The chevron brand has just presented a car that could be a milestone in the history of the automobile: the DS E-TENSE.
Citroën has, throughout its history, been a brand that dares many things. The chevron brand has always stood out for its innovative philosophy, an idea that is still relevant today. The proof by example with the brand new concept car from the firm DS, the luxury branch of Citroën.
The DS E-TENSE is thus an electric car, which has been simplified to the highest degree. To the point that the French brand has come to remove the disc brakes from its car. An idea that seems crazy to many of us as it is difficult to imagine a car without brakes, for obvious reasons of road safety.
But that is our first mistake. While the latest concept car from DS doesn’t have brake discs, the car isn’t incapable of slowing down. An obvious precision, but which deserves to be underlined. The car brakes well, but it does so exclusively through regenerative braking. Unlike internal combustion cars which are only slowed down by the friction between the tires and the road when the driver is not braking, the simple fact of decelerating here makes it possible to greatly reduce the speed, and even to stop the car fairly quickly.
Regenerative brakes: tomorrow’s solution?
A specificity that allows electric cars to have much smaller brakes than thermal cars, or even no brakes at all. This system also allows the batteries to be recharged, with the engine running “in reverse” to slow the car down. These are called regenerative brakes.
A system that is pushed to the extreme within the DS E-TENSE, which is only based on this one. Because regenerative brakes have been exciting electric cars since the beginning. Today all electric and hybrid models have this braking system, but a “mechanical” solution is also present, especially in the event of emergency braking and rescue.
On the DS E-TENSE, Citroën is betting on removing this solution, fully trusting its regenerative braking system. The chevron brand explains that the car uses two electric motors to fully slow the car down to 640kW.
No brakes, the planet thanks us
As many experts agree, the absence of disc brakes would be a real boon for the planet. A recent study estimates that 55% of road traffic pollution comes from particles other than exhaust gases. Within these particles, one in five would come from brake dust.
These iron particles, released with each braking, pollute the planet, and on a large scale their impact is non-negligible. For people who live in high traffic areas, brake dust is a real public health risk.
Today the vast majority, if not all of the car fleet, even electric cars, contains metal components that are harmful to the planet, whether in the clutch, the engine and the brakes. Their disappearance could make the cars of tomorrow ever more respectful of the environment. Very good news for the planet.