How Do Electric Cars Shift Gears?

It is not a surprise that more people get interested in electric cars every day since it is believed that they will be the vehicles of our future. That being said, many want to know how these cars work, and what are their main features. Since most electric cars do not have multi-speed transmissions, everyone wants to know how these vehicles shift gears. 

Electric cars do not include a clutch, as they are not manual, meaning that there is no necessity of shifting gears when driving. Namely, EVs are automatic vehicles that come with only one gear. Although the driving experience is eased up, this does not mean that the car is less powerful. 

Care to learn something more about electric cars? This is the right article for that purpose because it includes the work of EVs and the ways in which they are operated. If you want to learn about the drivetrain of electric vehicles, this is the right place to do so. 

How Do You Shift Gears In Electric Cars? 

Conventional vehicles have been around for a long time, and we all know that they can be manual and automatic. In fact, many manufacturers tend to make new cars without a clutch. This kind of structure makes driving easier, therefore, there is a rise in interest in the clutchless drivetrain of cars.   

However, electric cars are still developing and many people do not know about their way of work and features. It is a fact that they are becoming more popular each day, but not many are familiar with their properties, especially when it comes to the drivetrain. The truth is that electric vehicles are very similar to conventional gas-powered cars. 

Nonetheless, there are a few differences among all of these cars when it comes to shifting gears. To simplify this, we have included a table that shows what is different in the drivetrain of these types of vehicles. 

Type of Vehicle Way of Shifting Gears 
Manual gas-powered vehicle Manual shifting of gears by driver depending on the speed on the road 
Automatic gas-powered vehicle Automatically determines the gear in which should be driven 
Electric vehicle Only one gear/ No shifting 

As you can see, conventional gas-powered vehicles can be manual and automatic. That is, the former requires manual shifting of gears depending on the speed you are using while driving. The latter, on the other hand, automatically shifts gears, meaning that the vehicle itself determines the gear in which you are driving. 

Electric vehicles have a similar structure to automatic gas-powered ones. However, the difference is that EVs have only one gear, meaning there is no gear shifting required while driving. To many, this feature is not so impressive because they believe that this makes the vehicle less powerful. 

Nonetheless, this is a completely misleading belief considering the fact that electric cars are as powerful as conventional gas-powered vehicles. Namely, EVs have strong horsepower and powerful torque since the electric motor can provide the same power as conventional engines do. 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of The EV Driving Experience 

People who are not passionate car drivers will really enjoy the simplified driving experience provided by electric vehicles. Considering the fact that you are not required to switch gears at any point, makes the driving experience easier and simpler.

However, there are car enthusiasts who are not so satisfied with the structure of electric vehicles, especially their drivetrain.

Advantages of Driving an EV Disadvantages of Driving an EV
Delivers maximum torque at zero RPM (revolutions per minute)Single speed transmission that regulates the electric motor Excellent balance between top speed and acceleration Only three buttons to control for moving forward, parking, and going reverse No stalling of the vehicle No feeling of the vehicle working its way up and down through the gearbox Omission of the smooth feeling of changing gears 

Since we are talking about the driving experience of electric vehicles, the disadvantages refer mostly to passionate drivers who really want to get the feeling that cars provide. This refers to shifting gears and the vehicle working its way to achieving the necessary power band.

These drivers also want to experience the smooth transition of gears when they use the clutch. 

Electric vehicles do not provide this experience since they have only one gear and no clutch. Instead, they have only three buttons that allow the driver to control the vehicle. These buttons are: 

  • D – for moving forward
  • R – for reverse 
  • P – for park 

Although driving is easy and prevents stalling of the vehicle, some drivers do not enjoy this. On the other hand, people who want to ease up their driving experience find EVs quite soothing and comforting. 

Are All EVs Automatic? 

Most electric cars are automatic since there is no need for a clutch or shifting of gears. However, some manufacturers tend to include a shifting gear system in order to make the vehicles more natural to users who enjoy driving conventional cars.

Many people do not understand the necessity to make EVs automatic, but the truth is that they operate in a certain way that does not require manual operation. To understand better the reason behind all EVs being automatic, we have to look into the differences between manual and automatic control of vehicles. 

Operation of Manual Vehicles Operation of Electric Vehicles 
It is necessary to shift gears to achieve power and torque at a particular RPM One gear delivers the maximum torque of the vehicle at zero RPM 
Various gear ratios transfer the power that is produced by burning fuel Power is generated by the regenerative braking mechanism 
A complete stop is achieved by pressing the clutch and the brakes, so stalling is avoided  Stalling is not possible since there is no clutch, and the vehicle automatically shuts off 

So, as you can see, manufacturers have reasons for making electric cars automatic. When there is a necessity for fuel burning for power, there needs to be gear shifting as well. Since electric vehicles do not burn fuel in order to perform, there is no need for clutch and gear shifting.

Although electric vehicles are more practical and easier to operate, some people cannot adjust to the fact that there is no control over the gears. 


How Do Electric Cars Go In Reverse? 

Since there is no gear shifting and no clutch, electric cars just need to be put in reverse mode. Once the driver sets up the vehicle in reverse mode, the motor changes direction and spins backward. 

Do Electric Cars Have Brakes? 

Electric cars have both brake and accelerator pedals. However, if you want to decrease the speed, you do not have to hit the brake pedal, but just lift your foot from the acceleration pedal. This way you get the option to drive with only one pedal. 

Do Electric Cars Accelerate Faster? 

Even though they do not have gear shifting, electric cars can accelerate faster than gas-powered vehicles. This is due to the fact that electric motors are built more simply than combustion engines. 

Final Thoughts 

Electric cars come with a lot of different features, so having a distinguished drivetrain is not a surprising one. Now, you know everything about the driving experience of electric cars, so you can see whether this is a vehicle you need.

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