EV adoption is on the increase, and with the rise in numbers comes more curiosity and questions about how electric cars work. As a result, a frequently asked question is, “are electric cars manual or automatic?”
In this blog post, we’ll dive into the reasons why electric vehicles have automatic transmissions and discuss the many benefits of driving automatic in an electric vehicle.
In simple terms, all electric cars are automatic, meaning they do not have a traditional manual transmission with a clutch pedal and gear shift. Instead, they use a single-speed transmission and deliver constant and instant power. This is because electric motors have a very broad torque curve and do not require a complex gearbox to deliver power to the wheels efficiently.
Electric cars have gears but typically only have one gear ratio, so they are often referred to as having a “single-speed gearbox.”
However, there has been a rise in the use of two-speed automatic gearboxes, particularly in high-performance electric vehicles. The Porsche Taycan was one of the first EVs to have a two-speed transmission, with the first gear reserved for rapid acceleration and the second for all other driving situations. The first gear is mainly used in Sport or Sport Plus driving modes.
Unlike traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that require a manual gearbox to change gears, most electric vehicles only have one gear as they use a single-speed gearbox built into the motor.
Pure electric vehicles typically have a single gear because electric motors have a broad and flat torque curve that provides ample power and acceleration across a wide range of speeds. This is in contrast to traditional petrol or diesel cars that require multiple gears to keep the engine running in the most efficient speed range and to provide the right amount of torque to the wheels at different speeds.
Electric cars do not have a clutch as they use a single-speed transmission, which doesn’t require manual gear shifting or a clutch pedal.
Electric cars do not need a clutch because they don’t need to change between gears. It’s also impossible for an electric vehicle to stall as there is only a brake and accelerator pedal.
The single-speed gearbox in electric cars provides several benefits over traditional manual transmissions, including:
Automatic transmissions in electric vehicles are generally more efficient than manual transmissions. This is because automatic transmissions can shift gears more quickly and accurately than a human can, reducing energy waste and improving the vehicle’s overall efficiency.
Electric cars with automatic transmissions are very easy to drive since there is no need to shift gears manually. This makes them ideal for stop-and-go city driving and for drivers who prefer a more effortless driving experience.
Automatic transmissions in electric cars require less maintenance than manual transmissions. With fewer moving parts, the transmission has less wear and tear, reducing the need for regular servicing and maintenance.
Automatic transmissions in electric vehicles can perform better than manual transmissions, particularly in acceleration and torque delivery. This is because the automatic transmission can shift gears quickly and smoothly, allowing the electric motor to deliver power more efficiently and effectively.
Automatic transmissions in electric cars can improve safety, particularly for novice drivers. The automatic transmission ensures that the vehicle is always in the correct gear, reducing the risk of stalling, incorrect shifting, or other errors that could compromise safety.
Automatic electric cars use regenerative braking, which converts braking energy into electrical energy that can be stored in the battery. This improves the car’s efficiency and range by reducing the energy wasted during braking.
While automatic electric vehicles have many advantages, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider:
With an automatic transmission, the driver has limited control over gear selection, which can disadvantage drivers who prefer a more engaging driving experience.
Automatic electric cars are generally more expensive to purchase than manual electric vehicles due to the added cost of the automatic transmission.
In short, no, you cannot get a manual electric car because there is no need for them to have gears, meaning most electric cars are automatic.
That being said, Ford created a unique electric Mustang model with a manual transmission. Though this car was a one-off and is unlikely ever to hit the road.
Additionally, Toyota recently filed a patent for a “simulated manual gearbox“ designed to give electric drivers the sensation of using a manual transmission, even though it will not impact the vehicle’s performance.
Other automakers may also create such models in the future to ease the transition to electric vehicles and provide a driving experience that is more familiar to people who prefer to drive a conventional car.
Mild hybrids, which have an electric motor to assist the internal combustion engine, do have manual transmissions. However, these hybrids cannot run on electricity alone.
Nevertheless, most “full” hybrids that can travel on electric power alone are automatic.
With the looming ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, some young drivers may wonder whether they even need a manual license if all electric vehicles are automatic.
Learning to drive in an automatic electric vehicle could provide a more straightforward driving experience for a novice driver who plans to drive an electric vehicle after passing their test.
However, passing your driving test in an automatic electric vehicle means you will only receive an automatic only driving licence and won’t be able to drive a manual car. As such, getting a manual license to drive both a manual and an automatic vehicle may still be worthwhile.
In conclusion, electric cars do not have a traditional manual gearbox with a clutch pedal and gear shift. Instead, they use a single-speed transmission and deliver constant and instant power, making them automatic. While some high-performance electric vehicles now use a two-speed automatic gearbox, most electric vehicles only have one gear ratio. Electric cars are easy to drive, more efficient, require less maintenance, and provide better performance and safety than traditional manual transmissions.
If you have recently purchased an electric vehicle and would like a home EV charger installed at your property, contact us today at 03333 44 96 99, or fill in the contact form below.
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This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.
This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.
Spread over a 60 month period.
Tenants and homeowners are eligible for finance.
You decide the amount of months.
Minimum of £1000.
We will contact you to process the credit application. Approval is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. 13.9% APR representative. T&Cs apply.
Your order is not confirmed until your application has been approved.
We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.
We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.
Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.
Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.
A Surge Protection Device is not included in our standard installation.
What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.
If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.