The manual transmission is quickly becoming a more obscure option among new cars, but does it have a place in electric cars? A new video from Engineering Explained looks at the possibility of manual gearboxes shifting power in electric vehicles and there are two major questions: is it possible? Additionally, is it even logical?
Foremost, yes, it’s definitely possible for an electric car to feature a manual transmission. Although there’s really no place for a clutch with an electric powertrain, it certainly can be done, per the video’s explanation. Although, it quickly leads to the second, and more important, question.
It’s not very logical. The efficiency losses as electric power travels through a traditional drivetrain are not favorable. Electric cars are most efficient when the powertrain is connected directly to the driven wheels. Furthermore, most cars do not accelerate past 100 mph in most scenarios. This makes a single-gear setup optimal for electric cars.
Now, the more interesting part is that it could still be done. Although it’s not exactly logical, automakers like General Motors could still swing a manual transmission for an enthusiast-focused electric car. Beyond that, the manual transmission doesn’t really have a place with electric cars.