Nissan Tries to Make the Brake Pedal Obsolete in Next-gen Leaf
What’s an e-Pedal? No, it’s not some dorky electric bicycle built by Ford, though that scenario doesn’t sound far fetched.
As the steady decline of manual transmission availability brings the three-pedal lifestyle ever-closer to oblivion, the e-Pedal is Nissan’s way of sending the two-pedal setup a step closer to obsolescence. Will cars in the heady, electrically powered future contain just one pedal? Maybe. Maybe not. But starting late this year, one Nissan model will allow drivers the choice of accelerating and braking with just one pedal.
Details of the second-generation Leaf, due for a September 6th reveal, have trickled out of Nissan ever since it realized the kind of buzz an automaker can generate by going the Dodge Demon route. Oh, there’ll be a shapely new body, semi-autonomous driving capability, even headlights! After languishing on the market as rivals passed it by, the increasingly outdated EV also adds a far greater range for its second generation.
Now, Nissan promises a brake pedal designed to gather dust. The brand’s new e-Pedal, found in the 2018 Leaf, allowsÂ â€” with the push of a buttonÂ â€” the ability to speed up, slow down, and hold a stop via the pedal on the right.
Minus the sporting abilities of high-zoot models, it’s hardly wowing driving an EV. The vehicles creep forward when in Drive, just like an automatic-equipped internal combustion model. At speed, an EV loses momentum when the driver eases off the accelerator, albeit more quickly, thanks to regenerative coasting. In some cases, such as in the defunct Tesla Roadster, the braking effect while coasting is extreme. For the next Leaf, Nissan ups the regeneration to the degree that it can stop the car on its own, and quickly, after lifting off the “gas.”
Of course, that’s if the driver chooses to. The boring old brake pedal still exists for those weirded out by the trick e-Pedal, but it’s clear where Nissan’s enthusiasm lies. Perhaps even its intentions.
While the Leaf’s new do-everything pedal is indeed an advancement, it’s hardly revolutionary. It simply goes further than past efforts. Chevrolet’s all-electric Bolt offers enhanced braking effect when the transmission is in Low, and a steering column-mounted “regen paddle” goes a step further, bringing the car to a stop in certain situations. Of course, lifting off the accelerator is easier than holding down a paddle, and the Leaf’s setup hold the car at rest, even on hills.
“Drivers can cover 90% of their driving needs with the e-Pedal, making the process of driving more exciting,” the automaker stated in a release. “In heavy traffic and during city commutes, drivers will greatly reduce the need to shift from one pedal to the other, making your drive simpler and more engaging.”
One assumes the brake lights shine the moment drivers lift off the throttle while in e-Pedal mode. That’s likely the case, as General Motors saw some backlash from the Bolt’s brake lamps staying dark during heavy braking-coasting. Still, it remains to be seen whether the e-Pedal system activates the taillights earlier in the process, at a certain tipping point in braking effort, and whether the existence of an actual brake pedal ends up confusing drivers in emergency situations.
via The Truth About Cars http://ift.tt/Jh8LjA
July 20, 2017 at 12:11PM