How Many Gears Does An Electric Car Have?

The world is now emerging and adapting to electric vehicles. Electric Vehicles are better for the environment. They release less CO2 and pollutants than gasoline or diesel.

If you are wondering how many gears does an electric car have, we have a simple answer to your question, which is that: when you drive an electric car, you don’t need a clutch. Hence, there is no need for gears as well.

Electric cars don’t have a multi-speed gearbox like fuel cars. Instead, they only have one gear which enables the electric vehicle to go much faster than a normal fuel engine car.

What Is The Difference Between A Transmission And A Gear?

The Transmission Of An Electric Vehicle
An Internal Engine Gear Of An Electric Vehicle

To put it simply: A gearbox is a component that converts the power from the engine to enable the car to move.

While driving a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, the transmission may consist of a manual or automated gearbox, a propeller shaft, a differential gear that enables the rear wheels to rotate at different speeds when cornering, and the drive shafts that deliver optimum power to each wheel. 

To make steering easier in a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the gearbox is often positioned alongside or on top of the engine, with drive shafts leading straight to the wheels. A transfer box is often used in four-wheel-drive cars that use a mix of the two.

Do Electric Cars Have Gears?

There’s no gear shifting required in electric cars in order to attain top speed.

What is the reason behind this? To begin with, the rpm range of an electric motor is much greater than a standard electric motor with a maximum speed of 20,000 revolutions per minute (rpm).

You should know beforehand that an ICE can normally reach the maximum speed of 6,000 to 7,000 rpm.

An internal combustion engine, on the other hand, has a much more limited power range than an electric motor. The peak power output is where the power band starts and ends.

When using an ICE, it starts at mid-range engine speeds and stops at the red line. Maximum torque is generated quickly from zero revolutions per minute in electric motors, and they often achieve their top speed with a single-speed gearbox.

Electric vehicles equipped with a single-speed gearbox are limited to a single gear ratio; hence, they often require a trade-off between top speed and acceleration. As electric motors can run at such high speeds, this is typically not a problem.

Read Electric Car or Gas Car: Which is a Better Option?

Why Do Electric Cars Only Have One Gear?

Electrified vehicles have just one gear for a variety of reasons. Firstly, electric motors rotate at a far quicker rate than internal-combustion engines.

In contrast to the conventional 4,000-6,000rpm limit of a regular road vehicle, an electric motor’s maximum speed might even go up to 20,000rpm.

That rpm range is ideal for electric motors since they are power-efficient. This implies that they aren’t limited to a small, restricted range of revolutions.

Having no specified rev range for low-speed driving means electric vehicles can produce their full torque very quickly from zero revolutions.

Importance Of Gears In An Electric Car

For low-speed acceleration, the electric car is in first gear, which helps it start faster. To make it easier to drive at high speeds and reach a higher top speed, the car shifts into second gear when it’s on the highway.

Adding a second gear improves acceleration.

Read What to Do When Your Electric Car Runs Out of Charge?

Is There Any Benefit To Having Gears In An Electric Car?

In an EV, a multi-speed gearbox gives the same advantages as an ICE automobile. By allowing the motor to run at a slower speed in a higher gear, you can maximize acceleration while also boosting efficiency at high speeds.

This is not required but may help in increasing the range while driving on highways.

ZF, a supplier to the automotive industry, is developing its very own version of a two-speed gearbox that it says would result in a 5% increase in electric range. This might add 15 to 20 miles to the range of larger EVs.

A two-speed EV gearbox needs more maintenance, undercutting one of the EV’s primary selling points: lower maintenance costs. Tesla has provided a possible answer to this problem with its dual motor.

Each front and rear drive unit has a separate gear ratio. At lower speeds, more power is transferred towards the rear-wheel-drive system, which is more suited to acceleration and low-speed driving.

As you accelerate, more power is sent to the front-drive system, which is more efficient on highways. This contributes to Tesla achieving greater maximum speeds, faster acceleration, and better battery ranges than any of its opponents.

Read How Much Does it Cost to Convert a Car to Electric

how many gears does an electric car have
An Electric Vehicle

What Are The Benefits Of Having Just A Single Gear?

From a manufacturing point of view, cost and simplicity are the primary advantages of using a single gear to run the electric motor.

Installing a driveline with many gears immediately increases the cost and complexity, which eventually increases the car’s price.

Given that electric vehicles are often more expensive than their diesel and gasoline competitors, it’s unlikely that manufacturers would want to increase the price unnecessarily.

This is especially true when the single-gear setup is already optimal for the majority of electric vehicles and delivers an equal or even better performance than conventional powertrains.

Read Should I Buy a Used Electric Car?

Why Don’t Electric Cars Have Multi-Gear Transmissions?

Specifically, the most significant distinctions between electric and conventional cars are the drivetrain. A gasoline-powered car has a multiple-speed gearbox that includes several ratios, while almost all-electric vehicles include a single-speed transmission.

What an electric motor does is that it delivers the maximum torque at a speed of zero revolutions per minute. Apart from an internal combustion engine, it certainly does not require a mechanism to unplug it from the drivetrain during a halt.

