Menu

Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Hybrid and electric cars are much easier on brakes

The Toyota Prius can harvest electricity through regenerative braking.

There is a surprising benefit to driving a hybrid or electric car. It's got nothing to do with fuel economy or the range between charges.

Instead, it's a massive saving on the cost of brakes.

Because hybrids and battery cars are continually harvesting the energy normally lost as heat when slowing, there is much less stress on the brakes. That means much lighter wear on the brake pads and longer distances between skimming or replacing the rotors.

Under deceleration, the car's electric motor enables "regenerative braking" for a vehicle, spinning to generate electric power which is fed to the battery pack.

In the likes of the BMW i8 hybrid sports car and Porsche 918 supercar, among others, they also function as motors to boost acceleration and provide all-wheel-drive.

 Lift off the accelerator early before applying the conventional brakes for the last part of a big stop

Taxi drivers are reporting huge improvements in brake wear as they use "regen" instead of the brake pedal to slow in stop-start traffic.

One Camry hybrid driver says he did 400,000km on a single set of front brake pads, and Prius cabbies regularly record 200,000km-plus.

It takes a while to adjust to "regen" driving, where you lift off the accelerator early before applying the conventional brakes for the last part of a big stop, but the benefits are obvious.