Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The 2018 Nissan Leaf gets rid of the brake pedal.

I'm not quite sure what Nissan are thinking, but their 2018 Leaf comes with what they call "E-pedal" which is single-pedal driving. One pedal accelerates when you push it, and brakes when you let it go.
Where to begin with all the problems this will cause?
The most obvious is that everyone pushes a brake pedal to stop. Now we have to do the opposite? There's the first lawsuit - people pushing the pedal because that's what you do to stop a car - only in the Leaf, pushing it will make it accelerate because it's actually the accelerator.
How do you coast? I barely ever use the brakes - almost all my slowing down (unless I'm coming to a total stop) is done by letting off the accelerator and coasting using engine drag. In the Leaf, letting off the accelerator will appliy the brakes so - I have to constantly 'wiggle' the single pedal to balance the car between accelerating and braking?
I just can't get my head around this at all. Nissan have apparently included a brake pedal too, but it's disabled by default so you have to enable it every time you get in the car. Even then the e-pedal does most of the work and you only use the brake pedal in an emergency. Again - the muscle-memory to do this is horrendous. You train yourself to brake by lifting off a pedal, but then when you REALLY need to brake, you have to press a pedal. But not the same pedal - no - you have to go back to regular car mode where the ACTUAL brake pedal is properly separate.
I just can't see this lasting much longer than a week after launch without a major software update to disable the e-pedal and permanently activate the brake pedal.