Brake Energy Recuperation

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Converting braking energy to driving power

There’s no need to rely solely on recharging from an electricity source to keep your Electric Vehicle running. The brakes in your Volkswagen help top up the battery by cleverly transforming kinetic energy to electric energy.

What are the benefits of Brake Energy Recuperation?

Maximising energy efficiency is at the heart of the Volkswagen’s Brake Energy Recuperation strategy. In simple terms, Brake Energy Recuperation allows for energy to be recovered and repurposed at the point of vehicle deceleration in order to provide charge to the battery.

The result? The vehicle’s range is greatly extended and there is reduced need to connect the vehicle to an electric power source to top up the battery’s charge.

The vehicles in Volkswagen’s all-electric ID. Range and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle range all utilise Brake Energy Recuperation to extend battery charge.

How does Brake Energy Recuperation work?

Brake Energy Recuperation converts kinetic energy during braking into electrical energy. Not only does this extend vehicle range, it prolongs the life of the braking units because they are not being utilised as often to reduce vehicle speed.

Energy recuperation is initiated the moment the driver steps on the brakes. The rear wheels decelerate the vehicle and allow for energy recuperation to take place. In many everyday braking situations, the electric motor provides the deceleration alone. Starting at approximately  0.25g, the electric brake amplifier activates the conventional brakes. 


Sustainably efficient: Brake Energy Recuperation

The ID. Range is based on Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB). The MEB is an innovative vehicle platform specifically designed for electric vehicles that ensures efficient use is made of the brake system to generate electrical charge.

Unlike traditional combustion engine vehicles that incorporate front and rear brakes purely to slow the vehicle down, they use high modern drum brakes on the rear axle to recuperate energy. Traditional disc brakes on the front axle act purely as a means of slowing the vehicle.

The drum-shaped design of the rear makes the brakes free of residual braking torque, which minimises energy consumption. The brakes are also a closed system, which helps reduce particulate pollution by trapping brake dust.

There are maintenance benefits on top of the environmental benefits. The design of the drum brakes lessens the stress on the brake pads, so a technician will only need to check the brake pads once every two years as opposed to yearly.

Maximise energy use when you brake

When you depress the brake pedal, the electric motor acts like an alternator. Full recuperation performance transforms kinetic energy into electric energy, which is fed directly back to the high-voltage battery. This is made possible via an automatic shift between the electric (via the alternator) and hydraulic (via the wheel brake) deceleration ratio during braking.

The power and control electronics for the electric drive supply the recuperated energy directly to the high-voltage battery. This is maximised when the vehicle is in brake recuperation mode ‘B’.

Choosing drive mode ‘D’ enables a particularly comfortable driving experience. Coast along gently in cruise mode when you take your foot off the accelerator and save energy by using an anticipatory driving style.

Every braking action in your ID. is a win-win – for both range and comfort.

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