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Do Electric Cars Have Transmissions?

Transmission Cross Section Close-Up


Electric vehicles have been around for a while, but they are still kind of new to a lot of Anderson drivers. So, many of those drivers have questions. For instance, do electric cars like the Hyundai IONIQ Electric have transmissions? This is a reasonable question, and the answer is technically yes, but it’s not the kind of device you probably think of when you picture an automotive transmission. Let’s talk in more detail about what an electric car transmission is, as well as whether there are multiple gears on electric cars.



Do Electric Cars Have Transmissions Like Other Cars?

Is there a device that shifts gears on electric cars? Do electric cars like the Hyundai Kona Electric have transmissions that work like transmissions in other vehicles you see on Yorktown roads? 

If you’re picturing a device that shifts gears as the car accelerates and decelerates, then no, an electric car transmission is not that device. The device on an electric vehicle that we refer to as a “transmission” is technically known as a single-speed gear reduction unit. That’s because all of the gears in the gearbox are fused together and spin at the same time. Thus, there is no shifting between gears. 

What does the transmission do, then? It transmits rotating power to the motor, which also happens to be a function of transmissions in conventional vehicles.

Why Aren’t There Multiple Gears on Electric Cars?

Technically, there are multiple gears on electric cars, but they act as one gear, since they spin together. That translates into instant acceleration. An electric car can do this because it can operate safely through a wide range of RPMs, sometimes up to 20,000 RPMs. Conventional cars, on the other hand, will redline around 7,000. That’s why transmissions and gear shifting is so important for conventional cars. As the car accelerates from a stop, more torque is needed. As its speed levels out, less torque is needed. This causes a fluctuation in RPMs. If the engine operates at too many RPMs, it can overheat. Too few RPMs, and it will stall. A transmission helps to regulate all of that.

Check Out the Electric Cars at Greg Hubler Hyundai of Muncie

We have a wide selection of quality electric vehicles and hybrids. Why not come down and take a test drive, so that you can witness their impressive performance for yourself? And, if you’d like to learn more, check out our posts onwhether electric cars use oil andhow long it takes to charge an electric car. We’re right down the road from Marion. So, drop by or contact us today!

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