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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.

Have you ever driven an electric car?

No. I can imagine though, probably like an automatic with instant torque...

Nope, an automatic is sloow compared to ev cars. :-)

Try to get a test drive in a nissan leaf, mitsubshi iMiev or similar. I'll bet that you might change your regarding lack of transmission. It is just not needed.:-)

Try to get a test drive as soon as possibe, and get back with your thoughts on the subject.

You can imagine a manual car, when you have optimal rpm on a certain gear. This state is the normal state on av ev car. Does this make sense? Or maybe what you ment, when you talked about automatic?

I am told that regenerative braking gives you much of the non-friction braking you'd get from a manual. As Runar explained it is probably not needed on a Roadster, Model S or future Gen III.


Electric motors have max torque at 0 rpm, flat up for thousands of rpms. See Model S options and pricing.

See this for comparing no gears VS manual gears:

They have instant torque but it still peaks, and horspower still has an optimal RPM range. The Roadster I was interested in has
(300 hp at 4,400-6,000 rpm)
and instant Torque of 295 lb-ft at 0-5,100 rpm

Horsepower seems to peak at around 6,000 rpms, and although the torque is instant I'm still seeing a plateau at 5,100 rpms out of a 14,000 rpms redline.

I realize it is still capable of producing plenty of power, but there is also a driveability factor. To many car enthusiasts inculding myself, you get more enjoyment in driving a car with a manual transmission.

Do what I do when I drive automatic: make sounds like wrooomm brraam broom and handle the drive stick.

In numbers:

S with 85 KW battery: top speed 125 mph, 14,000 rpm.
Torque 325 lb-ft (440 Nm), 0-5,800 rpm, which is roughly 40% of 14,000.
With single gear, in speed it is 40% of 125 mph = 50 mph.

So there is full torque up to 50 mph: There is absolutely no advantage in shifting up to 50 mph. Plenty of speed for curvy mountain roads. And above 50 mph, the torque just starts dropping gently.

Shifting would only be beneficial in gaining higher top speed. As you can see from the video, the BMW starts gaining close to the end of the drag race. Tesla tried a 2-speed transmission with the Roadster, but the immense instant torque kept grinding the gears.

Volker, you can probably help with links to similar threads...

"No. I can imagine though, probably like an automatic with instant torque..."

Nope, this is not the case at all. An automatic still has gear shifts. The Model S doesn't have a transmission. It's direct drive to the wheels. No gear shifts, no loss in performance.

The transmission in an ICE is there to correct for the torque curve. Because an EV has no torque curve, there's no reason to correct it! You'd actually lose performance by introducing one, as the gear shifts will drop out your acceleration temporarily.

With the S's low center of gravity, awesomely low drag coefficient, and abundance of torque, it's actually one of the most high performance cars you're going to find on the road that's street legal!

The lack of a traditional transmission is one of the beauties of the electric vehicle. Smooth acceleration and deceleration over the entire speed range, no transmission gear box to wear over time (reduces cost and maintenance), and a more efficient power train without friction losses from unnecessary gears...

I think TM would possibly agree that 1 extra gear for higher speeds would be desirable, but until one strong enough to stand the rapid RPM change at full torque is invented, it's a lost cause. Maybe a product for the future orbital microgravity smelting fabs? Apparently some really pure metals and alloys have exceptional strength.

All I can add to this is that you just won't get it until you drive one.

I love driving a stick, but with a 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, I realize shifting is pointless. but it begs the question, if a smaller motor was used, could gears be used to run farther with less battery charge? would it still need a clutch? I can see getting 2 to 3 times more range.

Fog; I'd think that it would help any.

An EV car is very efficient, 90% or so of the energy is spent in moving the car.

As no energy is lost, there wont be any gain in putting in a smaler engine and introducing gears. You would most likely get the opposite effect, you'd lose energy in the gear/clutch as more components is introduced in the system which might generate friction/heat. As you lose energy, you'd get a decreased range as a result.

The only way this might get you more range, as I see it, is a smaler engine=lower speed=less air friction=smaler battery needed=lower weight. Then you might get more range. But that is only due to that you'd not be able to drive fast, and since drag/wind is the one factor which use the most energy this gets you increased range.

You have the i-Miev and Leaf for this.;-) The i-Miev has a 16kwh battery, which is 1/5 of the battery on the top Model S, but the range is 1/3, the i-Miev has better "mpge" than the Model S. :-)

Runar +1

BTW, the iMiev isn't as useless as it looks. After Fukushima, iMievs and Leafs were the only vehicles able to stay on the road, and were used as emergency vehicles, etc.

After driving the Roadster for 13,000 miles and having enjoyed many manual transmission cars, a transmission is not needed. The driving experience is second to none. As others have noted try it first I think you will be surprised.

Well its not a combustion engine so it seems kind of pointless. I would imagine a cvt that manages to stay on the sweet spot the entire time making manuals and automatics history. I guess one way to make it more efficent is to add a spiral windmill in front, and chain alternators to the wheel somewhere kind of how like energy efficent dryers work. You could just add a small generator in the back that is running, and add a few batteries in parallel. Am I the only one here wish to smash all teslas like the EV1?


GasLover556, well actually, no.. there are a few other short sellers here which try to talk down the stock.:-P

Except from those.. yes, your all on yor own.:-)

Most people here have more intelligence than that Gasbag

I did read that as failed attempt to be funny. I mean how else you could fit perpetual motion machine, bad design for range extender, bad battery design and wish to crush Teslas in same message?


I think the disconnect is about horsepower. The only thing that really matters is torque but we have been inundated with horsepower lore over the years.

The torque curve for the Tesla is flat out to 5800 rpm. The Horsepower range you note is because of the formula:

HP= ft=lbs * rpm/5252.

The torque is continous from 0 to 5800. But the horsepower noted rises with RPM. So it appears to peak in an rpm range. This is very misleading.. No power increased really. It was the same torque all the time, but counted over an increasing rpm it makes the valueu HP appear to rise.

It WOULD be nice to have a second overdrive gear to go to at 50-60 mph. But it is really unnecessary.
The speed limit is 70 and there is more than sufficient acceleration from 50-90 to get into serious trouble.

Jack Rickard

Where are those torque curves/figures? I don't find them for Model S from this webpage. There are numbers for Roadster, but not for Model S.


LOL +1 for the "making vroom vroom sounds" comment.

Ummm Never lol.

Most electric vehicles are single speed, meaning they have one gear.

Transmissions are there in gasoline/diesel/CNG engines in which an engine has to run at proper and stable RPMs to ensure stable performance.

Including the Tesla Model S

so my 97 Jetta GLX transmission is toast. its making lots of noise and reverse does not engage (I think it broke up into parts and is floating around). the v6 has lots of low end torque and the 5 speed close ratio gearbox put the power to work. I loved the way the car drove, I love the clutch work and shifting the stick. driving the car requires a certain amount of skill. so I can't wait for a Model S, but want another car with manual transmission. there are only a few in the bay area to test drive...really, the local vw dealer had just 2, lots of shiftable autos with paddles on the steering wheel. in the next five to ten years, there will be no more stick shifts!

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