Illustration of the brake energy recuperation

Brake energy recuperation

Brake energy recuperation

Your electric Volkswagen doesn’t just power up at a charging station. Now your brakes help keep the battery running too.

How it works

Electric and plug-in hybrids are powered by electrical energy, which is why we connect them to an electric power source to gain charge. However, there are other energy sources that can be harnessed when driving an electric vehicle, such as the energy created when we brake. Our sustainable vehicles are capable of recuperating that energy and transferring it into battery charge. For more information watch our video on regeneration braking.Opens an external link

Recuperation converts kinetic energy during braking into electrical energy. This leads to a significant increase in range - and since most of the braking energy is not passed on to the braking units, their wear is also reduced. The brake energy recuperation, however, also enables the use of highly modern drum brakes on the rear axle. At the other end, the ID.3 is fitted with traditional disc brakes at the front.

Illustration showing how recuperation works

Sustainably efficient: brake energy recuperation in the ID.3

The ID.3 is constructed based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB). This innovative vehicle platform is especially designed for electric vehicles and ensures that particularly efficient use is made of the options offered by electro-technology. An example of this is the brake system because, as opposed to a classic combustion engine vehicle, the ID.3 does not only use a front brake and a rear brake for deceleration but also a further element: the recuperation.

The drum-shaped design of the ID.3’s brakes decreases the amount of pollution they release and protects from cold, wet and rust. It is also free of residual braking torques, which minimises its energy consumption. But it also makes a contribution to environmental protection because the brake dust cannot escape to the outside due to the closed system, effectively reducing particulate pollution. Because its design lessens the stress on the brake pads, a technician will only need to check them once every two years as opposed to yearly.

Illustration of the brake system in ID.3
The brake system in ID.3

Those who brake, win

When you press the brake pedal of your ID.3, the electric motor acts like an alternator. Full recuperation performance transforms some of the kinetic energy into electric energy – which is fed directly back to the high-voltage battery. For this to happen, a shift between the electric (via the alternator) and hydraulic (via the wheel brake) deceleration ratio is needed during braking.

The power and control electronics for the electric drive supplies the recuperated energy directly to the high-voltage battery which is maximised when in brake recuperation mode “B”. In short: the brake system uses the deceleration energy to recharge your ID.3.

The ID.3’s deceleration isn’t the only thing that’s efficient and smart – driving also becomes significantly more comfortable on the whole. You can choose to drive in mode “D” which is Especially pleasant for the driver when taking your foot off the “gas” to coast along gently in cruise mode, which also saves energy when driving using an anticipatory driving style. Every braking action in your ID.3 becomes a win-win – for both range and comfort.

Illustration: Brake energy recuperation in the ID.3

Drive smarter, drive longer

There are three driving profiles that you can select when behind the wheel of a Volkswagen electric vehicle. They range from making your journey more efficient, to a profile that’s built for performance. Watch this video to find out how you can switch between driving profiles and get the most out of your vehicle with every drive.
 Find out more about the factors that affect how far you can drive

Close up of Volkswagen steering wheel, another Volkswagen e-Golf can been seen ahead.

Our electric vision

A yellow VW ID.4 parked in the middle of a road at night

Our electric vision

Volkswagen’s future is electric. We’re committed to developing cars and technologies that open up the possibilities of electric driving to all. Making the switch to electric not only benefits the environment, it could also help you save money and discover a new and exciting way to drive.

Electric pedigree

The development of our revolutionary ID. range didn’t happen overnight. Our electric history first started in 1970. Let us take you back to the start of our journey towards a more sustainable future.

Leading the way

Our goal isn’t just to sell electric cars. We are designing a range of vehicles with high performance, that go further and put efficiency at the heart of their design.

Next steps



Our pure electric cars

Next steps

Important information :

Lithium-ion batteries, of the type used in most electric vehicles (including Volkswagen electric vehicles) have a restricted lifespan. Battery capacity will reduce over time, with use and charging. Reduction in battery capacity will affect the performance of the vehicle, including the range achievable, and may impact resale value. New car performance figures (including battery capacity and range) may be provided for the purposes of comparison between vehicles. You should not rely on new car performance figures (including battery capacity and range), in relation to used vehicles with older batteries, as they will not reflect used vehicle performance in the real world. For further information on battery degradation/preservation please visit Electric Battery Maintenance and Warranty | Volkswagen UK.

^If you are selecting a Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 or ID.7 then prices shown are the MDP (Manufacturer's Direct Price).  This is the price set by Volkswagen which you pay for the vehicle.  Volkswagen ID vehicles are sold by Volkswagen UK, a trading division of Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited (please note that you will need to visit an authorised Volkswagen Retailer (acting as agent for Volkswagen UK) to order, purchase and take delivery of your Volkswagen ID vehicle).  The MDP includes delivery to an authorised Volkswagen Retailer (acting as agent for Volkswagen UK), number plates, new vehicle registration fee, the first year's Vehicle Excise Duty and VAT (calculated at 20%).  You can find out more about the Volkswagen model for selling ID vehicles by clicking

If you are selecting any other Volkswagen vehicle (excluding the Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and ID.7) then prices listed are Manufacturer’s ‘On the road’ Recommended Retail Price. Actual prices are set by Volkswagen authorised retailers in their sole discretion – always obtain these prices from your chosen Volkswagen Retailer.  Recommended On-The-Road (OTR) retail prices include: delivery charge, number plates, new vehicle registration fee, the first year's Vehicle Excise Duty and VAT (calculated at 20%). 

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information above. Prices are taken from the Volkswagen website - this website contains a large number of products and it is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of the products listed may be incorrectly priced. Volkswagen may change prices at any time (this includes where there are government changes in regulation and/or legislation). There may be a delay to any price displaying correctly on our materials and it is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some vehicles may be incorrectly priced. Always check prices with your local retailer.

For fuel consumption and CO2 information for vehicles, view values in the configurator.

Please be advised we may not be able to provide valuations for vehicles which are outside certain age or mileage ranges, specialist or customised, or not registered in the UK. The actual sale price is dependent on a number of additional factors, which you can discuss further with your retailer. T&Cs will apply.