Do Electric Cars Have Transmissions? | Why Electric Cars Have Only One Gear

Today, most cars you see on the roads are electric cars. Be it the European countries, the United States, or Asian economies like China and South Korea. It’s easy to claim that these ecological cars have already started taking over the world with intriguing and appealing benefits. EVs aren’t simply the future- they’re the present of commutation.

If you want to switch to an electric car, now is undoubtedly the time to invest in one. With a range of electric car brands and models on the market, you can get your hands on several premium EVs based on your preferences, budgets, and lifestyles. Though, it’s alright to have inevitable confusion, especially about the gears and engines, before purchasing an electric car.

You may wonder, “do electric cars have transmissions?” or whether they have only one gear- and why? Luckily, here’s a quick session to guide you through the confusion and answer your gear-related queries quickly.

Do Electric Cars Have Transmissions?

It’s hard to miss the absence of gearboxes in most electric cars. The majority of them, like the Audi e-tron GT and Fiat 500, offer a single gear, unlike the built of conventional and manual cars with diesel and petrol-based engines.

That’s one reason why you don’t hear the churning noise of your engine and indulge in a noiseless, tranquil drive with electric cars. In a way, electric cars are pretty similar to automatic cars, saving you from the hassle of constantly pressing your clutch to change gears.

Simply put, electric motors are more effective over a broader RPM range, eliminating the need for gearing. On the other hand, conventional cars need transmissions because their engines can only work well within a specific RPM range.

For instance, a typical diesel or petrol-based car generally reaches somewhere between 4000 to 6000 RPM, whereas electric cars can go as high as 20000 RPMs.

EVs have a single transmission
A closeup of the interior of a Volkswagen electric car

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Why Is There A Single Gear In Electric Cars?

A single gear has several benefits. Apart from the peaceful and quiet rides, the crucial reason electric cars have one gear is simple: they don’t need more! They have a single transmission because, as mentioned earlier, they maintain a steady and high RPM range because of how the internal combustion engines are manufactured.

They ensure little to no compromise in usability and low-speed driving, offering effective acceleration throughout the use. In addition, electric car engines maintain a balance between top speed and acceleration which removes the need to change gears as you indulge in the perfect portion of acceleration and high-speed runs.

Additionally, having a single transmission means wallet-friendly and simplistic operation. That’s a vital advantage for both drivers and car manufacturers. Adding several gearboxes increases cost and complexity for the producers, increasing the electric car’s price tags.

In addition, more gearboxes mean more maintenance costs, further affecting the overall affordability for several potential buyers or existing users. That sets off electric car charms for being a pocket-friendlier alternative to conventional cars because, of course, why buy an EV when it costs almost as much as the diesel and petrol-based ones, after all? So, delivering excellent performance at remarkably lower costs is critical for every manufacturer.

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Batteries Used For EVs

Have you ever considered what type of battery your electric vehicle has? Read along to find out!

Because of technological advancements, growing environmental concerns, and, most importantly: rising competition in EV production, companies aim to develop the best electric cars. They use different batteries to ensure the maximum possible running time and keep the vehicle running before the electric car needs a recharge.

However, apart from the extensive use, the batteries must be compact enough to maintain the lightweight specs and not weigh the EV down. Did you know that most completely electric cars are, in fact, hybrid variations? They operate through a combination of fuel and electricity, with the primary battery being made of lithium-ion. These batteries are primarily produced in South Korea and China and were initially invented for smartphones and laptops.

Besides lithium-ion, car brands also use batteries made from nickel manganese cobalt (NMC). Because of their high densities, these batteries can store a larger quantity of energy. This feature makes them more popular among several EV buyers who’d instead get an electric car that doesn’t need frequent charging stops. Some reputable manufacturers using NMC batteries include Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and Kia.

The remaining two battery types well-favored in the market include ultracapacitors and lead-acid batteries. Both act more like supplements. And even though lead-acid batteries are exceptionally reliable and pocket-friendly, they’ve got a short and underwhelming useful life, making them a lackluster for fully electric vehicles. 

Do electric cars have transmissions?
Interior of a car

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Can Your Electric Car Have Several Gears?

You’d be astonished to know that electric cars can also offer multi-speed gearboxes, though most cars aren’t built that way. Porsche Taycan and a few Formula E single-seater electric cars designed for races come with two or even three-speed gearboxes.

Furthermore, Audi initially launched electric cars with three-speed gearboxes attached to them, assisting the vehicles in reaching their maximum speeds immediately.

At first glance, EVs having multiple gears may seem beneficial to some. And that’s why Taycan and e-tron GT are known for their higher torque, delivering even more deluxe acceleration.

That’s another reason few EV models with multiple gears are being launched. Electric trucks are also expected to include multiple transmissions and gears to accommodate higher cruising speeds and extensive RPMs. Tesla’s Semi is still planned to launch with a single-speed gearbox.

That all being said, single transmission is always more rewarding and fruitful because it keeps electric cars and their engines more effective. High-efficiency is more optimally possible with single gears- and that’s a fact.

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How Does It Feel Like Driving An Electric Car?

