While using the RBS (Regenerative Braking System) or regen, have you ever wondered does Tesla regenerative braking use brake pads ornot?
If so, the simple answer is yes and no! It only uses brake pads when need to change the energy to heat during hard brake situations. Apart from this case, your Tesla uses a motor as a generator to slow down the car.
Here, I’ll explain whether Tesla’s regen system uses brake pads or not and share the details of how it works. You’ll also learn when to replace brake pads and their lasting ability here.
Keep On Reading Till The End!
Tesla Regenerative Braking Use Brake Pads But There’s More!
The regen aka regenerative braking system does use brake pads for stopping power. However, there’s a big ‘But’ as it primarily doesn’t use them.
To stop or slow down the car, the Tesla uses an electrical motor. As a result, the car shifts the electrical motor into generator mode.
Thanks to this, it helps the car to cut down momentum or speed. Drawing electricity to power up the battery does slow down the car without even pressing the brakes.
For braking using the regen system, the car use brake pads if you need to hard brake. Or else, the motor works like a generator to give the needed speed reduction.
Another point is that the regen system can use brake pads to convert the energy to heat. To break it clearly, it is done via harnessing electromagnetic force. This force is usually generated from the magnetized rotor that spins through a field coil aka stator.
When this occurs, electromagnetism is drawn into the field coil. After that, it creates an induced voltage as each north and south pole passes.
Then, it makes a sinusoidal voltage that is rectified and driven into DC to go inside the charging circuitry. During this, the brake pads shift the spinning and translational power of your car into heat.
After that, the brake pads radiate it via your wheel and rotor disk. Lastly, they disperse the heat into the air which causes it to go forever.
How Does Tesla Regenerative Braking Work?
The working of regen is a little complex but I’ll break it down for you in the easiest way possible. So, when a Tesla car is moving, it is using battery power to run.
But when you press the brake pedal, the car draws some of the chemical energy to move and converts it back into electricity. That what is Tesla regenerative braking is!
The electricity generated from this process goes back into the battery, which means you can use it again later to run the car.
To make things simple, just think of it this way – the car is recycling its own energy! It’s like taking a sip from your drink and then filling it back up with the same drink.
The energy captured by the regenerative braking system is related to the car’s mass and speed, which is calculated using the E = ½ mv² formula. So, if your car is bulkier or running rapidly, it will use 2x times energy from the braking process.
Now, while some of this energy is used to help the car slow down, some of it is also lost due to things like rolling resistance, friction, and air drag. Likewise, some energies are used to power the spinning parts of the car, like the wheels.
One thing to keep in mind is that when you press the brake pedal, most of the kinetic energy is converted into heat via the brake pads. But thanks to the regen system, your Tesla can draw and reuse some of that lost energy.
Is The Brake Pad Of Tesla Cars Need Not Be Replaced Ever?
It’s not a simple yes or no answer! If your car is new, you’ll find front brake pads 10 mm and the rear ones 9 mm in thickness.
But if you use the regen system endlessly in your car, the brake pads might wear out fast. And so, they will need replacement.
In some cases, this regenerative brake system can cause the brake pads to wear down by up to 3 mm. The damage depends on how much you use it.
If the brake pads wear down by 3 mm, you’ll need to replace them as soon as possible. But this doesn’t happen very often because the regen system returns energy to the battery and reuses it.
In general, you won’t need to replace the brake pads in your Tesla car for the lifetime of the car as long as it lasts.
If Using Regenerating Brake, How Long Do Brake Pads Last?
The brake pads can last long or short depending on the type. If you use the regenerating brake system, the front brake pads would last for up to 170,000 miles or more. Then again, the rear brake pads can stand for more than 200,000 miles.
Now, if the brake pads wear out for up to 3 mm points, it may reduce the lifespan of the brake pads. That can also cause them last less than 50,000 – 100,000 miles.
Elon Musk says in one Tweet in 2018 that the brake pads on the Tesla never need to be replaced for the car’s lifetime. In other words, they will stand as long as the car last – which is about 5 – 10 years.
It’s clear that the Tesla regenerative braking does use brake pads to convert kinetic energy to heat, but not always!
Mostly, the car uses a motor as a generator when using a regen system. This thing gets clear if you understand the regen system working which I’ve mentioned above.
After this guide, be sure to check why is the Tesla regenerative braking temporarily reduced if you get this message a lot. Have Fun Reading!