There are lots of questions and speculation about regenerative braking, so it’s high time to clarify some points.
The Ampera’s advanced friction brake blending system maximizes the energy generated during braking. It allows for maximum regenerative braking through the electric motor, recharges the battery when braking, and seamlessly engages the friction brakes when the pedal is stepped on harder for a fast stop – all completely imperceptible to the driver. This combination reaches seamlessly from 100 percent regenerative braking at up to 0.2 g deceleration all the way to completely conventional full braking. In addition, the Ampera offers the option of choosing “L” driving position. The second the driver’s foot leaves the gas pedal, stronger recuperation and deceleration than in the normal “D” takes place. This engine brake has the same effect as gentle braking in “D”. This comfort feature saves drivers constantly having to brake on longer down-hill slopes – what one should avoid as much as possible in a “normal” car with mechanical brakes.
During development of the Ampera, my colleagues and I – as project engineer regenerative braking system – had a noble goal: highest possible recuperation. With the Ampera system, we can recuperate 80 percent of the energy – more than any other manufacturer with comparable methods. We reached our goal. This was worth every minute and every euro we invested. How we managed this? More on that in one of my next blog entries.