Why Do Electric Cars Not Have Gears?

Those who learned to drive in a manual transmission should be familiar with the concept of changing gears. Internal combustion engines only produce efficient power at specified RPM ranges, whether the goal is to accelerate swiftly or efficiently attain cruising speed. As a result, proper power distribution through gear shifts at the proper RPM range is essential. Torque output is maximum in low ratios while the car is moving from a standstill. Torque gradually decreases as the vehicle acquires speed. As a result, manufacturers meticulously calculate and set gear ratios in accordance with engine output in order to maximize efficient power at each gear.

In electric vehicles, however, this is not the case. Because of the so-called engine in an electric automobile, an electric motor, multi-speed gearboxes are not required. Electric motors deliver a consistent amount of torque at any given RPM within a particular range, but internal combustion engines require many gears with variable ratios for power production. Electric motors deliver power quickly, eliminating the need for internal combustion engines to build up torque through revving. Automobile manufacturers use precisely calculated gear ratios to enhance electric motor efficiency without needing to swap gears.

Furthermore, most electric motors may easily exceed 10,000 RPM.

Because electric motors can deliver consistent torque over such a wide RPM range, as opposed to the 6,000RPM redline of many internal combustion engines, a multi-speed gearbox would just increase inefficiencies like weight and production costs.

Why are electric automobiles only equipped with one gear?

An electric car does not require gears because it does not have a clutch. Unlike conventional petrol or diesel automobiles, electric vehicles do not have a multi-speed transmission. They just have one gear instead. This is due to the fact that they can generate far greater revs than a traditional gasoline engine. A normal car’s revs per minute (rpm) range from 4,000 to 6,000, whereas an electric motor can reach 20,000 rpm.

In a combustion engine, torque is employed for acceleration, and power is generated in a restricted spectrum of engine speeds, or gears. To accelerate, the rpm must be kept reasonably high in order to obtain the necessary torque and power. The gears allow you to keep the power between a certain range, allowing you to gently accelerate and decelerate while maintaining sufficient torque. You can only go so fast in first gear until the number of rpm gets too much and you need to shift to second gear.

Electric motors, on the other hand, provide 100% of their torque at relatively low speeds (under 1,000 rpm). The lower the rpm, the less torque is generated, therefore sticking to a low rpm of roughly 2,000 is actually more useful.

It doesn’t rule out the possibility of electric automobiles having gears, but they aren’t required for the vehicle to function.

Will there ever be gears in an electric car?

Electric vehicles, in general, do not have the same multispeed transmissions as gas-powered vehicles, with nearly all having only one speed. (There are several exceptions, which we’ll discuss later.) This is due to the fact that electric motors create their full power as soon as they begin to rotate (i.e., from a complete stop) and continue to do so over a wide rev range.

Although peak power does not last, some cars’ motors can rev as high as 20,000 rpm. Gas engines, on the other hand, typically peak out (or redline) around 6,000 or 7,000 rpm; must be “revved up” to make maximum power; and are most efficient, depending on load, within a very small rev range. To operate at low and high road speeds with more efficiency, they require more than one speed. A multispeed transmission that is useful in a gas car isn’t usually worth the significant increase in weight, expense, and complexity in an electric vehicle, although EVs do have one.

Even one-speed electric vehicles require gears to adjust the electric motor’s drive-gear ratio and send power to a differential, which divides the power between the wheels. Furthermore, when Park is engaged, they may feature a system that locks the gears. Reverse just causes the electric motor to spin in the other direction in most EVs, thus separate gears aren’t required.

Is it possible to drive an electric car with a manual transmission?

Only two electric vehicles with manual transmission are currently available. For a starting price of roughly $187,600, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo can be ordered with a two-speed rear axle transmission.

The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is a little more cheap. According to Edmunds, the first all-electric car from Audi can be obtained for roughly $101,000 with a two-speed automated manual actual axle transmission.

Why aren’t electric automobiles equipped with a clutch?

As the availability of manual transmissions in modern cars continues to dwindle, more and more electric cars with a single speed gearbox appear on the market. Because an electric car’s maximal torque is accessible right away, there’s no need for more than one gear for best acceleration.

Is it, nevertheless, possible? Could an enthusiast brand produce an electric vehicle with a classic manual transmission to appeal to individuals who refuse to drive a vehicle in which they are unable to row through all of the available gears? This week’s episode of Engineering Explained sought to do just that.

In reality, there is no logical need for an electric car to have a clutch. Because an electric motor cannot stall, which is why a clutch is required in a standard internal combustion engine, adding a clutch to an electric vehicle is illogical.

However, on an emotional level, an electric car with a typical manual transmission is possible. It may operate in the same way as any other manual gearbox in an ICE vehicle, giving the driver the same level of satisfaction.

This is how it would all go down:

Is it possible to rev an electric car?

There are a variety of reasons why electric vehicles only have one gear. The first is that electric motors rotate (or’rev’) far more quickly than internal-combustion engines. A common electric motor can rev up to 20,000rpm, significantly higher than a conventional road car’s 4,000-6,000rpm limit.

Furthermore, electric motors are energy-efficient across the entire rpm range. This means that they don’t just function at their best in a tiny, narrow rpm range. It also means that electric automobiles produce maximum torque practically quickly from zero revs, implying that they lack a rev range optimized for low-speed driving and acceleration.

Are you able to drive an electric vehicle?

Because electric cars lack transmissions, a popular concern is if it is possible to push one, particularly if it has broken down. Imagine being 10 feet away from the charger when your electric vehicle decides it’s time to charge.

In fact, if an EV breaks down, you can push it. When power is given to an electric car, the motors engage. The motor is free to rotate when no power is given, and any rotation is delivered backward to charge the batteries.

Is Tesla equipped with gears?

In contrast to a standard motor vehicle, which has many gears and speeds coupled by an engine crankshaft, Teslas have a single-speed “transmission of sorts” that does not have gears to turn.

Do electric cars have air conditioning?

An electric car’s air conditioning and heating systems are now driven by an electric motor rather than an engine. According to Tesla, their HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system uses a compressor similar to that of a refrigerator.

Are there brakes on electric cars?

Both a brake and an accelerator pedal are present in electric cars. One of the most thrilling aspects of owning an electric automobile is the ability to drive with only one pedal. Even though you still have your brake pedal, ‘one pedal’ driving allows you to slow down the vehicle just by pulling your feet off the accelerator.

Is it true that manual autos are becoming extinct?

Every year, approximately 150,000 manual-equipped passenger automobiles were purchased in Australia. Due to buyer apathy and a shrinking number of options, that number fell to just 11,282 in 2020.