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Why don't electric vehicles have gears?

Most electric vehicles on the market right now don't need gears to get moving, making them completely different to fuel-powered cars

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There’s a simple reason why electric vehicles (EVs) don’t have gears – they just don’t need them! Compared to fuel-powered cars with traditional gearboxes, electric vehicles have a single speed transmission and no real use for a classic gear setup.

It all sounds a bit complicated, but we promise there’s a real reason as to why our EV models have ditched gears entirely. Let us explain.

How does my car’s engine work?

A traditional, fuel-powered car uses an internal combustion engine to get moving. These engines need gears to make sure all the inner functions of the car are working together properly, so you can get moving out on the road.

Electric cars don’t actually have engines – they use electric motors that don’t require the same adjustments that a combustion engine needs to work. That’s what makes EVs and fuel-powered vehicles so different.  

There’s some intense engineering behind it, but the main thing to remember is that internal combustion engines require a gearbox to transfer power to the wheels. These gears make it so that the torque of the vehicle matches with the RPM (revs per minute) and the car can start moving.

On the other hand, electric vehicles use electric currents to get those wheels turning, and so have no use for gears.  

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Why doesn’t an electric engine need gears to work?

In a nutshell, internal combustion engines must work their way up to the correct levels in their power band to ensure proper function, and they use gears to do so. Electric motors are already able to offer those optimal levels for function from the get-go, so moving through the gears isn’t necessary.  

You can think of it as EVs having their Goldilocks porridge that isn’t too hot and isn’t too cold, but covers all bases nicely, whereas traditionally powered cars are a bit fussier and really need it to be just right, so use gears to find that sweet spot.  

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