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How regenerative braking helps recharge your EV battery

The most basic safety system in a vehicle is the brake.


The effective regenerative braking mechanisms we see today in electric vehicles has developed through ever-improving technology.

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For example, brake and tyre technologies have evolved to supply the necessary braking force (brake power) that is required to make full use of the available tractive force (the force used to generate motion between a body and a tangential surface).

So, how does regenerative braking work?

In the quest to meet ever-tightening regulation on vehicle emissions, it makes sense to

a convenient intersection between braking technology and emissions legislation exists in the form of regenerative braking.

Regenerative braking systems are designed to recover energy that would be otherwise dissipated during a braking event. In their most fundamental form, they are a bi-directional power transmission system, with a power source and sink at one end, and an energy storage device on the other.


Regenerative breaking has facilitated a change in the direction of braking technology, swinging the focus away from the dissipation of energy and towards the recuperation of it.


Whilst traditional friction braking systems are still very much a required part of automotive hardware, contemporary systems consider not just the ability to stop, but how best to store the energy generated by a braking vehicle.

The ability to convert kinetic energy back to electrical energy during braking is unique to electric vehicles. This converted energy is stored in the traction battery pack, ultra capacitors and high-speed flywheels, helping to give the EV driver an extended driving range.

Typically, all EVs feature regenerative hydraulic hybrid braking systems. When the regenerative braking torque cannot offer the required deceleration rate, the hydraulic braking torque is applied.

The control of the regenerative-hydraulic hybrid braking system and the hydraulic braking system distribution is depicted in Figure 1, which aims to provide the driver with the same braking feel as that experienced in conventional vehicles while maintaining maximum regenerative braking.

Current types of electric vehicles in Australia and New Zealand

Currently available to purchase in both countries are a range of four types of EVs:


Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles - PHEVs such as Mitsubishi Outlander

With both a battery engine and an internal combustion engine, PHEVs plug in to charge up but also use petrol (typically). They have a shorter distance range than BEVs.


Fuel cell electric vehicles - FCEVs such as Toyota Mirai

Using a fuel cell instead of a battery FCEVs are typically fuelled by hydrogen.


Non plug-in hybrid electric vehicles - HEVs such as Toyota Prius

Does not require plug-in charging, instead uses regenerative braking to recharge the onboard battery.

If you’re after any further information about electric vehicles or charging infrastructure, please get in touch and one of our EV Alliance members will be happy to help.

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