Experiencing Regenerative Braking In The BMW i3 – Video


Well, What's It Like?

Well, What’s It Like?

“Braking is easy in the BMW i3. Just take your foot off the accelerator.”

With the BMWi3’s aggressive regenerative braking, that’s basically how it works.

The i3 can be driven largely with one foot.  The brake pedal is seldom used by most i3 owners.

Category: BMW

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14 responses to "Experiencing Regenerative Braking In The BMW i3 – Video"
  1. no comment says:

    i have never understood what the big deal on this is. you can always get more regenerative braking by using the brake pedal. is the deal here just the thrill of being able to not use the brake pedal?

    1. scottf200 says:

      “Thrill” is probably the wrong word. It is a very unique feeling when doing “one pedal” driving. Simpler, more calm, smoother, more relaxing, uninterrupted, mellow, pleasant, etc may be some examples.

      1. no comment says:

        unlike most of the posters here, i actually own an electric vehicle; and i can tell you that, to my experience, the one pedal thing is not a big deal.

        1. franky_b says:

          Not all “one pedal driving” are equal 😉

  2. The Answer says:

    The i3 does not “get more regenerative braking” by using the brake pedal. Unlike most hybrids and some other PHEVs, the i3 brakes are mechanical only. Regeneration is controlled strictly by the accelerator pedal.

  3. but can you glide in an i3 and if so how easily can you find the sweet spot where there is neither regen nor thrust?

    gliding (not coasting) is an important part of efficient driving.

    1. franky_b says:

      It’s actually quite easy, you learn to not remove your foot completly and on the display, when the accelerator indicator is dead center, you are coasting.

  4. Michael says:

    After driving several EVs, and building a few, this driving more is my least favorite. It just feels inefficient and regen braking should be a function of the brake pedal. At least give the drivers a choice of drive mode. +1 for the EV glide.

    1. Bill says:

      Lets see, you can use the brakes to charge the battery, but you can’t use the air that’s pushing against the EV or as some says the EV is pushing the air, doesn’t make sense. Does braking produce4000watts or more to charge battery because airinductionchargingandstoragesystem DOES!!

  5. Mutwin Kraus says:

    This is one of my favorite things about the i3. Even on a Model S the regen feels weak compared to the i3. On most trips I never even use the brakes, just coast to a stop. After a couple of hours it becomes second nature and you start to wonder why not all cars work like that. With the Tesla I found it very hard to get it to coast to a stop.

  6. Art Isbell says:

    I own an i3, have driven our original Honda Insight hybrid for 13 years, and previously owned a Mitsubishi i-MiEV, so I considerable experience driving cars with various regenerative braking implementations.

    I would like to test an EV whose accelerator pedal controls only propulsive power such that coasting occurs when the accelerator pedal is released, and whose brake pedal controls only braking, first regenerative and, when pressed farther, friction braking. There is something attractive about having the accelerator pedal control acceleration only and the brake pedal, braking only. But a problem with combining regenerative and friction braking on the brake pedal is that it can be very difficult to precisely control the regenerative braking intensity due to the need to limit brake pedal travel for safety reasons. Another problem is that the transition from regenerative to friction braking can be difficult to implement well and is frequently criticized by auto reviewers.

    It would definitely be easier to coast if regenerative braking occurred only by pressing the brake pedal. On the i3, adjusting the accelerator position so that the motor power meter is at the neutral (i.e., no acceleration or regeneration) position results in coasting. But coasting without looking at the power meter requires practice.

    Our i-MiEV had two levels of regeneration, one which approximated ICE engine braking and the other which was quite strong but not as strong as the i3. I always drove in the stronger regeneration mode which wasn’t able to stop the car completely because of creep mode that emulated ICE automatic transmission behavior. One had to keep the brake pedal pressed while stopped to prevent the car from creeping forward which I did not like.

    The i3’s design in which the brake pedal controls only the friction brakes and the accelerator pedal controls only the electric motor, both propulsion and regeneration, is also attractive and results in one-pedal driving except when needing to brake aggressively. With no creep mode, an i3 will stop without pressing the brake pedal.

    Without have driven an EV that coasts when the accelerator is released, I strongly prefer the i3’s strong regenerative braking and one-pedal driving capability over other regenerative braking implementations.

    1. Djoni says:

      I agree mostly.
      Creep mode should be disable on any EV, just like the PAS if the driver doesn’t want it like you and lot’s of other’s counting me.
      Blend braking is also annoying in many situation, (I drive a Leaf), it doesn’t blend flawlessly and in some situation it produce fluctuating braking or the regen goes totaly away, leaving you suddently out of a fair amount of braking.
      I love one pedal driving but it’s limted on the Leaf.
      As coasting or gliding goes, it’s not all good as some claim, sometime it’s dangerous or troublesome to do that and it doesn’t give you that much of additionnal range.
      Just behave like a civilised driver is doing about 98% of that and I won’t treatened other live’s for a 2 % benefit.

    2. no comment says:

      personally, i like the way that regen was implemented in the Chevrolet Volt because it gives the driver control over when and where regen is to be applied: you can operate in “d” if you want to coast without regen; you can operate in “l” if you want regen; and in either case, you can apply the brakes when you want to increase the amount of regen, there is an “energy ball” display that gives you an indication of when you are transitioning from regen to the friction brake. some people do not like the braking on the Volt because of what i have heard described as a “squishy” feel in the brake pedal when the friction brake engages; i can say that it is definitely not a firm response in the brake pedal, so you don’t get a positive feel of how firmly the friction brake is being applied.

  7. e-up does all of the above says:

    Regeneration is cool. In the e-Up you select the level of regen applied to the acceleratpor (0-1-2-3-max) so it’s entirely up to how how you like your driving.
    Personally I like “Max” so I do the one-pedal driving, but even in “0”, the brake-pedal actually always does regen if you apply soft brake. There’s a smooth transition from regen to mechanical brakes. You really can’t tell the difference.
    Try it!