'So the e-Pedal, isn’t an add-on you pay extra thousands of Euros for, it’s
available at entry-level on the new Nissan LEAF, so it’s about bringing this
excitement to everyone'

Why Future Cars Will Only Have One Pedal
30/10/2017  Robert Bright, commercial tech writer

e-Pedal tech

How innovative technology will change the way we drive forever.

When the new Nissan LEAF first hit the roads back in 2010, it took electric
vehicles from a niche interest into a mainstream reality, going on to become
the world’s best-selling EV.

Owners have found it to be a great all-rounder. Its green credentials may
have been why people bought the car initially, but it’s clear from surveys
that what surprised so many was the performance, especially the rapid
acceleration and fantastic handling, which went to make it such a fun car to

Its latest incarnation, due to launch in Europe in January 2018, is set to
revolutionise our automotive landscape once again. Where the original LEAF
radically altered our assumptions about the kind of car we drive, this new
version will transform the way in which we drive.

Why? Because when you’re driving you’ll no longer be moving your right foot
from accelerator to brake and back again. Instead, thanks to the e-Pedal,
your foot will stay planted in exactly the same spot to execute both

New Nissan LEAF with e-Pedal technology

How does the e-Pedal work?

Francesco Giacalone, Nissan Europe’s electric vehicle product Marketing
director, knows this radical new technology intimately, and he explains how
it works.

“It’s extremely simple really,” he says. “With a normal car, to slow down
you need to move from accelerator to brake, then back to the accelerator to
speed up again. With the e-Pedal you push down on the pedal to accelerate
and ease off to brake. You can even bring the car to a complete stop by
removing your foot sharply.”

The new Nissan LEAF does still come with a brake pedal, of course, although
this is only used when the driver wants to brake more aggressively or come
to an emergency stop. The e-Pedal is activated by a switch on the central
dashboard, and the chances are you’ll keep it in this mode for most of your

What are the advantages of the e-Pedal?

“One of the biggest advantages of the new e-Pedal is it improves the
efficiency of the LEAF’s regenerative technology,” says Francesco. “With a
fully electric powertrain you can exploit both brake and regenerative energy
in the smoothest possible way.”

Regenerative technology is where, under braking or deceleration, energy
created by the car’s movement is ‘recycled’ and sent back to recharge the
battery. Regenerative braking has been around for a long time, and in the
previous LEAF the B Mode further enhanced the car’s regenerative capacities.

“The e-Pedal is an evolution of the B Mode,” says Francesco. “When you lift
your foot off the accelerator, the car is already in braking mode, so it
automatically maximises the regeneration through braking. Previously, you
would be switching back and forth between accelerator and brake pedal and
would lose some regenerative capacity that way. Now you exploit 100 percent
of it.”

Getting used to the e-Pedal

What about getting used to using the e-Pedal? Given we’re so familiar with
using two pedals (in an automatic) or three pedals (in a manual), won’t our
feet be fumbling around in the foot well after a pedal we no longer need?

“The feedback we get from testing is that once you’ve driven for about 15
minutes with this system, you’re all set,” says Francesco. “After that point
it becomes the way you want to drive. For me it’s like going from using an
old smartphone with the full keyboard to a smartphone with a totally digital
touchscreen. Once you try the touchscreen, you won’t want to go back to the
older technology.”
New Nissan LEAF

What change will the e-Pedal make to everyday driving?

The e-Pedal is particularly useful in stop-start traffic says Francesco. “In
commuting you might drive for 100 meters then brake, then drive for 20
meters then brake and so on – this shifting back and forth between
accelerator and brake is happening a lot.

“In tests Nissan undertook with nearly a thousand drivers using the e-Pedal
on their everyday journeys, what we discovered is that this back and forth
action between accelerator and brake is reduced by a massive 90 percent.”

There will be major advantages to people who use cars on a professional
basis, like taxi drivers or people who use the vehicles for deliveries and
so on. “Driving this way becomes much more smooth, fluid and natural,” says
Francesco. “It makes driving much less stressful, and for anyone who’s job
means they have to spend hours driving around towns and cities, it will be a
massive benefit.”

What else can we look forward to from the e-Pedal?

Electric vehicles are often criticised by petrol heads for lacking driver
involvement, but the e-Pedal will turn that assumption on its head,
according to Francesco.

“On fun, winding roads where there is little traffic, using the e-Pedal
almost feels like motorbike-style driving, making the car more sporty. When
you approach a corner you lift your foot off the accelerator to brake – the
braking uses an intelligent system that regulates the brakes and wheels –
then without removing your foot from the pedal you can start to accelerate
out of the corner. It’s a safe, fun drive that delivers excitement.”

The new Nissan LEAF’s battery pack sits low in the chassis, so this also
helps the car hug the road, while the new, sleeker design reduces drag and
lift on the car, giving it even more stickiness on the road for that
sportier experience, should you want it. So, the fun driving characteristics
that so surprised buyers of the original LEAF are not only still there,
they’ve been taken to a whole new level.

“Nissan’s commitment is to constantly innovate but to make this innovation
available to as many customers as possible,” concludes Francesco. “So the
e-Pedal, isn’t an add-on you pay extra thousands of Euros for, it’s
available at entry-level on the new Nissan LEAF, so it’s about bringing this
excitement to everyone.” 
[© 2017 Oath]

Nissan Leaf electric car goes further with one-pedal driving - BBC News
Sep 6, 2017 - Nissan has launched a longer-range version of its best-selling
Leaf electric vehicle, as it fights growing competition in the electric car
market. ... Other updates include a new one-pedal driving system,
auto-parking tech and a more modern design. More than 283,000 Leaf cars have
been ...
Forget the Brake. Electric Cars Mean One Pedal Driving
Jul 24, 2017 - You'll Drive Electric Cars With One Pedal. Nissan. With the
production of Tesla's mass-market Model 3 now underway, and first deliveries
due ...

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