allowing the brake pads to last much longer than in an equivalent gas car.

    How does regen braking affect the driving experience?

    Once you get used to the feeling of the vehicle decelerating every time you take your foot off the “gas”, we think regenerative braking results in a smooth and enjoyable driving experience. However, the first time trying it feels noticeably different as you learn to adapt your driving style.

    Some EVs let you customise the level of regen braking on the fly, which is great for getting used to the system and for changing severity of the braking to match your driving environment. If you want, some EVs let you disable the regen braking completely so the car will coast like a regular car.

    Now you’ve learned about regen breaking, it’s time to try it for yourself! Book yourself an electric vehicle test drive with Next Ride to feel the thrill of driving electric.

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    Electrify Rebate program

    Up to $8000 in Provincial and Federal rebates exist for qualifying electric vehicles.