When I come to an intersection, I now look ahead and let off the pedal so I glide in. I rarely use my brakes and when I do use the brakes I just brake. I no longer ride them into the stop. Do you do this glide into the stop? Do you think we are irritating to the ICE drivers?

jonlivesay | September 17, 2013

yes I do this all the time, love the feeling of the regen. Who cares if they're mad when the light turns green they're left behind anyway.

Flyshacker | September 17, 2013

Why would ICE drivers get mad? Your brake lights come on when you regen, so they know you are slowing down. I guess I don't get it, but then I have only done a test drive. I did experience the regen. Loved it! (Kind of like my Prius in "B" gear.)

unclegeek | September 18, 2013

My wife had to follow me to and from the tint/clear bra shop the other day so we could leave it for the day. She followed behind in the ICE machine and afterwards told me it was a pain in the ass to be behind me as I slow down so far before the intersection letting regen bring me to a stop/near stop. Funny how quick she went back to her last minute braking habit.

fluxemag | September 18, 2013

I'd say it's probably irritating to follow. I do my best to last second lift off the throttle, but coasting in an ICE and then slamming on the brakes late seems to be the norm for most drivers. It's still not on the same level of annoyance as hypermilers in a Prius.

The place I notice it most is getting off the freeway. I see people in the rearview camera closing up on me pretty much all the time. Not that I care.

carlk | September 18, 2013

Yes it does irritate me especially when someone does that going into the left turn only lane and I got green to go straight. Give some consideration to people who share the road even it means a little extra effort is not that a bad thing to do imo.

@jonlivesay Great attitude you have and that's exactly what made Prius drivers the most hated ones on the road for a while.

lolachampcar | September 18, 2013

Let's all drive BEV and it will no longer be a problem.

oildeathspiral | September 18, 2013

Is this really any different than driving a stick? I'd suggest that almost no one slowing down by dropping a gear also pressed the brake pedal so that the brake light would come on.

AtlantaCourier | September 18, 2013

I'm an ICE driver. I drive the Honda Civic Si - mankind's crowning automotive achievement prior to the Tesla - which has a manual 6-speed transmission. I'm am waiting to put reservations on 2 GenIII's for my business. But I'd like to point out that ICE drivers can also glide to a stop without using brakes or even activating their brake lights - especially those who drive a manual. Tesla owners are entitled to a certain amount of self satisfaction and smugness, but not on this point!

lolachampcar | September 18, 2013

from a smug point of view, you need to drive one to understand.

MS regens down to a stop over a much greater distance than most ICE. We tend to lift in anticipation of what is ahead so as not to (1) use power that will simply be thrown off as heat by requiring brakes to stop and (2) allow a red light to develop into a green one while we still are carrying momentum thus not needing to recreate that momentum. All this definitely pisses off ICE drivers who have long since stopped caring about efficiency or never really gave it any thought in the first place. It sounds silly, buy you drive one of the fastest sedans on the road only to drive it like an old lady (no offense to our senior citizens).

I'm one of those people that used to storm up to the light. Now I lift a painful distance away (kinda like saving fuel in a race). All the ICE around me notice this and it is not uncommon for one or more to zing into an adjacent lane, speed up, pull back in front of me then jam on the brakes to stop beneath that brilliant red orb that somehow appeared in front of them. With luck, the lane adjacent to them is free so I can just blast on by them with the ten to twenty miles an hour I manage to carry to the intersection. I just see myself in the ICE not smart enough to realize that the BEV just out smarted me and did so using less energy. That sounds smug, doesn't it? Sorry.

danej | September 18, 2013


Please don't decelerate on the freeway. That's not safe, and annoying to boot.


WhisperingCJ | September 18, 2013

I'm (currently) an ICE driver, and I guess I already drive the way you describe en EV driver.
I never could understand seeing anyone driving fast (and sometimes even exceeding the speed limit) towards a red light.
Slow down early and catch the green light when it lights up, and you are overtaking all those drivers that just really needed to park under the glowing red orb - with a Vectra, LOL

Jewsh | September 18, 2013

If others are following too closely or not driving defensively that's a shame. You can't have it both ways... if the 'S didn't activate the brake lights during regen we'd have fender benders galore. If the brake lights come on, everyone whines that 'S owners are riding the brakes.

How's about everyone demonstrates what they (should have) learned in driving school -- leave enough room that it doesn't matter what the driver in front of you is doing!

Gizmotoy | September 18, 2013

It kind of irritates me, but mainly because I want to do it too! My manual decelerates faster in gear than the regen on the Model S and other EVs, so I often have to drop down and coast in neutral if I come up on an EV regen-ing to a stop. In other words, I need to charge the light a litter further than you guys to slow to a stop under engine braking. When you get terrible gas mileage, that free engine braking can be desirable even in an ICE.

So you won't get many complaints, other than jealousy, from those of us with manuals. I can see clueless automatic drivers getting cranky, though.

