The regenerative braking system in the BMW i3 electric car is quite extreme. If you plan ahead and allow enough stopping distance, by lifting off the accelerator, this little electric car will come to a complete stop, without ever requiring a touch of the brake pedal.
That behavior recently led Britain’s Auto Express to put that to the test—with a jovial right-pedal challenge between a couple of editors that took them out onto some of London’s busiest streets with the aim to find out how much they could drive without ever touching the brake pedal.
You’ll just have to check out the video below. It’s actually quite fun to watch—and a bit nervous-making at times.
As we’ve experienced in our own drives of the i3, there is a catch to all of this: You do have to be on nearly level roadway in order to not need your foot on the brake pedal after you stop. If there’s even a slight incline, we’ve noticed the i3 will tend to roll.
While it’s not behavior we’d encourage, it does demonstrate the merits of one-pedal driving. With some smoothness and planning, you may find that you’re rarely, if at all, relying on friction brake pads.
And that lesson could improve your efficiency in virtually any car, really—electric, hybrid, or not.