We study the exact time-dependent potential energy surface (TDPES) in the presence of strong nonadiabatic coupling between the electronic and nuclear motion. The concept of the TDPES emerges from the exact factorization of the full electron-nuclear wave function [A. Abedi, N. T. Maitra, and E. K. U. Gross, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 123002 (2010)PRLTAO0031-9007]. Employing a one-dimensional model system, we show that the TDPES exhibits a dynamical step that bridges between piecewise adiabatic shapes. We analytically investigate the position of the steps and the nature of the switching between the adiabatic pieces of the TDPES.