Q: What is regenerative braking on hybrid cars? How does it work?
A: The key to this technology is the electric motor. Hybrids have gasoline internal combustion engines and electric motors for propulsion. The electric motor on the hybrid has two functions. It can act as an electric motor for acceleration or it can act as a generator to assist in deceleration. When the brakes are applied in a hybrid, the electric motor works as a generator – converting mechanical motion to electricity. As the generator is working, it puts drag on the driveline components which in turn slows the vehicle. The car also has conventional disk brakes to assist in stopping.