I Want a Regen Rheostat - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test
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2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: I Want a Regen Rheostat

March 28, 2014

2013 Tesla Model S

...or maybe it's technically a digital potentiometer. Either way, the default "Standard" and "Low" settings for regenerative braking on the 2013 Tesla Model S just aren't enough.

If you've never driven an EV before, the hardest thing to get used to is the regenerative braking. It's not like it is on your hybrid. When you let off the throttle in an EV it feels like someone turned on a gravity pump that exclusively targets your vehicle. Or like you're driving through deep sand. So, after a few miles you've figured this out and you stop getting out of the gas and into the brakes and start letting off the gas slowly, letting the regen do the dirty work and using the brake pedal only for the last 5-0 mph mark.

At least, this is the way it should work. Unfortunately, our Tesla's regen isn't quite strong enough in normal to work this way on crowded freeways and the low mode isn't low enough. They work fine, but I want more. I want control.

The solution, then, is a fairly simple rheostat that could control the regen from 100-0 depending on my mood / driving style. (Hey, look, Tesla even gave me a handy dial right on the steering wheel!) With two settings already available, this could be done with a software update looking exactly like the sunroof slider if they're not cool with the wheel button.

Sure, some people wouldn't use it, but then again, some people don't use the paddles and manual mode on their cars and we still get that.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 20,310 miles


Comments

  • rock2155 rock2155 Posts:

    What is great is that its already included, you control it with your right foot. But I understand that for a car being passed to many people every days, it takes a couple day to get used to one pedal driving...

  • dunning15 dunning15 Posts:

    What a strange request. My regen has been set to standard from Day One and I've never thought about it since then. What's next - maybe a potentiometer setting for the firmness of the acceleration pedal for those Princess and The Pea types that find it too firm or too soft?

  • What a strange request. What is next - adjustable seats? Radios with volume controls? Steering wheels that cane tilt and telescope?- - - increasing the regen rate would also help increase the range as all the regen braking goes to more power rather than heating up brake rotors.

  • There have been many reports from owners that the brake pedal sometimes sinks to the floor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78pYMZR5_rE Here is just one complaint of many... " Dr. Bob Reinke | 26. MÄRZ 2014 Have severak times complained to the Chicago service center about this life threatening problem and been told that the brakes will always disable and overcome the the go-peddle. There are several problems with this false statement: I have tested the sequence on my P85 and found that if you are on the brake and enable the go peddle, the car goes. If you have enough brake peddle left, you can slow the car. The reason I say, "Enough brake peddle left," is because my brake peddle fades to the floor in about 5 to 20 seconds, depending on the previous brake use. The fading is worst in heavy stop and go traffic. The brake and go-peddle have a little over an inch side clearance in my Tesla and I can normally stop the car with my foot 7/8 on the brake peddle; however, that leaves enough of my size 10s hanging off the brake peddle, and over the go-peddle. Enough to depress the go-peddle when the leaking brakes bleed down to allow my shoe to engage the go-peddle. At that point, pressing harder on the floored brake peddle only depresses the go-peddle harder. With no further brake force, the Tesla rockets into whatever is in front of you. when complaining about this problem at the Chicago service center, I was told that the Model S brakes don't bleed down. I found that the brakes in 6 of the 10 cars in for service all bled to the floor in less than 20 seconds. Then I was told that I was pressing too hard. How hard does Tesla think the driver is going to depress the brakes while it is charging into the rear of the car in front of him. The unexpected acceleration is caused by several Tesla faults: The close proximity of the use diametrically opposed peddles---My 56 Oldsmobile had about 7 inches between. Perhaps they were smarter then? The brakes under NHTSA are supposed to override the throttle. Tesla brakes leak-down making them worthless, and let the shoe push the go-peddle. The Gong is ineffective because it sounds incessently over inconsequential alarms. Who is listening for a gong while your car is pushing the car ahead of you into the car in front of him. I now drive wothout shoes, so I can feel my foot on the break, or touching the go-peddle. The right fix would be to move the peddles, or perhaps make the return spring on the go beddle stiffer to telegraph to your shoe it is on it; however, if Tesla is too cheep to fix the peddles the cheaper fix is a keyboard stroke to properly softwear shut-down the go-peddle while the brake peddle is off the home proximiry switch. I was told by the service tech that the brake always overrides the go peddle. Then he held the brake while he floored the go peddle, the rear of the Tesla humped up like a bull in heat and burned two black marks under the rear tires. Just like my Toyota did before the fix. Then he said that the brakes actually reduced the power of the drive motors. Obviously, it didn't reduce the power enough to prevent the Model S from taking off after the brake peddle bled to the floor in stopped traffic. Perhaps the most relavant question should be can Elon afford to pay 4 billion dollar penalty (GM) for failing to respond to a clear safety problem? All the ridicule and smart remarks on this thread only iritate and resolve nothing of the problem. Apparently, those who are having the Uncontrolled Acceleration problem are the only who understand the danger. Undoubtedly, there are the smart elete reading this who can never make a mistake, who will pick this entry apart, and solve nothing--but that prevents no deaths caused by an easily softwear mended malfunction. The fix costs is so little to save one life." and THIS.... "when complaining about this problem at the Chicago service center, I was told that the Model S brakes don't bleed down. I found that the brakes in 6 of the 10 cars in for service all bled to the floor in less than 20 seconds. Then I was told that I was pressing too hard. How hard does Tesla think the driver is going to depress the brakes while it is charging into the rear of the car in front of him." The shareholders and fan-boys will howl with indignation but THIS IS A DEFECT and the cars should be off the road until it is fixed.

