Let’s get started with the detailed guide on Electric Scooter Regenerative Braking.
Electric Scooter Regenerative Braking
What is Regenerative Braking, and How does it work:
“Regenerative braking is the primary mechanism of electric vehicles converting kinetic energy to electrical energy. When an electric vehicle’s wheels are turned, the kinetic force propelling it forward is changed into electrical energy by the motor/generator. This electricity can be used to recharge batteries or immediately applied at a load (e.g. lights) inside the vehicle.”
Type of Gears:
Electric powered scooters have two sets of gears, usually labelled “Drive” and “Low”. Drive uses battery power to drive the scooter at higher speeds with good acceleration. In contrast, Low allows for lower speed operation with higher torque and regenerative braking that recovers some of your range when slowing down or going downhill.
The last thing we want to do is damage our motors by allowing them to run without being connected to our batteries, so be sure you are always in Drive when on the scooter.
Way of Working:
The way regenerative braking works is that your batteries provide power to two motor/generators, one for each rear wheel, which is turned by the wheels’ movement. This turns these generators into electric motors, pushing against the other motor and turning it.
When you come to a stop or slow down, this force of pushing slows you down just like using your foot brake would – only without any noise or use of actual brakes.
The energy put into slowing you down is partially stored by your battery but mostly absorbed as heat in the brakes (in fact, regenerative breaking can make breaking at high speeds up to ten times more efficient).
Regenerative braking is a very effective way to slow down your scooter, so don’t be afraid to use it.
It’s a good idea to switch off the throttle a little early when coming to a stop so that you can start slowing earlier and therefore take advantage of more regenerative braking. If you have time, switching off the throttle completely will allow for regenerative braking from 0 to full stop.
Electric scooters tend not to have great speed, but sometimes it’s nice just cruising around at higher speeds. Regenerative braking becomes less efficient as speeds increase because there is much less resistance between your tire and the road surface (not all kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy).
Larger motor-generators will help with this problem, but we found that regenerative braking is only effective up to 20 mph (32 km/h) even on our maximum capable motors. This is not a big deal because braking with your foot brake or even the regen-brake on high still gives you more power than you need at those speeds.
Electric scooters can be heavy and hard to lug around when they are powered off, so it makes sense that retrieving one from storage would require some effort. Luckily, most modern electric scooters have some built-in method for manually turning the motor/generators and locking them in place once rotated to an appropriate position.
The majority of these methods involve having the battery pack contribute to holding tension against the rotating wheel magnetic field (for example, with a spring-loaded spool that holds the power cable). Once locked in place, it is necessary to use the motor/generator’s rotation to apply torque and extract the scooter from its storage position.
This usually involves rolling the entire scooter backwards or forwards until enough tension is present for you to lift upwards. The same method can be used for extracting your electric scooter both before and after riding, which makes storing it even easier!
Electric motors are designed with large amounts of torque at low RPMs, which means not only will you never have trouble getting started but also that your ride goes by faster once up to speed. You’ll spend less time accelerating along flat surfaces because maximum torque is reached around 1/6th of redline RPMs.
The benefit of this is that most electric vehicles tend to be very efficient at their top speed, which means you will go the same distance for each unit of energy consumed (i.e. 1 kWh = around 3 miles or around 5 km!)