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Energy recapture through deceleration – regenerative braking in electric vehicles from a user perspective

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We report results from a 1-year field study (N = 80) on user interactions with regenerative braking in electric vehicles. Designed to recapture energy in vehicles with electric powertrains, regenerative braking has an important influence on both the task of driving and energy consumption. Results from user assessments and data from onboard data loggers indicate that most drivers quickly learned to interact with the system, which was triggered via accelerator. Further, conventional braking manoeuvres decreased significantly as the majority of deceleration episodes could only be executed through regenerative braking. Still, some drivers reported difficulties when adapting to the system. These difficulties could be addressed by offering different levels of regeneration so that the intensity of the deceleration could be individually modified. In general, the system is trusted and regarded as a valuable tool for prolonging range.

Practitioner Summary: Regenerative braking in electric vehicles has direct implications for the driving task. We found that drivers quickly learn to use and accept a system, which is triggered via accelerator. For those reporting difficulties in the interaction, it appears reasonable to integrate options to customise or switch off the system.
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Keywords: acceptance; electric vehicles; regenerative braking; skill acquisition; trust

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Chemnitz University of Technology, 09107 Chemnitz, Germany

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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