Does an EV Need a Transmission or Not?

by Alex
(Seattle, WA)

Why not bypass the transmission and connect the electric motor directly to the differential with a universal joint?

Since the electric motor has a pretty flat power curve, you don't need to shift, so remove the transmission, and save its friction and weight.

Hi, Alex!
Sure, why not just ditch the transmission if you don't need it?

You can, yes. Should you? Usually not. For a purpose-built EV, it makes sense not to add a transmission. But for a conversion, which usually already comes with a working transmission, it makes less sense to remove it than to keep it. Especially true in terms of conversion expense; )

If you're seriously considering tossing your tranny, read this EV Discussion List thread thoroughly first.


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Does an Electric Car Need a Transmission?

by Richard

Does an electric car with an electric DC motor need a transmission?

Hi, Richard -

...let me quote the new "Build Your Own Electric Vehicle" on the subject of why you'd want a transmission - page 116:

"The transmissions gears not only match the vehicle you are converting to a variety of off-the-shelf electrical motors, but also give you a mechanical reversing control that eliminates the need for a two-direction motor and controller - again, simplifying your work."


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Converting my Car to EV from Scratch

by Mark Archambault
(new bedford ma)

Where can I buy everything I need to convert my car over to an electric car? Including a 3 phase AC inverted motor, how to connect the batteries, where to get the controller and some kind of relay so when I step on the brakes it automatically cuts off the power and how to hook all that up.

I also would like to have my own design by connecting it directly to the rear wheel of a front wheel drive car and need help with that.

Hi, Mark!
Your first stop is to get the book "Build Your Own Electric Vehicle" - the new edition by Seth Leitman. In it, you'll find a good list of EV parts dealers and manufacturers so you can choose somebody reputable near your own location, and you can find answers to your very good questions like "how can I dispense with the transmission" and "how do I hook up the fuses and kill-switch".

A good EV conversion manual is priceless!


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