Electric car drivers don’t need to worry about shifting gears in an electric car. And there’s no clutch in an EV, only a brake and accelerator pedal - having fewer pedals means there’s less that can go wrong. In lots of electric cars, the driver may be able to choose different modes that optimize performance or efficiency. Eco, comfort, and sports modes are the norm across the board, with performance cars often having a Sports Plus option.
Normally, electric cars don’t have gears. The engine of the electric car doesn’t require a multi-speed transmission, because torque is consistently produced at any RPM (or revolutions per minute). This means that gear shifting is unnecessary and counteractive: gearboxes in normal cars typically allow you to decrease torque relative to the speed of the wheels, leading to greater efficiency at faster speeds.
There’s a simple reason why electric vehicles (EVs) don’t have gears. Compared to fuel-powered cars with traditional gearboxes, electric vehicles have a single-speed transmission and no real use for a classic gear setup.
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 ensure all the car's inner functions 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 vehicle's torque matches 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.
Why gears are not needed in EVs
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.