“Free” energy

The aspect of driving an EV that I find the most amazing is the regenerative braking. These cars have the ability to capture the energy used to slow the car and put it back in the battery for later use. In a conventional car, this energy is lost through friction and heat in the brakes.

The Fit EV has a mode called “B” that maximizes the recapture of energy and I always drive in this configuration. By planning ahead a little, you can slow the car by taking your foot off the accelerator and the car slows quickly – so much so, that I find I use the brakes very little. The instruments provides instantaneous feedback as the range goes up by 1 or 2 miles in a typical deceleration.

On a recent trip of 4.9 miles, the car was able to recapture energy for 2.3 of the miles and relied on the battery to supply the energy for the other 2.6 miles. That corresponds to 47% of the trip powered by free energy. Most of my trips are not so extreme, but overall, I am seeing that 25-35% of my miles driven are powered by this recapture of energy, which I’d say is free.

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