Do EV Cars have Transmissions?

Do EV cars have transmissions? Well, electric vehicles are more popular than ever in and beyond, and it’s not hard to see why! EVs offer a smooth, efficient ride with performance specs that often outmatch their gasoline-powered counterparts. Sam Leman Automotive Group offers EVs from various popular brands, including Chevy, BMW, Mazda, and Toyota. In this article, I will discuss the EV car transmission system.

Do EV cars have transmissions

Do EV Cars have Transmissions?
 Do EV Cars have transmissions?

Yes, electric cars have transmissions, but they are drastically different than internal combustion engine transmissions. They’re so different, they look like they don’t even have a transmission. They work differently from those found in a standard gas-powered car, mainly because electric motors are capable of producing near-instantaneous torque, while internal combustion engines are not. Peak power happens instantly – no need to “rev” the engine!

While gasoline-powered cars can have a 6, 7, 8, or even 10-speed transmission, the instant power of electric cars means it needs only a single-speed transmission. That means that it accelerates essentially instantly, using all the power in the EV as soon as you press down on the pedal. Here’s how it works: You step on the accelerator, which sends electricity from the battery to the electric motor.

The motor spins, so the gearbox spins as well – this is the term that refers to the transmission in an EV. As the motor and gearbox start to spin, the EV starts to move. Most gas-powered engines rotate at a rate of around 7,000 rpm while electric motors can achieve up to 20,000 rpm!
Putting your EV into reverse causes the electric motor to spin backward, as opposed to a gas-powered vehicle where the transmission has a separate gear that moves in reverse.

How does an EV motor works-

Among the distinguishing features of electric vehicles is the quiet, instantaneous, and smooth acceleration. That’s because propulsion in an electric vehicle works differently. As their names suggest, the main difference between electric vehicles and gasoline-powered cars is the fuel source. When you step on the accelerator of an electric vehicle, electricity is sent from the battery to the electric motor, sending it rapidly spinning. Most EVs have a single AC (alternating current) motor connected to a gearbox. What is in the gearbox is what some people call a transmission since it is indeed a set of gears that transmits the rotation of the motor to the rotation of the wheels. But it is more accurately called a single-speed gear reduction unit since the multiple gears in the gearbox are always connected to each other and thus all spin at the same time.

The gear reduction unit reduces the RPMs of the motor to the more reasonable RPMs of the wheels at a ratio of roughly 10 to 1. So there is no clutch, no disengagement of gears, and no shifting between differently sized gears depending on the needs of the vehicle—in other words, no transmission.

An AC motor can rotate anywhere from zero to 10,000 RPM or more. (The motor in a 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid can rotate up to 23,308 RPM, one of the reasons it can accelerate up to 200 miles per hour.) This gives EVs plenty of torque at a wide range of speeds, with a “sweet spot” between enough torque and enough speed in the 30-40 mph range. The energy passes directly and nearly instantaneously from the motor through the gearbox to the wheels rather than through transmission, and the transition from one speed to the next does not have to shift from one gear to the next, making for smooth and quiet acceleration.

The lack of transmission reduces the friction (and thus wear-and-tear) that comes with engaging and disengaging multiple gears. The fluid transition also better maintains a vehicle’s forward momentum than does gear shifting, which is one of the reasons why electric vehicles are far more efficient at using energy.

Overall, an electric vehicle on average converts 77% of the electricity stored in its battery toward moving the car forward, while a gas-powered car converts from 12% to 30% of the energy stored in the gasoline in its tank.1 Much of the rest is wasted as heat. The transmitting power from an EV’s motor to its wheels is 89% to 98% efficient, depending on the vehicle, whereas in an ICE car, the same process from the engine to wheels is only 14% to 26% efficient.

EV transmission maintenance-

One of the benefits of EVs is that they require much less maintenance than their gasoline-powered counterparts, but that doesn’t mean that they require no maintenance at all. It’s important to keep your EV’s transmission in top condition the same way you would any other car. This involves changing transmission fluid (though not all EVs require this), keeping an eye on how your EV runs during Bloomington, Morton, and Peoria drives to make sure the transmission is working properly, and sticking to your regularly-scheduled maintenance.


Any vehicle, ICE or EV, needs more torque than speed to propel the car from a dead stop, and more speed than torque once the vehicle already has forward momentum. Some EVs solve this problem by having multiple motors with different gear ratios to deliver more or less torque, depending on the needs of the vehicle, with electronics more efficiently shifting electrons to different motors rather than a transmission less efficiently shifting gears.

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