• Dec 14th 2008 at 8:39AM
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Looks like I wasn't the only one who wondered about the brake lights on AC Propulsion's eBox. AC Propulsion's Tom Gage responds to my post the other day with not only an answer to my question about if the hard decel that takes place when the regenerative braking kicks in triggers the brake lights, but also with a visual aid. Yes, he said, yes they do. His exact words were:

Of course the eBox turns on the brake lights during regen. We'd have a lot of bashed in rear ends if we didn't. Still it's a good question. In fact we heard it so often in test drives that we include an LED on the eBox dashboard that illuminates when the brake light comes on.

So, there you have it. One more green car mystery solved. Thanks, Tom. Now, what's next?

[Source: AC Propulsion]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      It just different. There is no coasting in an electric car (at least there should not be).
      Why would you want to coast that when you can capitalize on the free energy from slowing down?
      I did drive the E-Box (pre-dash brake light). Since you quickly learn that the car slows down a lot without touching the brakes you realize that you do not even need them. If you like, there was a sliding control to adjust the strength of the regen "braking" from NONE (coasting) to FULL which brings the car to a dead stop right away.

      Driving it is a bit different and it took me about 2 miles of city driving to get used to not needing to touch the brake. I set the slider pretty full (was advised that FULL is too much like slamming your foot on the brakes). When I let off the accelerator the car slowed pretty quickly on it's own and I only touched the brakes at near stop. I smiled knowing that the batteries were getting a fill but did wonder with such a heavy slowdown if drivers behind me would be plowing into the car's backside without my foot depressing the brake and illuminating the brake lights to warn them. -hence the dash light.

      I was with you guys before I drove it. It does make total sense. Friction braking in an electric car is for chumps.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree, if you want to "coast" just keep your foot neutral on the "throttle". Blending regen + friction braking on the brake pedal is complicated and almost always has a poor transition that people complain about, not to mention it almost always uses some friction braking (lowering the regen efficiency).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Questioable if the functionality is compliant with US 49 CFR 571.108 lamps (incl. stop-lamps).

      The regulation says;

      S5.5.4 The stop lamps on each vehicle shall be activated upon application of the service
      brakes. The high-mounted stop lamp on each vehicle shall be activated only upon application of the service brakes.

      Releasing the throttle IS NOT, by definition, applying the service brakes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      what happens when you just tap the brakes?

      should regen stay on?
      should regen go off and come back on every single time you tap and let go?

      is switching back and forth like that any wear andn tear on the motor? Do we need a change in the way people drive (brake)?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I said 2 weeks ago to put the brakes on the brake pedal and the accelerator on the accelerator pedal. And the brake and accelerator have to be proportional to the pressure applied on the pedal, no hiccups and non-linearity like my dodge neon 2005 5 speeds that is program to save fuel even when you push the accelerator pedal and the brakes are warped after 3 years and only 20 000 miles.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This doesn't make sense. It should coast unless you press the brake. If you press the brake, it should light up the lights and turn on regenerative braking, but leave the friction brakes off unless the regenerative braking isn't doing enough.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree.
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