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DS Automobiles – Citroen’s fancy subsidiary – has created a prototype electric car that has no need for conventional brakes.

Instead of using discs and callipers, the new prototype gains its retardation from regenerative braking. Using tech from the brand’s Formula E racer, the DS E TENSE PERFORMANCE uses two electric motors to slow itself down with up to 600 kW of regenerative braking.

The company says that while regenerative braking is already available in most electric cars, the tech is being used to complement conventional brakes. Instead, DS is exploring whether regenerative force alone could eventually be the sole method to slow cars down. 

Removing conventional brakes would certainly increase energy efficiency – getting rid of waste from the transfer of energy heat, friction, and sound. However, whether regenerative braking alone would provide enough instant force to slow a car in an emergency stop situation remains to be seen.

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The DS E TENSE PERFORMANCE prototype has been developed in conjunction with the brand’s Formula E team and uses the same electric motors found in its championship-winning race car. Providing 815 horsepower and 8,000 Nm of torque, the prototype can hit 100 kph in just two seconds and be charged in under just five minutes if hooked up to a 350 kW charger. 

DS hasn’t given any information on the E TENSE PERFORMANCE’s braking distances.

“Formula E is about maximising performance and efficiency, and the DS E TENSE PERFORMANCE is our vision of a road car utilising our race-winning technology,” says Beatrice Foucher, DS Automobiles CEO.

“Regenerative braking is a very powerful way to not only slow the vehicle down but also help improve battery performance. The DS E TENSE PERFORMANCE takes the technology to a new level, with regenerative braking used solely to slow the vehicle down.”

Whether we’ll actually see the DS E TENSE PERFORMANCE’s stylish coupe body, or indeed its regenerative-only braking tech, make it to road cars is up for debate.

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