A lot of electric vehicles today offer what’s known as a one-pedal driving feature, which basically means the electric motor kicks in as a generator as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, slowing down the car and adding energy back into the battery, increasing the range without actually plugging into a charger.
But Porsche, which makes the Taycan EV and is working on a slew of new zero-emissions models, claims this isn’t very efficient in the long term and says there’s a better way to go further with an electric car. And that’s by coasting as much as possible.
When coasting, the electric motors disengage for reduced drag, allowing the car to carry along without using barely any energy. Porsche says this is “the more natural process of allowing the vehicle to continue to roll unpowered.”
“This is a more efficient way of driving, because it keeps the kinetic energy in the vehicle,” said Martin Reichenecker, Senior Manager Chassis Testing at Porsche Engineering, in a recent press release. The German carmaker emphasizes that one-pedal driving recuperates first and only then converts the recovered energy back into propulsion, which “results in twice the losses,” adds Reichenecker.
This approach is clearly visible in Porsche’s portfolio, with neither the Taycan nor the upcoming Macan EV featuring one-pedal driving, with the brand noting that this way, the driving characteristics of the zero-emissions models are closer to the internal combustion cars.
With this being said, brake energy recuperation is still a big part of the Taycan. In fact, Porsche says that up to 90 percent of everyday braking can be done using the electric motors alone, without activating the hydraulic braking system. The friction brakes are used mostly at speeds below 3 miles per hour (5 kilometers per hour) when the electric motors don’t have enough deceleration power, but also when full braking power is needed.
At high speeds, though, a Porsche Taycan Turbo S can generate as much as 290 kW of electric power during braking, enough to top-up the batteries for an additional 0.43 miles (0.7 kilometers) in range after just 2 seconds of deceleration.
Another upside of electric braking is a reduction in wear for the hydraulic braking system, which is rarely engaged, thus the rotors and pads need less maintenance and the intervals at which replacements are needed are higher than in internal combustion engine cars.
What’s your take on this: is Porsche’s approach better from a usability perspective? Let us know in the comments below.