The Real Reason Why Porsche EVs Don't Offer One Pedal Driving
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The Real Reason Why Porsche EVs Don't Offer One Pedal Driving

While Porsche's all-electric models offer blistering pace, find out why the German automaker left out this vital feature found in EVs

by Amrit Balraj on July 2, 2024, 19:00

Many electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) offer one-pedal driving. However, Porsche does not offer this feature in its EVs. This feature essentially lets you control your acceleration and braking with just the accelerator pedal. Unlike gas-powered cars that coast without power when you lift your foot off the throttle, Electric cars and PHEVs can achieve one-pedal driving thanks to regenerative braking. This system utilizes the electric motor as a generator during braking. As the car slows down, the motor captures the kinetic energy (energy of motion) and converts it back into electricity, topping up the battery and extending your driving range.

One-pedal driving is particularly advantageous in stop-and-go traffic. As you approach a red light or stop sign, simply ease off the accelerator. The car will gently slow down, using regenerative braking with a force of around 0.2g (think of it as a smooth 20% of full braking power). This brings you to a gradual stop without needing to hit the brake pedal in most cases. Once you’ve come to a complete stop, the car will hold its position using the friction brakes until the accelerator is engaged to accelerate and get going again.

Advantages Of One Pedal Driving

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While the concept is similar, various manufacturers use various names for one-pedal driving. Kia, Hyundai, and Genesis call it i-Pedal, Nissan uses the term e-Pedal, and Cadillac has coined it as Quick Start.

There are several benefits of this technology:

  • One Pedal Driving maximizes energy recapture compared to traditional braking in gasoline cars, which wastes energy as heat dissipates through the brake pads.

  • This technology also unlocks efficiency gains in EVs, potentially extending their maximum range by several miles.

  • One-pedal driving takes the fatigue out of stop-and-go traffic. Less pedal shifting translates to a more relaxed driving experience.

  • It also saves wear and tear on your friction brakes. By relying more on regenerative braking, you’ll use the standard disc brakes less often. This translates to longer brake pad life, fewer service center visits, and less brake dust polluting the environment

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For emergencies, the trusty brake pedal will always come to your aid, and jamming them firmly is the way to go. Presently most EVs come with advanced safety systems that will autonomously intervene on your behalf and brake for you in critical or emergency situations.

Why Porsche Does Not Offer One Pedal Driving In Their EVs

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Porsche disagrees with the one-pedal driving approach in electric vehicles. They argue that coasting, achieved by disengaging the electric motors when the driver lifts off the accelerator, is a more efficient way to conserve kinetic energy. Porsche sees coasting as a natural way to utilize the car’s momentum without using additional energy. Porsche engineers believe one-pedal driving, with its immediate regenerative braking, incurs double (i.e. acceleration and braking) the energy losses compared to coasting. Their suggestion is to let the car roll freely for a while before braking, rather than constantly using the electric motor to slow down and recapture energy.

Porsche prioritizes a smooth and efficient braking experience in the Taycan and has engineered a complex but seamless braking system for the Taycan. Sophisticated algorithms analyze braking data to seamlessly combine the standard friction brakes with the car’s electric motors when you need more stopping power. This not only reduces wear on the hydraulic brakes but also creates a smoother transition for the driver. Furthermore, Porsche’s system delays regenerative braking until the driver applies the brake pedal. This allows the car to coast for a while, preserving kinetic energy and mimicking the natural feeling of a car rolling to a stop.

“We made the decision to go a different route with the Taycan,” says Dr. Ingo Albers, Head of Drive System at Porsche. “You apply the brakes to slow down, which is a learned behavior and it’s authentic. The driver receives consistent, predictable feedback. We also offer full integration of systems such as ABS and PSM.” ­

Porsche recommends that brake lines be checked every 20,000 miles, and brake pads and discs be checked every 40,000 miles. While most cars distribute braking force at a two-thirds front, one-third rear ratio, the Taycan’s rear electric motor offers an advantage. Porsche has designed it to deliver additional braking force and energy recuperation when needed, giving the system even greater flexibility and efficiency. Behind the scenes, intelligent software constantly monitors and coordinates the electric motors, power electronics, and traditional hydraulic brakes. This intricate dance allows the car to decide, in milliseconds, the optimal blend of electric motor braking (regeneration) and hydraulic braking for every situation.

As a consequence of Porsche’s stance on one-pedal driving, one of its latest all-electric models, the Macan EV crossover also doesn’t ship with one-pedal driving. While what Porsche is saying is true up to some extent, the losses are not too significant in real-world conditions and completely excluding this feature in a way is a missed opportunity for the motor to instantly capture some of that energy during deceleration and put it back into the battery pack. This may also explain why, the pre-facelift Taycan had one of the lowest EPA-estimated range, ( 208 miles) amongst its peers. In a range test report published by Inisde EVs, you’ll in fact notice that the Taycan offers better Highway range compared to the City, because of the missing one pedal driving feature. Perhaps Porsche should at least consider it and let drivers make the choice, rather than leave this feature out altogether.

Amrit Balraj

Amrit Balraj

Features Writer Read full bio