2013 Tesla Model S: Brake Light Actuation
March 05, 2013
Our long-term Tesla Model S has a pretty aggressive regenerative braking system. When you hop off the accelerator pedal, the deceleration is as strong as easing into the brakes. It takes a little getting used to, but with smooth inputs, you won't be getting your passengers carsick. But the sharp deceleration had me a bit nervous about getting rear-ended.
Thankfully, the brake lights do indeed turn on when there's enough deceleration, whether or not you're foot is on the brake pedal. If you ease off the accelerator and slow down as a normal gasoline-powered car would, the brake lights stay off. So at least the driver behind you can't blame the Tesla when they're distracted by their phone, nav, dog or latte.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 767 miles