Volkswagen ID.3 Owners & Service Manuals
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Volkswagen ID.3: Brake energy recuperation

When slowing down the Volkswagen ID.3 vehicle, and when the vehicle is rolling in overrun or driving downhill, electrical energy is created by the electric drivetrain and stored in the high-voltage battery. The electric drivetrain hereby works as a generator and creates an engine braking effect. This process is called "brake energy recuperation".

Engine braking varies depending on the selector lever position.

The vehicle brake light may light up when the brake energy recuperation is intense. The brake energy recuperation, and therefore also the engine braking effect, decreases as the charge level of the high-voltage battery increases. If the high-voltage battery is completely charged, there is no brake energy recuperation and no electric motor braking effect. If the vehicle detects that the road conditions do not permit safe contact between the wheels and the road, the energy recuperation, and therefore also the engine braking, is automatically reduced. The power display gives information about the available energy recuperation and the engine braking.

Depending on the selector lever position and the settings in the Infotainment system, the Volkswagen ID.3 vehicle will recuperate differently: Selector lever position engaged and ECO assist deactivated: No energy recuperation.

Selector lever position engaged and ECO assist activated: Automatic energy recuperation. The level of recuperation is automatically chosen depending on the navigation data and traffic situation.

Selector lever position engaged: Intense energy recuperation.

The vehicle still recuperates energy if the brake pedal is pressed.

Eco assist

The ECO assist helps the driver use the Volkswagen ID.3 vehicle's engine braking efficiently. It chooses the level of recuperation depending on the navigation data and the traffic situation.

The ECO assist can be switched on and off in the vehicle settings in the Infotainment system.

Driving on an incline

On inclines, it is best to drive in the gear where possible.

Never let the Volkswagen ID.3 vehicle roll down mountains or hills in the neutral setting.


Strong recuperation can cause traction loss and sliding, especially on slippery roads. This could cause loss of vehicle control, accidents and serious or fatal injuries.

  • Only activate permanent high brake energy recuperation when the visibility, weather, road and traffic conditions allow and other road users are not put at risk by the vehicle deceleration and driving style.


As the charge level of the high-voltage battery increases, the electric motor braking effect decreases and can completely disappear. The driving behavior may therefore change, which can cause accidents and serious or fatal injuries.

  • Never completely charge the high-voltage battery at higher altitudes, for example on a mountain pass, in order to achieve braking efficiency thanks to brake energy recuperation on the subsequent drive down.

  • Before driving on steep hills, reduce your speed.

  • When driving on steep hills, reduce your speed with the Volkswagen ID.3 vehicle brakes.

  • Note that, in the absence of electric motor braking, the strain on the vehicle brakes increases.


Via the driving modes, the driver can adapt various properties of vehicle systems to the current driving situation, the desired driving comfort, and for an economic driving style. The suspension, steering, drive, and the air conditioner are some of the vehicle systems that can be adjusted.

Different driving modes are available depending on the Volkswagen ID.3 vehicle equipment. The influence of vehicle systems on the individual driving modes depends on the vehicle equipment.

Vehicles with adaptive chassis control (DCC)

During the drive, the adaptive chassis control (DCC ) adapts the suspension damping to the current ground and driving situation. The adaptive chassis control also incorporates the suspension tuning of the selected driving mode.

Some settings can be saved in the driver personalization user profiles and will change when the user profile is switched.

Volkswagen ID.3 (E11, E12) 2020-2024 Owner's Manual

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