EV Transmission, or CVT?

by Jim D
(Lake Orion, Michigan)

Is a transmission required on EVs? If so would a CVT from a snowmobile offer an advantage?

Hi, Jim -

No, you don't actually need a transmission for an EV. Usually, however, this means using a larger motor and controller, which costs money and weight.

CVTs, continually variable transmissions, offer a perhaps cost effective alternative to the beefier motor and controller usually required in the transmission-less conversion. Read this excellent discussion in the EVDL for Lee Hart's breakdown on electric car transmissions and CVTs.

CVTs seem to be a popular alternative to the controller on small EVs!

Best of luck with your project, and keep us posted!


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EV and CVT
by: Anonymous

What about an xtrail? They use CVT. What kind of engine would you get away with then? Something smaller?

Prius CVT
by: trash.80

The CVT in a Prius houses the electric motor. The belt sits between the electric motor and the generator, both within the transmission. The engine is really there to generate power for the system and only help out the electric motor during peak demands. The engine is tightly coupled to the generator, but they are loosely coupled to the belt system and electric motor via a planetary gear set. The engine cannot directly run the electric motor or the belt system. The synergy drive is the only hybrid with the electric motor as the center of power. Other hybrids place the electric motor between the engine and transmission. In these hybrids the engine can directly power the transmission.
Therefore, the question doesn't really make sense since you can't separate the CVT from the electric motor anyhow. If you add an electric motor to replace the ICE, then you really don't accomplish much.

cvt on electric converted prius
by: Larry

I was asking if you could convert a 2004-2009 Prius to electric and use the existing cvt.
I really don't like manual transmissions.

I don't see why not. Anyone else? - Lynne

What about converting a Prius
by: Anonymous

What about the CVT that the Prius uses?
Would that be usable on converting a Prius to EV?

Do you want to convert the Prius to a plug-in hybrid, or to electric? Either way, there's no reason to get rid of the CVT.

- Lynne

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