What you should know about recuperation in electric vehicles

Most electric vehicles can convert braking energy into electrical energy, thereby further increasing the battery charge level.. However, sometimes drivers have questions about under what conditions it is advisable to use it.. That's why there are several important aspects to consider.

You can often hear the expression that modern electric cars are equipped with an electric “motor”, but this formulation is not quite accurate. The truth is that the power units of modern electric cars work not only as an engine, but also as a generator.

Electric vehicle powertrains use the kinetic energy the car has during braking and turns it into current, which adds a small percentage of charge to the battery. This is the key difference between an electric motor and an internal combustion engine.

Cars with internal combustion engines do not use kinetic energy in any way.. This is why electric vehicles, which at first glance appear to have smaller brake discs, often brake better than their internal combustion engine competitors.. Studies show that the advantage of electric cars when braking over conventional ones with internal combustion engines is about 20-30%.

In some flagship electric vehicles, regenerative charging efficiency is estimated at 50%. However, don’t think that recuperation is a great way to stop at charging stations less often. It's not the same thing at all. Recuperation is rather a good way to save range, when during constant braking you can restore the lost several kilometers.

It is advisable to use recuperation when driving in city traffic, when you have to stop frequently at intersections. When driving on the highway, you should reduce the recuperation mode, or turn it off altogether (if your electric car allows this).

The weight of the car also affects the efficiency of recovery: a heavy car will recover more efficiently. Low ambient temperatures will also affect the effectiveness of regenerative braking. If it is cold outside, limited amounts of regenerative electricity will be generated.

Some drivers believe that when driving in the city there is almost no need to use mechanical brakes, because thanks to regenerative braking, the electric car stops itself perfectly. However, it is worth remembering that during an emergency, recuperation may not be enough, so drivers of electric vehicles need to be as careful as possible and not neglect mechanical brakes.

Moreover, with intense acceleration and rapid deceleration thanks to recuperation, you yourself can inadvertently create an emergency situation for the driver behind you, because the brake lights may not light up if you do not press the brake.

In general, we can conclude that recuperation in an electric car is an effective type of energy recovery, which allows you to increase the probable range and allows you to brake much more effectively than conventional cars.