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.

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