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Daily Digest | Put the brakes on

Written by The Uptake Published on   1 min read

A lawsuit filed by Tesla’s China division highlights an unforeseen barrier in EV adoption.

Hi. It’s Brady again.

In some circles in China, Tesla gets a bad rap. There are several reasons, but the main one is that some consumers have cast doubt about its cars’ safety measures, specifically its brakes.

The controversy began when EV drivers—not only drivers behind the wheel in Teslas—became involved in collisions. Some have publicly claimed that these cars simply don’t allow the drivers to slow down when they’re supposed to, leading to accidents.

Here’s a fact: EVs incorporate regenerative braking, which allow the vehicle to capture kinetic energy that would otherwise have been dissipated during deceleration. Under some conditions, this type of brake feels different, particularly for people who have spent years driving vehicles fueled by diesel or gasoline.

Maybe that explains the controversy that can’t seem to go away in China, or maybe there’s a different reason altogether. Either way, the situation offers a glimpse into what might unfold when EVs become more common in other places, like Southeast Asia and India. There will be an adjustment period, and mechanical fault or not, a new type of vehicle will be at the heart of public disputes.

Mengyuan looked at the latest development in China. You can read her report here.

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