Tesla Model S Owners & Service Manuals

Tesla Model S: Regenerative Braking

Whenever Model S is moving and your foot is off the accelerator, regenerative braking slows down the vehicle and feeds any surplus power back to the Battery. By anticipating your stops and reducing or removing pressure from the accelerator pedal to slow down, you can take advantage of regenerative braking to increase driving range.

Vehicle deceleration due to regenerative braking may vary depending on the current state of the Battery. For example, regenerative braking may be limited if the Battery is cold or is already fully charged.

To experience the same amount of deceleration whenever you release the accelerator pedal, regardless of the state of the Battery, you can choose to have the regular braking system automatically engage whenever regenerative braking is limited. Touch Controls > Pedals & Steering > Apply Brakes When Regenerative Braking is Limited.

NOTE: If Apply Brakes When Regenerative Braking is Limited is enabled and applying the brakes, the brake pedal may move and it may feel stiffer when pressed. This is expected and does not change your ability to slow down Model S.

The power meter (a thin horizontal line centered at the bottom of the instrument panel) displays real-time power usage:

Braking and Stopping

  1. The left side of the power meter represents power generated from regenerative braking, or power that is used to slow down the vehicle. Power being fed back to the Battery displays in green whereas power used by the regular braking system displays in gray.
  2.  The right side of the power meter shows power that is used to accelerate the vehicle. During acceleration, the power meter fills to the right with gray to represent the amount of power being used.

NOTE: To ensure visibility when the display is dark, power represented by the gray color displays as white.

NOTE: Installing winter tires with aggressive compound and tread design may result in temporarily-reduced regenerative braking power. However, your vehicle is designed to continuously recalibrate itself, and after changing tires it will increasingly restore regenerative braking power after some straight-line accelerations. For most drivers this occurs after a short period of normal driving, but drivers who normally accelerate lightly may need to use slightly harder accelerations while the recalibration is in progress.

NOTE: If regenerative braking is aggressively slowing Model S (such as when your foot is completely off the accelerator pedal at highway speeds), the brake lights turn on to alert others that you are slowing down.

WARNING: In snowy or icy conditions, Model S may experience loss of traction during regenerative braking.


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