Recuperation - definition


Recuperation – also known as regenerative braking – is the recovery of the kinetic energy released during braking or thrust operation. In electric vehicles, this is usually done by switching the drive motor to generator operation and feeding the resulting current into the lithium-ion battery, into which it is stored for later use. For physical reasons, only parts of the braking energy can be recovered.

EVs have various recuperation modes with which drivers can determine the strength of the braking energy recovery themselves – from maximum deceleration (and recovery) to minimum deceleration with low energy recovery. In long-distance traffic, the recovery effect is lower than in urban and short-distance traffic because the number of braking operations are lower. The smoother the braking process, the higher the proportion of regenerated braking energy.

Employing the maximum recuperation mode in some (but not all) EVs results in so-called "one-pedal driving", where you can forego the use of the brake pedal for everything but emergencies.