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Discussion Starter #1
My ZE50 isn’t being delivered until June. Meanwhile I’m getting mildly obsessed with understanding everything about the car! For example - can it be driven in B mode ‘all’ the time? I.e. dropped into B anytime you’d generally be in D, driving? Assuming that is that the driver likes the extra braking effect, of course. Any downside with leaving it in B (almost) all the time?
 

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I've always used B mode/high regen all the time in any EV that offers it, including the Model 3. It's all down to individual preference.
 
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I always use B mode if it's there. I find D too uncontrolled and coasty in a lot of cars. I'd prefer if the Leaf remembered whether you use B or D as it's an extra gear selection to get B all the time and I basically always drive it in B.
 

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From what I hear, its personal preference. There is no systematic reason to use one more or the other.
Do note that there are very view ZE50 owners yet (and this is new to the ZE50) so most people's experiences will be from driving non-Zoes.
 

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D mode in the Zoe 40 was about perfect. It didn't need B. It will be interesting to see whether the D stays the same and they just add a more aggressive regen for B or they mess with both on the ze50.
 

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My ZE50 isn’t being delivered until June. Meanwhile I’m getting mildly obsessed with understanding everything about the car! For example - can it be driven in B mode ‘all’ the time? I.e. dropped into B anytime you’d generally be in D, driving? Assuming that is that the driver likes the extra braking effect, of course. Any downside with leaving it in B (almost) all the time?
There are peculiarities with B-mode, I will talk from my experience with the ZE50, I do not know about i3, Tesla and others.

My experience has been that you can keep B-mode engaged at all times. Above 70km/h (45mph), B-mode is not going to slow down the car aggressively, it behaves more like D-mode. Under 70km/h it starts to feel a bit strong. Under 50km/h (30mph) it is quite strong.

B-mode is limited in performance when the battery is cold and when the battery is full (above 93%). The car still slows down at what I perceive to be similar rate of deceleration as if the battery would be warm/not full, but I assume it's done with friction braking.

You get used to it, but if you come from ZE20 or ZE40... you'll miss the regen from those older models. B-mode may seem finicky at first, but you may get used to it.

Please note that Zoe has decoupled brakes (controlled by software), so whether you press the brakes or use B-mode, you're likely to get the same level of regen, unlike Tesla in which using the brake pedal activates the friction brakes.
 

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That explains a lot. I could always tell when the braking blended from regen to friction in the Zoe, but never could in the Tesla. Makes sense now I know the Tesla only uses the friction brakes when the pedal is pressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've not heard about decoupled brakes before. Let's see if I've understood this correctly. So is it the case that by braking using the foot brake the car will apply regeneration to the extent possible and then supplement with friction braking if needed? i.e. the driver isn't 'giving up' regeneration benefit by using the foot brake versus slowing the car by lifting off the accelerator?

@evescu - I've not owned an EV before so I'm not comparing regen behaviour of ZE50 versus anything else.
 

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Yup, that's the one.
 

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I have one correction my previous statement:

B-mode is limited in performance when the battery is cold and when the battery is full (above 93%). The car still slows down at what I perceive to be similar rate of deceleration as if the battery would be warm/not full, but I assume it's done with friction braking.
After just charging it to 100%, regen was poor (as in 10kW) in B-mode until about 95%. It felt like a very large boat, coasting. Which, if you get used to mostly use B-mode, could be a bit of an issue when the car is fully charged and you expect a certain rate of deceleration in town. Yeah, I miss the regen of the previous generation...
 

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'B' mode can't generate large power while the battery is nearly full, for the same reason that the charging rate drops when the battery is nearly full.

If you want additional complication, our PHEV has 6 different 'B' settings, and there is endless debate on the PHEV forums about which is best. They can be adjusted using 'flappy paddles' behind the wheel, with '+' meaning less regen (like a 'higher gear') and '-' meaning more. B2 is the default in 'D'. B0 delivers no regen at all when the throttle is released. Instead it energises the motors so that the car coasts along with minimal retardation. B5 is quite strong and puts over 45kW into the 12kWh battery. In all 'B' settings, pressing the brake pedal adds regen, so its braking is similar to the Zoe, in that it will use regen if possible, but will use the friction brakes if more retardation is needed.
 

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'B' mode can't generate large power while the battery is nearly full, for the same reason that the charging rate drops when the battery is nearly full.

If you want additional complication, our PHEV has 6 different 'B' settings, and there is endless debate on the PHEV forums about which is best. They can be adjusted using 'flappy paddles' behind the wheel, with '+' meaning less regen (like a 'higher gear') and '-' meaning more. B2 is the default in 'D'. B0 delivers no regen at all when the throttle is released. Instead it energises the motors so that the car coasts along with minimal retardation. B5 is quite strong and puts over 45kW into the 12kWh battery. In all 'B' settings, pressing the brake pedal adds regen, so its braking is similar to the Zoe, in that it will use regen if possible, but will use the friction brakes if more retardation is needed.
Well that sounds simple! (sarcasm intended)

There are also plenty of EVs that have either flappy paddles or buttons to adjust the regen, e-Gold and ioniq come to mind; question is how often are they really used. It seems like a good feature first, but it adds complexity to driving and risk, my opinion, of misjudging the rate of deceleration.

Personally I'm trying to fall in love with B-mode, and... I'll leave the sentence unfinished for now.
 
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