Some ideas for improving the EV User Experience

Discussion in 'Ideas and Suggestions' started by McBeamer94, Apr 28, 2021.

  1. McBeamer94

    McBeamer94
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    Good afternoon everyone! Having the Electric Vehicles of BeamNG in mind, I thought of suggesting some little things that I believe can improve the User Experience and Quality Of Life within the game!

    The first idea I have is that the brake lights could turn on every time the right foot is lifted from the gas pedal (and not being pressed on the brake pedal), indicating that the regeneration is taking place. This happens in real-life EVs and it's very practical for the other road users. And, of course, this feature can also be utilized in the game for indicating to the less experienced players, the Traffic Mode vehicles and the other multiseat players that an electric car decelerates and/or comes to a halt.

    The second thing relates to the Engine Debug UI App. It is useful watching the power and torque figures, the revs, the gear you're in, the airspeed, the engine/motor load and the fuel consumption/range/percentage of total fuel/energy reserve being updated in real time as you drive, but the problem here is that the consumption of the EVs, just like the capacity of their batteries, is measured in kiloWatt-hours (kWh) and this UI App shows these two data in l/100km/mpg and Liters/Gallons regardless. Of all the consumption data for the EVs, only the range and the energy percentage (along with the fact that the amount of energy is shown every time it returns to the battery with the regeneration, which, albeit in a wrong measuring unit, is still very useful) make sense in the existing form of this UI App.
    For not cluttering the Engine Debug UI App with extraneous/irrelevant information, I think that a separate "Electric Motor UI App" could be created specifically for measuring the parameters related to EVs. And for better differentiation between the engine/electric motor Debug UI Apps, the Engine Debug UI App could be renamed to "ICE Debug UI App".

    And the third idea is about adjusting the force of regeneration using the Drive Mode selector or even a special UI App and/or the Radial Menu for Vehicle Functions, AI Modes, Fun Stuff etc. The regen force can be adjusted in real-life EVs at least through the Drive Mode selector and, along with the other suggestions, it can be utilized in the game for helping newcomers get to know the new technology in a fun yet constructive way!

    edit: I've just thought of one more thing and it's about the power of the electric motor(s) when a larger battery is fitted. We see in real-life EVs that the output of their motors gets slightly increased when they're combined with larger batteries. And this could also apply to the BeamNG EVs, the FCVs and the eSBR, when the 75kWh and the 100kWh Solid State Battery Packs (respectively) are fitted.
    And since I mentioned the eSBR, the 100kWh Solid State Battery Pack should be heavier than the standard 40kWh one but this isn't the case. It doesn't change the weight of the car at all.
     
    #1 McBeamer94, Apr 28, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2021
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  2. IonicOwl

    IonicOwl
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    I like all of these suggestions. It's pretty neat that EVs are featured in Beam.
     
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  3. McBeamer94

    McBeamer94
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    It indeed is great that we have electric vehicles in BeamNG but we can all see that some game stuff still needs some improvement! The consumption data is the thing baffling me the most by a wide margin, the Engine Debug has not been very clear. Thank you for agreeing with me! ;)
     
  4. ARES IV

    ARES IV
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    I agree, we need more love for EVs. :cool:

    Regarding regenerative braking, I made a detailed post about it here:

    https://www.beamng.com/threads/powertrain-feedback-collection.78669/page-5#post-1316394


    Regarding the UI app, I made this suggestion a while ago.


    https://www.beamng.com/threads/main...battery-state-consumption-regeneration.64145/


    Maybe the devs or an modder will one day create something like this.
     
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  5. McBeamer94

    McBeamer94
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    Your suggestions are amazingly detailed, BeamNG devs have to take them into serious consideration! ;)
     
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  6. default0.0player

    default0.0player
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    emotorcurve.png
    The problem is, CRBS(Cooperative Regenerative Braking System) or brake blending, is very difficult to implement. As shown in this picture

    This is because electric motor's torque curve is constant torque then constant power, and pure friction braking is inherently constant torque. Therefore, in order to make braking feel consistent, friction brakes have to engage in both very high and very low speeds, unless 10% braking is commanded then friction will only engage at very low speeds.
    The use of only accelerator pedal to control regen, aka one-pedal driving, is a known cause of motion sickness since deceleration is not constant as you slow down.
    The only know mods that implement CRBS are @Arcanox 's hybrid DT40L & 800-Series.
     
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  7. ARES IV

    ARES IV
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    Very interesting, thank you. I read a bit about the topic now because I was unaware of such issues until now. It seems that fully releasing the accelerator pedal in some EVs will indeed lead to significant "engine" braking just like when you switch a very low gear in an ICE and make the engine rev up to 6000 when reengaging the clutch. Engine braking isnt consistent there either (very harsh in the beginning and far less harsh when engine RPM approaches idle) but the screaming engine at least gives you an audio feedback unlike an EV.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but this still sounds like something adjustable regen values could for the most part fix:

    Add an ECU tuning setting: Regenerative braking: Standard setting like now (coasting when releasing the pedal) but with an ability to set heavy regenerative braking for those people who want to drive spiritly without overheating the brakes. In "Race" configuration regeneration should be maximum available at this RPM because you are certainly not aiming for comfort there.
     
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  8. SupremeDalek73

    SupremeDalek73
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  9. Arcanox

    Arcanox
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    This is notoriously one of the most challenging things about making a good hybrid or electric vehicle (in real-life). Surprisingly, my old Chevy Volt actually had slightly better brake blending than my new RAV4 Prime, despite Toyota making hybrid vehicles for about 20 years now and GM only having made them for around 6 when my Volt was made. Pretty much any car review of a hybrid or EV with brake blending will mention something about "numbness" of the brake pedal because of what you described regarding the friction brakes being constant-torque whereas the motor's braking curve depends on how fast you're going.

    It's way more challenging in real-life than in a simulator, too, because the characteristics of the friction brakes can change a LOT depending on different variables (like humidity, brake temperature, pad wear, etc). My RAV4's brakes feel terrible if it's super humid outside because the pads almost get "sticky". It's way easier to accomplish a nice feeling in a simulator since that sort of thing isn't simulated ;)
     
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