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Official: 2012 Tesla Model S To Be Given Creep Option

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2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012

2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012

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To creep or not to creep? That is the question.

As many hardened electric car fans will tell you, unlike gasoline cars with automatic gearboxes, not all electric cars move forward -- or creep -- when you release the foot brake. 

When Tesla launched the 2012 Model S, it, like unlike the two-seat Tesla Roadster which preceded it, did not come with creep function enabled. 

But after numerous requests from its customers, Tesla has announced it will soon be offering a remote software update to all 2012 Tesla Model S cars which will enable the function.

Without visiting their local service center, Tesla customers will be notified of the update to their Model S’ operating system. 

Once installed, it will add a new option to the car’s preferences, allowing customers to enable or disable automatic creep. 

2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012

2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012

Enlarge Photo

Tesla’s creep function upgrade was quietly announced in a recent webpage update covering its 2012 Model S servicing plans

“By default, Model S does not slowly move forward when you release the brake pedal like cars equipped with automatic transmissions,” Tesla says on its webpage. “With an electric motor there’s no need for this, but some early customers miss it. Using software updates, we can upgrade every Model S with a ‘creep’ option which customers can enable using the 17 inch touchscreen.”

Tesla hasn’t detailed how long Tesla owners will have to wait for the update, or if it will come standard on Model S cars which have yet to leave the factory, but we assume the additional optional feature will be made available to existing customers shortly. 

For those who are used to driving gasoline automatic cars, the option of creep simulation will be a welcome addition to first-time electric car drivers. 

But would you like to choose if your electric car has it or not?

Let us know in the Comments below. 

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Comments (24)
  1. I hate creep.. coming from a manual 'stick' transmission I'd much prefer a car that locked still (brake the motor / 100% regen) when stationary and no peddles were pressed. I would however not like the car to behave as if it were in neutral (float the motor) as this would make hill starts awkward.

    Creep also means I have to stand on the brake, when stationary in traffic, and I hate sitting behind cars when its wet and dark with really bright brake lights right in my face.

    I'd love my Ampera (Volt) to have the option to disable creep and use braked hold still instead.
     
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  2. After further thought I'm wondering if the reason for the creep may be to avoid hot spotting the motor? which I guess could occur if it was in motor brake mode (holding still) whilst on a hill.
     
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  3. I frequently creep in my Renault Fluence ZE. I frequently rely on the hill hold. It's rock solid holding the car stationary on hills for 2 seconds before gradually starting to creep up hill. I didn't even notice this as a feature till I read that Teslas didn't do it! It just feels right because every other automatic car I've driven feels this way.
     
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  4. I'm no fan of emulating 'old' tech and was interested to see that Ford have tried hard to make the Focus EV as 'same' as its gasoline equivalent to prevent owners from having to adjust. They've placed regen on the brake peddle only for that reason... yet have no creep. Are we in danger of creating more confusion by creating more options or do options just underline the flexibility inherent in electric drive?

    btw, I don't remember my first 'automatic' car coming with a clutch and gearshift so that I wasn't 'freaked out' by the change in driving technique.
     
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  5. I admit that I don't understand why folks would want creep. Does it help when stopped on hills? Or is there another function that addresses this hill issue? Thanks.
     
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  6. It does limit but not stop the car rolling backwards on light hills like an old auto did - it's torque converter does help that but, the electric simulated creep is not intelligent and technically a lousy way of stoping you going backwards.

    BMW nailed it on the MINI and the ActiveE - the brakes actually hold after you release them for a second until you press the accelerator. The whole thing is totally seamless and as smooth as silk, we didn't even realize that the MINI had it for months - that's great design - does its work without you even knowing it's there.
     
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  7. I have the creep effect on my Renault Fluence Z.E., and I'm not particularly fond of it. Moreover, I remarked it is an element that scares persons who are not used with automatic gears. So, to my point of view, it is not a good idea to keep it on electric cars, where it clearly consumes some energy for no good reason. But I have to tip down my hat to Tesla for their wonderful reactivity to customer feedback and car updates "over the air". THIS is what I call service and a 21st century vision of what the automobile market should be, don't you think ?
    They made the perfect option : YOU choose if you wan't creep or not in your car, you customize your driver's experience. Everybody is happy, no leftover or disapointed customers.
    Way to go Tesla
     
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  8. I had the chance to discuss about it with one of the creators of the Renault Z.E. cars in France, and he told me they kept the creep function on the Fluence for early users, who switch from gasoline automatic to EV cars, particularly in Israel, which was one of the main target market of the Fluence, where customers insisted on keeping their creep habit. At early stages of developpement the Fluence had no creep effect, it was added later in response to customers demand, the same reason that made Tesla add it to the Model S. The difference is that in the Fluence ZE, you can't disable it (which is too bad).
    But all new Z.E. models (Twizy and Zoe) will have no creep activated, since they are targeted for european market (manual gears habit).
     
