DS points to a future of cars without brakes


DS Automobiles has developed a prototype EV that uses only electric motor regeneration instead of conventional brakes, which the company says is a potential future direction for electric vehicles. Using technology from the brand’s Formula E race car, the DS E Tense Performance uses two onboard electric motors to slow the vehicle entirely through regenerative braking, up to 600kW.

Though regenerative braking is already available in most EVs, the technology is currently used to complement conventional friction brakes. However, DS is exploring whether regenerative braking alone could eventually be the sole method to slow cars down, helping to better recharge the battery in the process, and doing away with conventional brake discs and pads, saving cost and weight. The intelligent technology renders the conventional Formula E braking system fitted to the 815hp, 8,000Nm DS E Tense Performance completely redundant, says the company.

The DS E tense performance has been developed in conjunction with the brand’s championship winning Formula E team and uses the same electric motors that can be found in the electric race cars. The DS E tense performance can accelerate from 0-62mph in two seconds. Using 350kW charging, a full charge can be completed in five minutes.

Beatrice Foucher, CEO of DS Automobiles said, “Formula E is about maximising performance and efficiency, and the DS E Tense Performance is our vision of a road car utilising our race-winning technology. Regenerative braking is a very powerful way to not only slow the vehicle down, but also help improve battery performance. The DS E Tense Performance takes the technology to a new level, with regenerative braking used solely to slow the vehicle down.”

The 815hp, 8,000Nm DS E tense performance can accelerate from 0-62mph in two seconds. Image © Laurent Nivalle

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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