Big Guy Car Guy

Regenerative Braking, A Love Story

2016 Soul EV

What’s the saying, “two steps forward, one step back”?

[not to be confused, of course, with Bruce Springsteen’s 1987 sad sack ode to the opposite in momentum, “One Step Up (and Two Steps Back)”]

I think successful people will tell you that the most impactful moments of their individual journeys in building a brand, business or movement were those seemingly, at the time, harrowing periods when their grand efforts had to voluntarily be, or were, due to forces beyond their immediate control, stopped or paused, a push on the proverbial brakes if you will, as these thinkers, doers and dreamers moved forward on the road to riches, fame, glory and greatness.

So it is also with the glorious and great Kia Soul EV whilst in regenerative braking mode (B on the gear shift, if you’re keeping score at home).

What’s happening in regenerative braking mode is startling in the beginning because the moment you lift your right foot off the accelerator (we won’t be calling it a gas pedal here — no gas in the Kia Soul EV, obvs) the vehicle begins to stop. It’s kinda dramatic at first, like a mix of slowly pressing down on the brake and running out of gas, although neither of which are actually happening. Instead, what the Soul EV is doing is regenerating its battery power the instant you tell it you are no longer interested in going forward at speed. Maybe this is because you can’t (there’s a red light up ahead and a line of cars waiting at it) or maybe because you no longer want to (already going a bit too fast on the highway and you need to chill before a state trooper wants a word) keep advancing at the pace you were enjoying previously. Either way, when in regenerative braking mode, the Kia Soul EV takes that information and begins to work its magic to increase your range so that you can drive further before plugging in.

I mean, if that’s not a metaphor for entrepreneurial spirit, I don’t know what is. Factors within and completely out of your control will eventually force you to slow down. For some, the thinkers, doers and dreamers lot, this slow down doesn’t become a period of angst or frustration but one of renewal, reflection and recharging — a literal fueling up for the long journey ahead. That right there, in human beings, is the difference between greatness and being average. The same is true of cars and of the technology within cars.

2016 Soul EV

Imagine your body reacting in a similar, hyper intelligent manner: You’ve just run a 5K and the very second you cross the finish line at 3.1 miles your brain, your heart, your muscles — your everything — immediately begins to recharge, to be filled again with an energy and a life to push you onward whenever you are ready. That’s regenerative braking in the Kia Soul EV and I’m absolutely, totally, positively in love with it.

Now, about getting my body to do the same in that scenario I outlined above. C’mon, Kia engineers, I’m all ears!

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2 Comments

  1. Just saw this today. And all I can say it thanks. It was this: “For some, the thinkers, doers and dreamers lot, this slow down doesn’t become a period of angst or frustration but one of renewal, reflection and recharging — a literal fueling up for the long journey ahead. That right there, in human beings, is the difference between greatness and being average.” And, I needed it. Thanks for being you. man.

  2. Oh man, thank you so much for the kind words, Rob, and for reading this post. Really appreciate it!

joc