Will there ever be a manual transmission offered?

I realize gears are not as critical in electectric motors due to their increased torque, but seems there would still be a major benefit to having a manual option especially on curvy roads. It really comes down to driveability than anything else. As a sportscar enthusiast I am suprised one has not been offered, for many people this is a deal killer, regardless of whether it mechanical sense or not. To me it takes the spirit, experience and fun of driving out of the car.


I suggest you test drive a Model S.

Yeah I am used to stick, but after test driving several EVs, I find that I can live without it. For us retro sports car fogies maybe they could make a variant of the new roadster with a manual, maybe a limited run of 1,000 or so. With an electric engine noise generator to get our juices flowing hehe...

Nobody can make a transmission that doesn't break under the Tesla Torque when downshifting. They tried with the original Roadster, and couldn't do it.

Well I guess artificial 'rev rev' noises will have to do... I was mostly joking but did not know it would not work at all, thought it would be like 1,2 and D in automatics, first and second are not necessary but useful in select situations like heavy snow. So something the kids will laugh about it in 40 years 'hey I remember dad shifting gears to make the car go' like we churned our own butter or something hehe

one gear = no gear change = no manual

I love manual transmission cars. And the fact that you can't shift in EV's is the only downside of driving an EV (if you ask me). It's the same with a normal A/T car, I don't like it. I love clutching and shifting, having control, and not sitting there while the car drive it self.

BUT, EV's are difference. 100 % torque at 0 RPM, they are "nothing" like a petrol car. And a transmission would kill many of the EV's advantages. In EV's you don't need transmission, it wouldn't do any good. And it would take up more space, adding more moving parts. Adding more weight, more parts that need maintenance and so on.

I love Tesla and EV's. They're awesome! And being 100 % electric powered is a huge advantage!

Not only would a transmission kill EV advantages, the EV kills transmissions. Too much power to handle! They just break.


The S does have a electronic transmission, right on the steering wheel. Three choices, P, F, and R.

It's called 'shifter' or 'shift lever' not 'electronic transmission'

The other point is that higher top speeds (which would really be the only benefit of including a transmission on the Model S) would use up your battery charge so fast (due to drag) it wouldn't matter anywhere but on the track.

I really like the Tesla Model S and am hoping that there is still room to offer a manual transmission model. Driving a vehicle is not just about how much power it provides. It needs to take into accout the entire driving experience and being one with your vehicle. Having a manual transmission provides a greater degree of control, even if that means giving up a little torque.

Tesla has some of the best engineers to have come up with the Model S. I am certain they can introduce a manual transmission that provides the ultimate driving experience without compromising power, and possibly improve the vehicle's performance.

Keeping my fingers crossed!

You will never see a manual on model s. The motor spins much faster than an ICE so synchros will break.

Your ice doesnt have a buggy whip, reins, or a poop bag, either.

What DTsea didn't mention is that, because of the flat torque line of the electric motor, a manual transmission won't give you any greater degree of control.
I suppose you could have specific speed bands assigned to the throttle (go-pedal) that you could shift between with zero throttle correlating with the bottom of the speed band and floored-throttle correlating with the top of the speed band so you'd have the whole travel of the throttle to control the torque within that speed band.
I, personally, don't really think that would help with driving too much but I've been wrong before.
You can't just assume the same things that help a gasoline engine will help an electric motor in the same way though. They behave very differently.


I seem to recall Straubel suggesting that the 2-motor MX would have different reduction gearing front and back, so that highway cruising would "lean" on the front wheels more, etc.

The idea that it is impossible to build a multi-speed transmission to handle Model S torque is false. Twin turbo diesel trucks put down double the torque of a Model S through a 6-speed transmission without issues.

So technically it's possible to build a heavy duty transmission to handle electric power. However, Tesla engineers felt the cost/benefit of multiple gears didn't pan out, so they went with the smooth simplicity of no shifting.

One of the hybrids has a simulated shifter on the wheel to change down gears. All it does is boost the regen breaking (same as a lower gear slows down a car faster). That seems to be something that some ice drivers might understand easily AND perform a better regen control.

I guess you could use the same shift to simulate gears by boosting or dropping acceleration based on gear and speed, but apart from feeling like a gear it wouldn't add any value.

E&N, you are right of course... but I didnt repeat it because it had been stated many times, and the OP didnt seem to be satisfied with that argument.

