Do Electric Cars Have Transmissions?

Transmission Cross Section Close-Up

 

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 well outmatch their gasoline-powered counterparts. Sam Leman Automotive Group offers EVs from a wide variety of popular brands, including Chevy, BMW, Mazda, and Toyota. If you’ve bought your first EV, or if you’re just interested in learning about how they work, you might be wondering about some of the following questions:

  • What exactly makes an electric car tick?
  • Do electric cars require oil?
  • Do electric cars have transmissions?
  • How does an electric motor differ from a gasoline engine?

Fortunately, we’re happy to help you answer those questions. While there are many significant components that differ between EVs and gas-powered cars, some things remain the same. Electric cars do in fact have transmissions, just like traditional vehicles. However, on closer inspection, you’ll see that the transmission in an EV runs a bit differently from one in a gas-powered car. The team at Sam Leman Automotive Group has more details on how the electric car transmission works in the guide below. 

EV Transmission: Gears on Electric Cars

EVs do indeed have transmissions, but 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:

  1. You step on the accelerator, which sends electricity from the battery to the electric motor. 
  2. The motor spins, so the gearbox spins as well – this is the term that refers to the transmission in an EV.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.

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, Peoria drives to make sure the transmission is working properly, and sticking to your regularly-scheduled maintenance. If you want to schedule an appointment to get your transmission inspected by our service team, you can do so right from our website!

Find Your Next Electric Vehicle at Sam Leman Automotive Group!

If you’re looking for an EV and want to see how one handles on the roads, feel free to contact our teams anytime! We’ll help you set up a test drive and get you behind the wheel in no time. You can also reach out with any questions, or for more information about all things electric. And if you’re ready to bring a new EV home to your garage, be sure to check out one of our finance centers for a great resource to get started.

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