Velo1 | September 18, 2013

The first month or so when I would drive I would fall back into my habit with an ICE car of trying to free-wheel, which engages the regen and brake lights. A few times drivers behind me would get irritated by the brake lights intermittently going on and off without noticeable speed changes. It takes full focus to continuously keep the accelerator depressed properly in a Model S. So, I began using cruise control a lot when at highway speed to minimize this brake light irritation. I care what those behind me think, as they are potential paint key scratchers should the ever come across my car (or yours) in a parking lot.

grega | September 18, 2013

@kribensa I agree. I'm an ICE driver and would drive faster than average traffic in general, but when the lights ahead are red I take my foot of the accelerator (unless I know they're due to change). I'll even slow myself down earlier, so that by the time the lights go green I haven't had to go under 20, so save my breaks and petrol.

Drivers behind definitely get annoyed. It's common for a driver to change lanes, accelerate hugely up to the lights then hit the brakes. I'll either coast by them just after the lights go green, or come to a slower stop.

I've tested it with and without brake lights - if I'm coasting to a stop but my brake lights are active, drivers are much more comfortable with it, and unlikely to speed around. Brake lights on seem to calm a driver as they interpret it as "he's slowing towards that red light coming up", instead of "why is this guy driving so slowly in a 35mph/60kmh zone?". So I'd want the brake lights on when approaching red traffic lights, but I wouldn't want them when slowing down from 65 to 55 (110k to 90k). I need psychic brake lights.

Thomas N. | September 18, 2013

I think a post thread title in all caps would probably irritate them more.

carlk | September 18, 2013

@Velo1 +1 You gave a very good reason not to make MS a hated car.

Sailor | September 18, 2013

Regen is one of the things that are great IMO about the S.
After acceleration, styling, handling.......
It does make people that I give rides to think through their own braking habits......especially as I discuss the safety of regen kicking in and slowing the car before I can get my foot from accelerator to brake...

Captain_Zap | September 18, 2013

Have you tried easing off the accelerator more slowly?

Flyshacker | September 18, 2013

I think the bottom line is the Model S is making more efficient drivers. Cool!

mrspaghetti | September 18, 2013

@kribensa +1

Brian10 | September 18, 2013

I find people who make forum threads with vague titles (like this one) irritating.

S4WRXTTCS | September 18, 2013

If I interpret it correctly the OP is simply getting to the light SLOWER than he would normally do so in an ICE.

This might be a slight irritant to the person behind him who is expecting to go a little further before coming to a faster stop.

The person who it's REALLY going to irritate is the person trying to get in the left hand turn lane. You've delayed his ability to get into that lane before the left hand turn lane turns green.

S4WRXTTCS | September 18, 2013

What I find interesting is the Model S lends itself to that driving behavior, but is it really safe in this day and age?

For example where I'm at I absolutely have to come at least close to a stop when on a light that has just turned red to green. I have to because people ALWAYS blow through the first initial second or so of red. People that haven't even made it to the intersection before the light turned red on them.

You have to check both ways all the time, and not just a quick glance. It's not just a matter of making sure the intersection is clear.

I'd love to being able to time it right for maximum efficiency, but the behavior of other drivers doesn't allow for this.

jonlivesay | September 18, 2013

Carlk my attitude is fine, I drive the way I drive you don't like it go around me. Why does that have to do with Prius drivers being most hated? Silly comparison, if you regenerate properly the brake lights don't come on. I find people staring at the car to be much more of a danger to everyone around them.

judimasters | September 18, 2013

Thank you Carlk! Lets all be aware.

grega | September 19, 2013

@jonlivesay I agree totally that good regen driving is much more sensible, and it works for ICE cars too (less wear on brakes, and if you don't stop then you save petrol on the re-acceleration).

But the brake lights are definitely the opposite effect to what you describe. When people see the brake lights it's as if they ask "why is he braking?", they look ahead "Oh there are red lights ahead, fine".

Otherwise it's like they think "wow he's slowing down, what the hell, at least drive the speed limit idiot, can I change lanes yet? I'll pass you, and I'll accelerate to show you how slow you're going. Good there's a gap I can squeeze in. Ha! Look at me fly past! Oh hey, a red light.".

Brian H | September 19, 2013

When driving a manual, sometimes I actually pop up to a higher gear to reduce decel, if the engine braking is too strong. Or ride the clutch, which surely shortens its life!

fbramble | September 19, 2013

Research by the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California Berkeley suggests that many Prius and BMW drivers the biggest jerks on the road.
Let's hope that Tesla drivers don't get that reputation too!

carlk | September 19, 2013

The first rule on the road is to follow the flow and not to impede other's move whether you're on the fast lane or city street. Leave a large gap means you are taking other people's share of the road away from them. Many people, myself included, just don't like it when someone does it.