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  9. The Tesla Roadster does creep and always has. It's been a sore point for many owners who would prefer that it didn't. There's even some thought that you can save energy by shifting into neutral to defeat the creep when stopped, although I haven't been able to confirm that personally.

    Assuming that the power to the motor is cut when the brake is applied, I think it's a good idea because it keeps the driver trained to keep a foot on the brake when the car is stopped, and makes it clear when the car is on. Without creep, I suspect there would be an increase in the number of cases where the driver gets out of the car with the power on and no park brake applied.
     
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  10. Tom,

    Thanks for giving us the head-up on this obvious error. We've fixed it. Thanks.
     
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  11. You probably save your brake disc and pads by sticking it in neutral.
     
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  12. There is no power consumed unnecessarily by the roadster creep, and no saving brakes by putting it in neutral. The creeping stops when you brake to a stop. And starts again only after you lift off. It's all software induced, unlike a gas engine.
     
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  13. ActiveE apparently puts the car into "Park" when you open the door to avoid such problems.
     
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  14. Yes it does. More so, it turns the car off so you have to re-enable it when you get back in. Can be irritating sometimes but on the whole it's the right thing.
     
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  15. There are more comments in this thread
  16. creeping is a good "feature" for any "car" regardless of mode. It "forces" driver to put their feet on brakes at a stop. That is a "good practice" in my opinion...
     
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  17. This isn’t an issue to me since I’ve had a wide variety of vehicles in the last 10-20 years. I see both sides of the issue and think much of it depends on whether you’re coming from a manual or automatic transmission background. I have a Volt and the creep feels natural but I’m sure I would have quickly adapted if it did not have this feature.

    But I will join Alexandre in complimenting Tesla for being flexible and listening to their customers and making the change to giving the customers their own choices. In and of itself, not really a big deal, but still another small touch that I think has been handled well. Along with the various storage options, for example, Tesla is clearly making a big effort at listening to its customers.
     
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  18. Since I'm one of the callers about the traffic creep mode, I'm very happy that Elon and co. are very sensitive to their customer concerns and requests. That it can be disabled for those who find it annoying is a major plus. Makes us all happy. Thanks Elon
     
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  19. I think having the option to turn creep on or off or on is awesome!

    I suspect there are situations where on is convenient, and others where off is better, and even a person with a strong preference one way or the other might find the option to change useful.

    And how about being able to flash update the car remotely, without taking it in for service!!
     
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  20. Model S supports software update over the car's cellular connection.

    The 2.x Roadster can also do it, but after some early experimentation with that, Tesla stopped doing it. It's not clear why. My random guess is that they didn't have enough onboard storage to download the entire image before starting the update, so an interruption in the cellular signal could leave the car in an undrivable state. Whatever the reason, they seem to have solved it in Model S.
     
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  21. What happens if a driver has creep turned off on his Model S and for what ever reason gets a courtesy car (as the car is in for a service etc) and the creep is turned on?
    That would throw some people. When I first drove the i-MiEV, I was thrown by the creep. I did not expect it as I had driven other diy EVs prior to this and they don't have creep.
     
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  22. I hate creep. It just takes a few days of driving to get the feel of not having creep.

    Removing creep is important in enabling one pedal driving - I can go mile after mile in city traffic without touching the brake!
     
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  23. I can do one pedal driving in the Volt, until I need to go less than 2 miles per hour. Or is it 1 mile per hour, can't remember exactly right now.
     
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  24. I drove mostly manual transmission for decades, but with the LEAF I find the "creep" to feel natural and correct. I'd say it's less a matter of "emulating old technology", and more a matter of applying a sensible principle according to the available parameters. A manual-trans can't creep because it's out of gear. The LEAF is ALWAYS in gear. A small amount of creep simplifies those little adjustments that are made in tight traffic.
     
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