Even though you may have heard it from almost every electric owner, driving an EV is beyond perfect. The car promises an even smoother and more luxurious drive than the leading automatic cars, primarily because of its single transmission.

Even the automatic single-gearbox engines travel through gear ratios until they achieve the top speed. However, an electric car immediately transitions and reaches the top speed due to its incredible linear acceleration without you feeling the gear shifts. 

In addition, if you’re shifting from a conventional manual vehicle to an electric car, it’s super blissful. Unlike before, you need not worry about constantly pressing the clutch and brakes while changing the gears. The presence of only the acceleration and brakes ensures you enjoy a hassle-free ride.

Though, adjusting to regenerative brakes is a relatively newer concept. They manage electric motors, putting them in reverse and converting lost kinetic energy into stored energy for the car’s battery. We’ll explain how regenerative brakes work, don’t worry!

Driving a conventional car means pressing the brakes to reduce acceleration. However, the moment you stop pressing the acceleration in electric cars, they will slow down.

This feature comes in handy when driving during rush and peak hours with heavy congestion on the road. In addition, it’s also vital when you’re on the windy lanes where you most certainly need to slow down your speed after every few minutes.

If you want maximum energy preservation, don’t forget to switch modes when driving on high-speed lanes like highways and motorways. That allows you to optimize your engine efficiency and range, especially when protecting your electric car range during winters.

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Electric Cars- Multiple Motors Vs. Multiple Gears

Innovation and diverse consumer requirements call out for advanced EV models that cater to mass demands. Therefore, recent years have witnessed car manufacturers overcome- and upgrade from the single gearboxes. They’ve started introducing multiple motors with varying gear ratios and torque levels based on the EV built and requirement.

In addition, multiple motors enable the electronics to shift electrons more efficiently than when you’re shifting gears. So, if you’re searching for an even more attractive option than the single-gearboxes of electric vehicles, Lucid Air and some of Tesla’s models are ideal for you, offering dual and tri-motor versions. 

How many gears are in an electric car
do electric cars have transmissions?

How Many Gears Are There In Hybrid Cars?

So far, we know that EVs usually have a single transmission while conventional vehicles have several gears. Now, what does it entail for hybrid cars? You aren’t the only one thinking about whether hybrid cars have more than one gear or not. Here’s the answer you’re looking for!

Hybrid vehicles have both electric motors and petrol engines, making them slightly different from EVs and conventional cars. The way both types of power sources combine to operate the car differs for every hybrid model.

However, the generic ideology remains the same- the car will shift to either of these power sources depending on the situation. For instance, as per the condition, your hybrid car will drive using the electric motor or switch to a petrol-based engine.

Though one thing’s for sure, alternating between both power backups ensures lesser dependency on either of them. And not relying solely on petrol engines ensures less fossil fuel consumption and more optimal ecological emissions.

As for how the hybrid vehicles are manufactured, they have a single transmission, with every model being automatic. So, driving a hybrid is pretty much the same as using an EV in terms of not changing the gears.

Additionally, several hybrid vehicles include CVT automatic gearboxes, offering a smoother gear change than regular automatic cars. That makes your rides ultra-sleek, eliminating the distinct feeling and shift in acceleration.

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What Electric Cars Can You Buy Today?

Rising global fuel prices, technological innovation, and consumer preferences shifting towards green living are vital drivers of the EV industry. That’s why it’s not breaking news to see the electric vehicle industry boom.

Car manufacturers are investing deeply into creating more advanced models, with an electric car available to cater to every consumer’s affordability, price range, and lifestyle preferences.

There are numerous EV options you can select from when buying the ideal EV. It’s not every day that you purchase electric cars. So, you need to be well-informed and compare which model suits you better. In addition, you must first check if you’re looking for a fully electric car or a hybrid.

Some industry pioneers developing premium-quality and reliable EVs include Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, Ford, and Chevrolet. Hyundai Ioniq series, Kia EV6 and Niro, Tesla Model S Rear-Wheel Drive, and Mini SEO Hardtop are some of the most budget-friendly options.

If you value a high-end and trendy alternative,  Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron GT, Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, and Tesla Model S Long Range are vital alternatives.

Volkswagen Golf is an appealing option for buyers who want fully EVs that charge well under an hour. And if you want an electric car that lasts you excellent and extensive miles, Nissan Leaf is a must-consider model.

Lastly, Volvo and Land Rover are great choices if you wish to invest in a hybrid vehicle that reduces carbon emissions and saves fuel bills.

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Our Final Thoughts

This marks the end of our guide. Hopefully, you found the answers and clarified your concerns about EV engines and gears. So, if you ever thought, “do electric cars have transmissions?” Yes, an electric car has a single transmission- i.e., a single gear and not multiple gearboxes like conventional vehicles.

That’s mainly because EVs are quite like automatic cars and don’t have a clutch to ensure a smooth and optimal top-speed to acceleration ratio. Though, car manufacturers are planning to introduce multiple motors to ensure even better torque intensities.

Now that you know enough about the EV engines, don’t wait any longer and get your desired electric car today! We’ve mentioned a few models, so feel free to compare their specs and get the one that matches your demands the best.

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