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Transmission required in a conversion?

by andrew
(San Jose CA)

Ian Clifford's Henney Kilowatt

Ian Clifford's Henney Kilowatt

Why do I need a transmission?

I was thinking of starting with a classic little front engine/rear drive car. I thought maybe I could put the electric motor where the transmission currently lives? Then the "engine bay" could all be devoted to batteries and controller stuff.

Hi, Andrew!

The FAQ at says that, while you CAN eliminate the transmission, there are really good reasons not to.

"To prevent overloading the motor and controller at lower RPM's, it is helpful to use a lower gear to get the motor RPM's up to improve efficiency, torque and motor cooling. At higher speeds it is desirable to use a higher gear to keep the motor from over-revving."

Plus, he says, it's there already, it's usually in pretty good shape, and it would be expensive and complicated to replace this part of the EV driveline.

I'd keep the transmission; )


Check out the Henney Kilowatt in the picture at's EV photo album!

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Battery Car Hybrid?

by Kevin
(Reading, PA)

WarP Motors from NetGain Technologies

WarP Motors from NetGain Technologies

Has anyone ever attempted to add rear wheel electric drive while retaining the stock front wheel drive - sort of a battery car hybrid?

I thought of possibly adding some sort of lightweight automatic transmission that was capable of high rpm's like from a motorcycle and turning my VW Jetta's rear seat into a battery bank.

Hi, Kevin -
I've heard of people turning a four wheel drive into a parallel hybrid, which is what it sounds like you're describing. Your plan doesn't seem like too much of a stretch.

Rather than installing a transmission of any sort, check out one of these direct-drive DC motors. Easy!


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