10 Points to Remember About Electric Vehicle’s Brakes
Hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common every day. Some units have been on the road for over a decade, which makes people want to understand more about how they function. For example, what about the brakes in EV’s?.
A marvelous technical innovation in hybrid and electric cars is regenerative braking technology. This feature allows recharging of the vehicle’s batteries while the driver is slowing down. When the driver lifts the foot off the accelerator pedal or hits the brakes, the vehicle’s computer reverses the engine’s running direction, thus slowing down the vehicle and turning kinetic energy into electric energy. This charges the battery.
Vehicles fitted with this technology still have standard brakes. They are used as a reinforcement of the braking system and as a safety backup.
To keep it simple, the components of a hybrid or an electric vehicle’s braking system are the engine itself (which can work as a generator), the vehicle’s electronics, and the standard braking system formed mainly by the braking pedal, pads, and rotors. There are some other things that every owner or future owner of one of these vehicles should bear in mind regarding the brakes.
1. How Often Should the Brake Pads of a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle be Replaced?
It depends on their use and on how much the driver relies on the regenerative braking system. Brake pads on these vehicles last at least twice as long as they do in conventional vehicles: for 80,000 miles or more.
2. Can Traditional Brake Pads be Used in Electric and Hybrid Vehicles?
Traditional brake pads can be used in these vehicles but it’s best to use EV-specific brake pads. Conventional vehicles don’t have regenerative brakes. The braking relies only on the brake pads and rotors. As the brake pedal is pressed, the calipers close and push the brake pads against the rotors. As this happens, the friction between the brake pads and rotors stops the vehicle. The friction results in heat, and heat keeps moisture away and prevents rust.
Brake pads for electric and hybrid vehicles are made of rust-resistant materials. Another benefit of brake pads specially designed for EV and hybrid vehicles is noise cancellation. They are engineered to reduce vibration and other sources of noise.
3. Brake Pads for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles are Greener than Conventional Brake Pads.
A clean car with zero engine emissions that still pollutes the environment every time it brakes is not as eco-friendly as it could be. That’s why most brake pads made for electric and hybrid vehicles are dust-free. They are made of non-organic materials which are friendlier to the planet, dissipate the heat more efficiently, have low noise levels, and have better stopping power than do organic brake pads.
4. Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Brake Maintenance Cost is Affordable
The price of a set of electric/hybrid-specific brake pads is about the same as a good quality brake pad set for a fossil-fueled vehicle. If you bear in mind that the brake pads of hybrid or electric vehicles last at least twice as long as a regular set of brake pads, you will find that replacing the brake pads of a hybrid or electric vehicle is affordable in the long run.
5. What Does “One-pedal Driving” Mean?
Many EV drivers claim that they can drive their vehicles using only the accelerator pedal. The use of regenerative braking and driving aids such as smart cruise control helps them to avoid using the brake pedal. That driving style is called “one-pedal driving.”
6. Regenerative Brake Settings
Driving a car fitted with regenerative brakes can feel as simple as driving a bumper car and as progressive as driving a luxury petrol car. It all depends on the vehicle model you are driving and on its settings to adjust the accelerator sensitivity. Car manufacturers have different approaches to their vehicles’ regenerative brakes settings. Some come with a lever or a switch that allows you to decide how much energy regeneration you want. Others have presets. For example, they have a highway mode and a city mode. When you choose the highway mode, the car uses little regeneration, and it gets stronger when you hit the brake pedal. In the city mode, the energy regeneration starts as soon as you start lifting your foot off the accelerator. With some practice, when you find a setting that suits you best, and you can feel comfortable driving vehicles with this feature.
7. Remember to Check Your Electric or Hybrid Vehicle’s Brakes on a Regular Basis.
The brakes of electric and hybrid vehicles suffer less wear than the brakes of conventionally engined cars. However, it’s vital to check them on a regular basis for safety reasons. They must be fully functional at all times.
8. Hybrid and Electric Cars Use Brake Fluid
The conventional brakes of a hybrid or electric vehicle work like those of a car with a diesel or petrol engine. This means that they have a hydraulic system that works with brake fluid. It’s advisable to purge and replace the brake fluid every two years to prevent corrosion from building inside the braking system.
9. Braking Helps to Extend Electric Vehicle Autonomy and Hybrid Vehicle Mpg
Regenerative braking recharges the batteries as the vehicle is slowing down. So, depending on the road and the driving conditions, an electric car will increase its autonomy while decelerating. In a hybrid vehicle, the result will be pretty much the same. Increasing the battery charge will result in less use of the internal combustion engine, which will increase its MPG.
10. Slowing Down in Time Helps to Make an Electric Engine More Efficient
An electric motor with regenerative braking capability can recover from 8% up to 70% of the energy spent in one trip. Apart from several factors like the kind of road, traffic, etc, it’s important that the driver slow down in plenty of time, as this will allow the vehicle to stop without the driver having to press the brakes. If a full stop is needed, the brakes should be applied at the last second. In that way, the engine will use the regenerative brakes most of the time, thus recovering more energy.
Full electrification is just around the corner. Every day automotive manufacturers are launching more models, adoption of EV vehicles is here. While recent innovations seem futuristic, engineers and designers all over the world are working on better, faster, and safer technologies. Today, electric and hybrid cars still rely on conventional brakes to stop safely and in time. For many, having a hybrid or an electric vehicle is a choice based on taking care of our planet and attempting to reduce pollution.
That’s why when it comes to servicing your hybrid or electric car’s brakes you should consider buying the best brake pads you can from a brand like NRS Brakes, a company that not only manufactures premium brake pads, but is also 100% committed to the health of our planet by producing the best possible brake pad for your Electric Vehicle.