How does the Nissan e-Pedal work?

Nissan's new e-Pedal is a revolutionary piece of tech. But how does it work?

Murray Scullion
Feb 28, 2019

Nissan's electric Leaf uses a new type of control system, including a single pedal that can be used to accelerate and brake the car. It's called e-Padel.

The e-Pedal slows the car down when you lift off the accelerator, to the point where the car will come to a stop, and even hold itself on a hill. When the e-Pedal is turned on (via a switch on the left-hand side of the driver, it’s not an actual pedal) the accelerator pedal becomes much stiffer, meaning you have to be much firmer and direct with it.

The e-Pedal generally takes a few miles to get used to. Most people find that the braking power is much stronger than they’d bargained for, and will find themselves coming up short of where they were expecting. It’s smooth and linear, and not jerky. And it doesn’t feel as strong as a full on emergency stop.

After this initial period of getting used to it, you’ll wonder why it’s not in use more throughout the industry. To some, it might sound like the answer to the question nobody asked. But when you’re accustomed to it, it becomes second nature. Nissan reckons it can help reduce fatigue (especially in those who travel lots in stop start traffic) allowing drivers to use the brake pedal up to 90 per cent less than in conventional cars.

Does the Nissan Leaf still have a brake pedal?

It does! When e-Pedal is selected, the brake pedal is reserved for when you want to slow down faster than the e-Pedal allows, stopping quickly at a set of lights for instance. Or an emergency stop.

It should be noted that when the e-Pedal is active, the brake pedal is very stiff, and will require a fair amount of shove from your right foot.

Why use the e-Pedal?

The e-Pedal is used to give the car energy via regenerative braking. This is where under braking or deceleration energy created by the movement of the car is recycled back to the batteries, where it is used to recharge them.

Using the e-Pedal gives you more range. Especially when it’s in use often, like in stop start town traffic.

Is the e-Pedal is anything other than the Leaf?

So far, the only car available with the e-Pedal is the innovative Nissan Leaf. However, Nissan does have new electric cars in the pipeline which look set to borrow mechanical parts from the Leaf. This is set to include the Nissan Sylphy - a Leaf based saloon. Although this won’t be coming to the UK.

When you’re decelerating, are the brake lights illuminated?

Just like in a regular Ford Fiesta, the brake lights will light up when the car is decelerating, and stopping. This ensures that drivers behind you know that you’re slowing down.

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