While many of us are still arguing over the merits of three pedals versus two, car makers are plotting a future where 99 per cent of the time we only use one.
The next Nissan Leaf will have such strong regenerative braking that drivers won’t actually need to brake, in the conventional sense, under most circumstances. As technology moves forward and the amount of energy that can be recaptured increases, the automatic energy-regeneration braking via the main motor will become all you need. Or so we’re told. Cars will have a brake pedal, but you’ll only need it for emergency stops. The amount of acceleration and deceleration you get, in normal driving, will just depend on how much pressure you’re applying to the throttle pedal.
Apart from sounding hideously boring, the idea has all sorts of tree-hugging environmental advantages, like vastly reducing the production of brake dust, which is pretty harmful to human health. The systems will be able to bring a car to a full stop on their own, too, so the one-pedal idea will work in traffic.
It would take some adjustment among a lot of drivers as the average Joe tries to get to grips with the weird sensation of instant and powerful deceleration whenever they lift their foot off the pedal, as if they’ve left the handbrake on. Can’t someone please just develop a proper three-pedal hybrid to pick up where the Honda CR-Z left off? Enjoy that, err, retro CT link, by the way.