Drivers of electric cars quicky get to know the intricacies of regenerative braking. When you release the accelerator or use the brakes, the torque of the electric motors is reversed. Not only does the car slow down, but the motors become generators and charge the battery pack. In some electric cars you can use one-pedal driving, so that (in most cases) the car stops without the use of the brakes/brake pedal, so slowing down produces less wear and tear on your brake components. I’ve gotten to the point where I rarely use my brake pedal at all in my Polestar 2. It takes a little getting used to – and you can adjust the one-pedal to your own driving habits – but I don’t see ever going back to the way I drove for the past 4 decades.
Compare this to an ICE vehicle, where the act of braking utilizes a brake pad which presses against the brake drum to create friction which then slows the car down. The act of braking creates heat which is dissipated into the air, and fine particulate matter as the brake pad itself erodes over time. In effect, every time you depress your brake you are projecting waste into the environment.
Besides a better driving experience, regenerative braking holds much promise: more energy recovered = less energy wasted, which equals better efficiency. And less traditional braking means less pollution, as well as less money spent maintaining your braking systems. Ultimately, regenerative braking is another reason why electric vehicles are inevitable.