  • There have been many reports from owners that the brake pedal sometimes sinks to the floor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78pYMZR5_rE Here is just one complaint of many... " Dr. Bob Reinke | 26. MÄRZ 2014 Have severak times complained to the Chicago service center about this life threatening problem and been told that the brakes will always disable and overcome the the go-peddle. There are several problems with this false statement: I have tested the sequence on my P85 and found that if you are on the brake and enable the go peddle, the car goes. If you have enough brake peddle left, you can slow the car. The reason I say, "Enough brake peddle left," is because my brake peddle fades to the floor in about 5 to 20 seconds, depending on the previous brake use. The fading is worst in heavy stop and go traffic. The brake and go-peddle have a little over an inch side clearance in my Tesla and I can normally stop the car with my foot 7/8 on the brake peddle; however, that leaves enough of my size 10s hanging off the brake peddle, and over the go-peddle. Enough to depress the go-peddle when the leaking brakes bleed down to allow my shoe to engage the go-peddle. At that point, pressing harder on the floored brake peddle only depresses the go-peddle harder. With no further brake force, the Tesla rockets into whatever is in front of you. when complaining about this problem at the Chicago service center, I was told that the Model S brakes don't bleed down. I found that the brakes in 6 of the 10 cars in for service all bled to the floor in less than 20 seconds. Then I was told that I was pressing too hard. How hard does Tesla think the driver is going to depress the brakes while it is charging into the rear of the car in front of him. The unexpected acceleration is caused by several Tesla faults: The close proximity of the use diametrically opposed peddles---My 56 Oldsmobile had about 7 inches between. Perhaps they were smarter then? The brakes under NHTSA are supposed to override the throttle. Tesla brakes leak-down making them worthless, and let the shoe push the go-peddle. The Gong is ineffective because it sounds incessently over inconsequential alarms. Who is listening for a gong while your car is pushing the car ahead of you into the car in front of him. I now drive wothout shoes, so I can feel my foot on the break, or touching the go-peddle. The right fix would be to move the peddles, or perhaps make the return spring on the go beddle stiffer to telegraph to your shoe it is on it; however, if Tesla is too cheep to fix the peddles the cheaper fix is a keyboard stroke to properly softwear shut-down the go-peddle while the brake peddle is off the home proximiry switch. I was told by the service tech that the brake always overrides the go peddle. Then he held the brake while he floored the go peddle, the rear of the Tesla humped up like a bull in heat and burned two black marks under the rear tires. Just like my Toyota did before the fix. Then he said that the brakes actually reduced the power of the drive motors. Obviously, it didn't reduce the power enough to prevent the Model S from taking off after the brake peddle bled to the floor in stopped traffic. Perhaps the most relavant question should be can Elon afford to pay 4 billion dollar penalty (GM) for failing to respond to a clear safety problem? All the ridicule and smart remarks on this thread only iritate and resolve nothing of the problem. Apparently, those who are having the Uncontrolled Acceleration problem are the only who understand the danger. Undoubtedly, there are the smart elete reading this who can never make a mistake, who will pick this entry apart, and solve nothing--but that prevents no deaths caused by an easily softwear mended malfunction. The fix costs is so little to save one life." and THIS.... "when complaining about this problem at the Chicago service center, I was told that the Model S brakes don't bleed down. I found that the brakes in 6 of the 10 cars in for service all bled to the floor in less than 20 seconds. Then I was told that I was pressing too hard. How hard does Tesla think the driver is going to depress the brakes while it is charging into the rear of the car in front of him." The shareholders and fan-boys will howl with indignation but THIS IS A DEFECT and the cars should be off the road until it is fixed.

  • dunning15 dunning15 Posts:

    Too long didn't read. Either time.

  • shepski shepski Posts:

    What the hell is a peddle?

  • bimmerjay bimmerjay Posts:

    I stopped reading after "go-peddle".

  • I agree with the Author that stronger Regen would be nice. For a number of reasons Tesla maxed it at 60kW. Other than that, this was the oddest request I have read in an Edmund's test. The right pedal is already your "rheostat". Why not request a rheostat for brakes and acceleration too while you are at it? My wife and I have had Regen set to Standard since we got our Model S last summer and think that the one pedal driving is ultra smooth.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    I'm so confused. Is this guy complaining about not being able to stop when his foot overlaps the brake and "go-peddles"? Isn't the fade caused by the fact that he's using the accelerator and brakes at the same time? I'd check for system leaks first. Since this car doesn't have an engine and therefore runs a vacuum pump for the brake booster, I'd also check that system and then the master cylinder. I'd also recommend bleeding the system and a proper spell/grammar check.

  • redxsage redxsage Posts:

    I think Mike Magrath was just longing for a dial knob on the dash, as provided in a 'Body by Fisher' of lore... Some guys just can't fully adapt to the touchscreen. He did have a point about being able to use a slider, rather than on/off, or two-postion selection. But he obviously missed the point, because he didn't realize that 'LOW' stands for minimum regen, allowing for coasting. He should just leave it on STANDARD.

  • redxsage redxsage Posts:

    'Mr. Go Peddle' may or may not have genuine concerns. I compared his complaint elsewhere with a buddy of mine who had never driven a car with ABS before. He didn't realize he should just put his foot on the brake and leave it there, rather than anticipating a need to pump the brakes as he had in all his other cars.

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