Electric motors operate at a substantially higher revolutions per minute range than conventional internal combustion engines. Additionally, unlike a diesel or gasoline engine, the electric motor generates the maximum power across the RPM range.

Rather than loading the vehicle with several gears to satisfy the engine, the designers of mostly all-electric vehicles just opt for a gear ratio that provides a reasonable combination of acceleration and maximum speed.

Therefore, maximum speed is often meaningless, with a typical electric motor functioning at 20,000 revolutions per minute.

However, most electric cars today use a single-speed gearbox instead of a multi-speed gearbox because a single ratio does most of the work.

This is because a multi-speed gearbox is complicated and expensive, which is not what an electric car needs; hence, electric cars don’t have a gearbox.

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Can Evs Have Multiple Gears?

Whether internal combustion or electric, any vehicle requires greater torque than speed to bring the car from a standstill and more speed than torque when the vehicle is already pushing forward.

So, wouldn’t electric cars benefit from several gears, after all? Yes, but at the expense of a more complex system that requires more weight, a larger supply, etc. In other words, higher maintenance costs for the consumer.

The Audi e-Tron GT and Porsche Taycan are two examples of newer electric vehicles with many gears that allow them to provide more torque to the wheels for increased acceleration.

Tesla Transmissions

It’s hard to keep up with all of the latest and greatest innovations in the automobile industry nowadays. When it comes to electric cars, Tesla’s Model-3 is a fascinating vehicle. 

When it comes to shifting, Tesla only has one gear as it doesn’t need more than that. This is because electric motors produce 100% of their torque at extremely low speeds, whereas internal combustion engines only generate torque at a small range of speeds.

On a practical level, this means that the transmission’s variable gear ratios are used to accelerate the vehicle’s combustion engine.

The Tesla Model-3 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds because of its powerful electric motors, which boost its top speed, torque, and overall power.

Read How Long Will a Tesla Battery Last?

Porsche Taycan Ev Transmission

The Taycan performs wonderfully to its sharp steering, stoic calmness, and polished riding experience.

With a planetary gearset and dual clutches, the Porsche’s gearbox can shift gear ratios or detach the rear motor entirely, allowing for efficient operation exclusively with the front-axle power.

With the second gear ratio being about half of the first and the shift point being around 50 mph, the gearing step is rather substantial and requires a lot of shifting—most of the time, the Taycan shifts into top gear and cruises.

Sport and Sport Plus modes allow for first-gear starts, but Normal mode necessitates a substantial accelerator input.

Accelerating is similar to launching a rocket, except that you may keep stomping on the accelerator until it explodes.

To put it another way, Porsche boasts that the 750-hp Turbo S, the highest-powered Taycan, can do ten straight 60mph dashes in under three seconds.

According to this, the car’s performance will stay steady even if the battery has less than half of its capacity.

Porsche attributes this to the car’s greater operating voltage, the permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors, and the car’s rear-axle two-speed gearbox.

Even though it has excellent brakes, the vehicle lacks regenerative characteristics, and its pedal seems passive.

The Tesla Model S will always be compared to the 2022 Porsche Taycan, but the Taycan is undoubtedly the more exciting option. The large top gear might help the Taycan’s range on the highway, which is generally an EV kryptonite.

However, Porsche has yet to publish EPA range numbers.

Electric VehiclesGears
Tesla Model S1-Speed Fixed Gear Ratio
Nissan LeafOne Gear
Smart Eq FortwoFive-Speed Gearbox
Honda E1-Speed Fixed Gear
Volkswagen E-Golf1 Speed Auto CVT Transmission Relation
Hyundai IoniqSix-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic Gearbox
Kia E-NiroSecond Generation (SG2)
Hyundai Kona ElectricSix-Speed Manual ‘Box
Porsche Taycan EVTwo-Speed Gearbox

Read How to Make Your Battery Last a Long Time

The Difference Between Electric And Gasoline-Powered Vehicles In Terms Of Gears

The absence of a gear shifter is one of the most noticeable differences between electric and conventional vehicles. Internal combustion engines create power and torque at varying RPMs.

Therefore a gearbox with a variety of gear ratios is needed to properly transmit the power to the wheels and keep the engine in its “exclusive power range.”

Due to the lack of a combustion process or fuel burning, an electric motor generates its maximum torque at 0 revolutions per minute.

In addition, these motors offer a wide RPM range of up to 20,000 RPM! As a result, EV engineers don’t need to mate the motor with numerous gears.

They only need to design a one-ratio, single-speed transmission that regulates the electric motor and delivers a great balance between acceleration and top speed.

Those who like driving with manual gearboxes, or even automatic transmissions, will certainly miss the feeling of the car working its way up or down through the gearbox.

The joy of effortlessly shifting gears is also absent in an electric vehicle. It’s as simple as pressing the pedal and turning or pushing the drive selector. EVs lack reverse gear since the electric motor is controlled by just one gear.

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