@jonlivesay If I may guess was your previous car a BMW? You think your attitude "Who cares if they're mad when the light turns green they're left behind anyway." is fine? I couldn't even count how many times I've been tailgated by pickups or vans because they did not like the way I drive or for reasons only they know. Just need to remind you even those cars can go as fast as you could or would ever want to go on a city street. Plus like others said peesed enough of those people they will take it on everyone's MS when they got a chance.

Theresa | September 19, 2013

IF I were the type of person who got upset with this type of concern I would be way more upset with someone texting than someone slowing slightly more quickly than I might feel was necessary because I drove an ICE instead of an electric. Now that I think of it I do get very worried by drivers texting but I don't let it upset me. Life is too short.

pebell | September 19, 2013

@carlk, had to laugh because only yesterday, my best friend who was taking me for a ride in his Daimler Super 8 that the traded his BMW 535d in for said to me: "You can take the driver out of his black BMW, but you can never take the black BMW out of the driver" ;-D

jonlivesay | September 19, 2013

Carlk that is your first rule of the road, just your opinion not law. No not BMW, sorry. You want to talk. Out my past cars maybe private would be better. If you'd like this is my email

carlk | September 19, 2013

On the the topic of drivers' manner in different cars in my experience Porsche drivers in general are nice drivers. Corvette drivers are even more polite and mild mannered. Go figure.

@jonlivesay That BMW owner guess was just a tongue in a cheek comment. Fine if you were not a BMW driver. Of course it's not the law but it's a good principle for people to co-exist on the road. No?

madbuns | September 19, 2013

@judi - yes. My driving habits have changed after (barely) two weeks with my S. I attempt to avoid the 30kW braking notification (by actively managing how I come off the accelerator) and generally avoid using my brakes whenever possible.

At red lights when going 30-40, I let my foot off the accelerator fully in order to benefit from regen. Since we are only coasting to a stop anyway, I don't really worry that much about it - and am less than worried about other drivers who have problems with it. I believe that it is more dangerous to speed and slam on brakes into s a stop than it is to slowly coast into one, even if people may have to slow down as well.

Brian H | September 20, 2013

and texters make sure of it! ;P

RedShift | September 20, 2013

yes, i care that my brake light confuse and irritate the heck out of some drivers.

What can I do about it? I can set the regen low, or set cruise control more often. Too lazy to do both.

For people like me who cannot be bothered to do these extra things, what's the solution? I mean, *I* think its an issue that brake lights come on so soon. In the past threads I suggested they come on slower proportional to the speed *and* rate of change. Suppose you are crusing at 65 and let off to go down to say 62 or something. No need for the lights to come on (I have checked they do some on with slight change in freeway speeds with the Tesla symbol on my main screen). Thing is, for most freeway driving, if the driver intends to stop quicker, he or she would step on the brakes. WHich would obviate the need to do regen brake lighting for most situations but not all.

At street speeds (say anything below 50) the current regimen should be OK.

judimasters | September 23, 2013

I really appreciate the genuine conversation on this issue. The last few posts have been very helpful. Maybe we can influence a change in the form of an update that will help.

Captain_Zap | September 23, 2013

I'm guilty. If I am a passenger and my spouse is driving, he sometimes forgets what vehicle he's driving and lets off the accelerator too early and too quickly and rolls slowly to the stop line. It drives me nuts to the point that it makes me squirm. I want to start scooting in my seat to get us moving faster. I can only imagine what it does for drivers following behind us.

I think drivers need to be predictable when driving and not interfere with the flow of traffic. We have plenty of battery so it isn't like we need to max out the regen all the time. I do think that the regen lights come on too early a good portion of the time in certain situations. Especially in passing situations and high speed merges.

But, please, don't take my regen away! I like the control.

pilotSteve | September 23, 2013

Hey, that why ICE cars (at least automatic transmission versions) come equipped with CREEP enabled..... so they can slowly get to the stop light behind me.

Funny however that creep -> off and regen -> high is the first thing I configure in a MS!

RanjitC | September 23, 2013

The buses where I live in California have a pair of yellow lights which pulse when the bus is slowing down without braking, maybe TESLA should have done this to indicate regen starting at say 10 kw of regen and leaving the brake lights for when the brake pedal is depressed.

mrspaghetti | September 23, 2013

I would certainly not change the way the MS does regen just to avoid annoying tail-gaters. This is not a safety issue and I'd much prefer that Tesla's software people work on bug fixes or adding other functionality rather than this.

petero | September 23, 2013

My favorite feature of my MS is the regen brakes. I am sure my easing off the accellerator in anticipation of a light changing annoys many people behind me. I almost think of it as a challenge to NOT use my brakes.

In reality, I drive my MS either like a little old man or a scalded cat.

RedShift | October 1, 2013

So I watched the brake lights when 'down shifting' in cruise control from 65 mph to 61 mph. They didn't light up. Try it out, move the cruise control stalk down for the 4 mph less click. The differential feel significant, more than if you lift throttle off at the same speed.

Yet, one triggers the brake lights, the other does not.

Me thinks they just need to up the regen brake lighting threshold a bit.