Personally the smooth acceleration is a lot better than the herky-jerk of gear shifts.

I don't know how they will deal with the AWD. Will it have the same motor in front as in the rear? Will the rear one be geared for low-end acceleration while the front is geared more for cruising efficiency at high speed? I'm sure there could be ways to tweak performance with different gear ratios and a simple 2-speed might enable some efficiency benefit but it would be minimal overall and the time spent shifting would just slow down your 0-60 time.
I figured I'd repeat to save you the effort. I would like to see reins on the Model S. Steering wheels will never replace the feel of well worn leather reins :-)

I drove my P85 down Topanga Blvd to the beach today. Instant torque on command. It was as much fun as my Porsche Turbo but without the pain in my back.

With instant torque, who needs to mess with gears shifting?

And eventually motors will go into the wheels, or actually be the wheels, so only a wire going out there needed. Get rid not only the transmission, but the driveshafts, CV joints, differential, etc.

A motor in two or four wheels, controlled independently and even serving as the brakes at some point.

Not bad getting rid of all that stuff!

That's the beauty of it. You don't need or want a transmission.

An aussie company is trying to market that at the moment, though I haven't heard much since their original announcement. Looks like they would replace the brakes on one set of wheels, for acceleration and regen braking, which leaves the other wheels to have regular brakes.

If they could work a way to get the regen like Tesla does and avoid using brakes that would be quite good. Thus the brake pedal would control the actual brakes, but foot off the accelerator would decelerate and regen.

They were talking about adding these wheels to existing cars, rather than new ones, as a way of adding battery power and capturing regen.

Let's divide this issue into two parts:

On the freeway, there is little if any gear shifting. So your shifting skills are just not needed. You can nonchalantly leave it to the machine to do the job.

Conversely, in busy city traffic, your skill will be needed continually: steer (left hand), declutch (left foot), shift (right hand), clutch (left foot), accelerate (right foot), brake (right foot switch), accelerate again (right foot switch), watch the traffic, read the signs, repeat the 1-2 second sequence over and over and take pride in substituting for an automatic transmission.

So, the manual transmission aficionados would have you believe that this dance of fumbling extremities is faster or better than the barely noticeable gear shifting that takes place in a fraction of a second and matches gears with ... well, machine precision.

Common sense should tell you that the manual procedure is necessarily slower and less safe that the automatic, even if it gives you the satisfaction of control, not to speak about the possibility of error in assessing the context, executing the sequence, ignoring distractions, reassuring your passengers, etc.

Manual is faster than normal automatic and shift happens at moment you want it to happen. Sequence is more like 0.2-0.3 seconds if you know what you are doing. Nowhere close to second or more.

Not necessarily safer or easier though.

So there are no gears in the Tesla at all... but there will be certain rpms that are more and less efficient to some degree (perhaps very small). If there WAS a manual transmission option, where would the gear changes be effective? Can you hear or feel when it's needed or would it have to simulate something?

iirc, they were considering using a different gearing in Germany to allow for the high speed autobahns - but they were still not offering gear changes (I don't think that's even possible in the Tesla design is it?)

Transmission would require "fly by wire" system for transmission and completely new motor/PEM/reduction gear module. Different gearing for higher top speed requires just reduction gear change. You get slower low speed acceleration as a result.

A transmission is added complexity that is not needed with the high RPM capabilities of electric motors. However, for some, it is wanted. I could see room for a 2 to 4 speed transmission in the future when EVs are more common. It would improve higher speed acceleration and increase top speed. I'd buy it (I'll even take mine in manual).

Also, with a manual transmission, it would require some additional work to deal with the regen-on-gas issue. You don't want regen to kick in while trying to up shift.

In-wheel motors vs. NYC potholes. A worthy contest!

Inwheel motors are not for cars which are supposed to handle at least
not dismally, let alone better. Inwheel is OK for cargo, small city cars, etc.

As for transmission, Tesla handles beautifully without gear shifts, but it could still gain from one. As for no gearboxes being powerful enough...
You do realize there are 1000 and 1300+ cars available on the marker,
with torque higher right? It is true that there aren't plenty of
options, and certainly not compact ones.

It could be an option but the majority of S owners wouldn't need one (especially in US) or want one. This will be overcome with different
tech in time.

Car t man, I don't believe it's the torque alone- it is having synchros that can handle 10000 rpm, I would think.

X Deutschland Site Besuchen