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

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