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I have owned many Honda Accords in the past, but recently purchased a new Accord Hybrid Base model. I am averaging about 55MPG over the past 2 tanks and I would say I am very concious of accelerating slowly and braking only when I really have to. That is where my question comes in. I notice the charge indicator shows charging when I press the brake, but it also shows the same when I use the negative paddle 1-3 times when slowing down. Can anyone tell me the difference between the two and is one better than the other? I typically use the paddles to slow down and then brake at the end or if I need to stop more quickly. In my mind I feel like this is better as I am not using the brakes as much. I understand that the paddles use the electric motor to decelerate and generate power that way. When you brake does it do the same thing? Is it using the electric motor, the brakes, both? It obviously is generating power when braking somehow? I Asked this question of my service department and they said to call Honda. I said "I thought you were Honda!" They didn't appreciate my humor. Anyone have an answer to this?
 

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People on this forum who have researched this topic better than me say that gentle braking on the foot pedal activates regenerative braking, just like the paddles. According to them, you only get mechanical braking on the wheels if you press harder on the pedal. I drive my car much the same as I did any previous car, and while I don't get 55 mpg, I HAVE averaged about 45 mpg over the 2.5 years I've driven the car.

I don't really see the advantage of the paddles, but DO use them on a steep downhill stretch in mountainous roads, rather than stepping on the brake, since it seems to control my speed a bit better (holds until I step on the brake or the gas).

- Jack
 

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I notice the charge indicator shows charging when I press the brake, but it also shows the same when I use the negative paddle 1-3 times when slowing down. Can anyone tell me the difference between the two and is one better than the other? I typically use the paddles to slow down and then brake at the end or if I need to stop more quickly. In my mind I feel like this is better as I am not using the brakes as much.
The pedal and the paddles are really intended for different purposes. But, as you noticed, both use regenerative braking.
  • The pedal is for braking; that is, when you want to slow down, usually by a significant amount, under the driver's direct control.
  • The paddles are for coasting; that is, when you want to let the car slow down gradually by itself. Or to maintain speed on a downslope. It is the equivalent of engine braking in a conventional gas car.
Using just the paddles will use only regenerative braking. Changing the level (it actually starts out at level 1, and pressing the negative paddle three times raises it to level 4) is roughly the equivalent of down-shifting in a gas car. And, just like engine braking, it does not illuminate the brake lights.

If you use just the pedal, the car's computer will mix regen braking, front-wheel friction brakes, and back-wheel friction brakes. It will mix them so as to maximize the amount of regenerative braking applied, based on various factors. These include how fast the car is currently moving (faster speeds allow for greater braking force), how fast the battery can accept charge (it's a small battery, so it can't take it too fast), how much charge is in the battery, and the safety of using the front wheels to brake instead of the back wheels.

And if you use both, it really only matters if the braking force you indicate by the pedal is less than that of the paddles. I'm really not sure how the mix is affected, but this is a very rare situation. But I admit, I always use both, mostly because it is quicker to flick the left paddle than to move my foot to the brake pedal.

The point is that you can, in theory, get the same results with the brake pedal alone. You have finer control over the pedal, but the paddles can be steadier - your passengers might thank you for it.

The best uses for the paddles are to control speed on a downslope, coast to a slower speed before curves or if the speed limit changes, and to train you how much distance you need to use for a braking maneuver, in order to maximize regen.
 

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The pedal and the paddles are really intended for different purposes. But, as you noticed, both use regenerative braking.
  • The pedal is for braking; that is, when you want to slow down, unsually by a significant amount, under the driver's direct control.
  • The paddles are for coasting; that is, when you want to let the car slow down gradually by itself. Or to maintain speed on a downslope. It is the equivalent of engine braking in a conventional gas car.
Using just the paddles will use only regenerative braking. Changing the level (it actually starts out at level 1, and pressing the negative paddle three times raises it to level 4) is roughly the equivalent of down-shifting in a gas car. And, just like engine braking, it does not illuminate the brake lights.

If you use just the pedal, the car's computer will mix regen braking, front-wheel friction brakes, and back-wheel friction brakes. It will mix them so as to maximize the amount of regenerative braking applied, based on various factors. These include how fast the car is currently moving (faster speeds allow for greater braking force), how fast the battery can accept charge (it's a small battery, so it can't take it too fast), how much charge is in the battery, and the safety of using the front wheels to brake instead of the back wheels.

And if you use both, it really only matters if the braking force you indicate by the pedal is less than that of the paddles. I'm really not sure how the mix is affected, but this is a very rare situation. But I admit, I always use both, mostly because it is quicker to flick the left paddle than to move my foot to the brake pedal.

The point is that you can, in theory, get the same results with the brake pedal alone. You have finer control over the pedal, but the paddles can be steadier - your passengers might thank you for it.

The best uses for the paddles are to control speed on a downslope, coast to a slower speed before curves or if the speed limit changes, and to train you how much distance you need to use for a braking maneuver, in order to maximize regen.
Excellent post.
 
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