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Wouldn't a Transmission Improve Efficiency?

by John

I've noticed that most people are bolting their electric motors directly to their transmission. Why aren't they using a typical flywheel and torque converter setup between the motor and transmission? Wouldn't you be able to go faster with fewer horsepower if you could shift gears?

Hi, John -
The answer is in the difference in the torque curve between the internal combustion engine and the electric car motor. If you'd like to look at a good graph, check out p. 115 of Build Your Own Electric Vehicle.

With an internal combustion engine, most of the horsepower of the engine is needed to get you from 0-45 mph. A transmission helps it get there as efficiently as possible.

With an electric motor, like the series wound DC motor that is so popular in homebuilt electric car conversions, getting from 0-45 mph is what it does best.

Since an electric car's motor is controlled by a pot box and a controller, the real challenge is to avoid losses as much as possible.

At the present time, no transmission does a better job of minimizing losses than some sort of two-step arrangement; one gear for getting moving, one gear for the freeway.

All the best,

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CVT transmissions
by: Anonymous

CVT transmissions are not generally suitable for EVs because they cannot handle the low range torque that well. I tried one about 5 yrs ago and could not get it to run for long before the belt would break. I thought at the time that the CVT would be the ideal trans for electric

Where is the most efficient place to put the motor and the two speed transmition?
by: Guardian Electronics

Where is the most efficient place to put the motor and the two speed transmission?

Can we put it on the back reel and keep the original gas engine?

by: Anonymous

Has anyone looked into using a CVT (continuously variable transmission)for an electric car? The motor can spin at it's most efficient or most powerful RPM as needed all the time.

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