Regenerative Braking in Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

regenerative braking

Hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming the new normal in the automotive industry. These cars are credited for being energy-efficient, as they use a rechargeable battery to power the engine. However, the batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles can store limited charge and engineers are working to increase the storage capacity of batteries. 

To cater to this issue, innovative solutions are being used by automobile manufacturers including regenerative braking. Regenerative braking converts kinetic energy into electric power that is used to charge the battery. 

Let’s take a closer look at the working of regenerative braking systems, and their pros and cons in more detail. 

What is Regenerative Braking

Regenerative braking is a mechanism that saves energy generated from braking and reuses it to charge the battery. Conventional braking systems create friction between pads and rotors to reduce the vehicle’s speed. The friction generates heat energy which dissipates and also worn-out car parts. 

Contrary to the common types of braking systems, regenerative braking absorbs the energy generated from braking, converts it into electric energy and uses it to charge the batteries. To further understand hybrid and electric car regenerative braking, let’s elaborate on its working. 

Regenerative Braking Working

In hybrid or electric cars, an electric motor is used to convert stored electric energy into kinetic energy which rotates the wheel. The electric motor power flow is bi-directional charging. That said, it works both ways and can also convert kinetic energy into electric current.

When the speed of the motor matches the applied torque, the motor converts electrical energy from the battery into kinetic energy. However, if the applied torque is in the opposite direction of the motor, it converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. 

In simple words, when a driver applies brakes, the speed of the vehicle changes rapidly, pushing the car forward. This rapid change creates kinetic energy that flows to the motor and is converted into an electric charge. 

Regenerative braking
Regenerative braking system increases the energy efficiency of vehicles by charging batteries while driving

The efficiency of Regenerative Braking

The efficiency ratio of regenerative braking is different for different vehicles. The braking system works effectively for heavier vehicles at higher speeds. On average, in electric cars, regenerative braking can save half of the energy that will otherwise be wasted in conventional braking. However, the efficiency ratio of regenerative braking in hybrid cars is less than the electric ones. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Regenerative Braking

Apart from one-pedal driving, regenerative braking provides a number of other benefits to drivers. here we have mentioned some of them.  

Advantages of Regenerative Braking

Mentioned below are the pros of regenerative braking in hybrid and electric vehicles. 

Enhance Energy Efficiency

Regenerative braking provides hybrid and electric vehicles with additional energy that would have been wasted otherwise. When going downhill in B-gear in hybrid cars, the friction generated produces energy which recharges the car battery. This additional energy significantly impacts the battery capacity and reduces any potential chances of range anxiety in electric cars.  

Less Wear and Tear

Regenerative braking does not use friction to stop the vehicle which causes less wear and tear to the brake pads and rotors. The lesser the friction the lesser the expense of brake maintenance of your car. 

Increasing lifespan of braking pads
Regenerative braking increases the lifespan of braking pads and rotors

Disadvantages of Regenerative Braking

Before you jump to any conclusion, here are some cons of regenerative braking in cars. 

Expensive Maintenance

Regenerative braking systems are complex and expensive to maintain. Therefore, it adds additional cost to the regular maintenance of your vehicle. 

Reduced Braking Efficiency

Despite being an innovative solution to recharge batteries, regenerative brakes have lower braking efficiency. That said, regenerative brakes are often paired with conventional braking systems to make them efficient. 

Efficiency of regenerative braking
Regenerative brakes are less efficient; therefore, they are often paired with the conventional braking systems

Limited Responsiveness

Regenerative brakes reduce the braking responsiveness which hurdles drivers in estimating the force required to stop the vehicle.    

This was all about regenerative braking systems in electric and hybrid vehicles. The regenerative brakes are an efficient solution to increase battery capacity and charge it while driving. That said, regenerative braking is a step further towards energy conservation and pollution reduction. 

If you are also interested in reducing the carbon footprint of your vehicle, drive an electric or hybrid car. You can browse through these used cars for sale in the UAE listed on dubizzle, and find an appropriate car for yourself. 

Stay tuned to dubizzle’s auto blog for more information on regenerative braking units.


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