Elon Musk explains why 100% charging your electric car is inefficient

You might think that fully charging your electric car 100% every single time is a good idea but it’s not for several reasons including because you would lose out on the benefits of regenerative braking.

If you don’t know what regenerative braking is, the video below made by Bosch is a good short summary if you prefer a visual explanation.

If you prefer a more detailed text description the US Department of Energy has a good one:

“The most noticeable difference between driving an electric vehicle and a conventional ICE vehicle is regenerative braking. Regenerative braking means the electric motor is operated in reverse, thereby applying a braking force through electromagnetism. This recaptures some of the vehicle’s kinetic energy by charging the battery. Some electric vehicle models have specific driving modes that incorporate varying levels of regenerative braking”

As Tesla co-founder Elon Musk explains in his tweet below, at 100% charge regenerative braking doesn’t work because the battery is full, so the car is less energy efficient. This applies to all electric vehicles not just Tesla’s.

It should be noted that electric cars differ in how well they use regenerative or “regen” braking as well as how efficient they are at it. Also some electric vehicles allow drivers to choose between several regenerative settings and others automatically do this.


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