At the moment, there is about 2 percent of electric vehicles on UK roads. However, as the UK government plans to ban new cars that are powered by fossil fuels by 2040, there’s a higher possibility of a surge in demand for EVs. But what is the effect of this?

No doubt, electric vehicles are the future! But right now, let’s take you through how an EV works. This guide explains all you need to know about the gear system of an electric vehicle and how to drive one.

Are Electric Vehicles Automatic or Manual

Are all-electric vehicles automatic?

Most electric vehicles are automatic, and this trend will likely be the same in the future. The reason is that an EV doesn’t need a clutch to stall its engine like a regular internal combustion engine (ICE) car. However, some EV manufacturers like Honda, Ford, and Audi have been trying to push cars with a five-or-six gearbox. This move is to maintain comfort for electric car drivers in the UK who are used to manual cars.

In addition to a missing clutch and a gearbox with different speeds, the braking mechanism is also different from a manual car. Electric vehicles, instead, use a regenerative brake system.

Does EV have gears?

No! You don’t have to navigate a change-down at a roundabout or shift through the gears as you accelerate & slow down. Electric vehicles let you drive smoothly to a standstill – without any fuss. EVs have only a single gear and a reverse system.

The primary reason electric vehicles have only one gear is that they’ve 100% power efficiency in their motors. In other words, EVs have more than double the size rev range of a typical petrol car.

For example, most electric cars can have higher revs of up to 20,000rpm (revolutions per minute). A conventional car, by comparison, can reach around 6,000rpm. As a result, electric vehicles can generate instant power from any given range of revs and can change speed without needing to adjust gears. An example of this is the Tesla Model S, which can do 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds.

Regenerative Braking Explained

The braking system in electric vehicles is different. A lot of them can top up their batteries through the process of regenerative braking. In most models, as soon as the driver tries to brake, the battery will be topped up while the electric motor helps in slowing the car.

What simply happens is the kinetic energy works against the motor’s resistance, and turns it into a dynamo. Thereby creating power to top up the battery. An example of an electric vehicle ideal for this process is the BMWi3.

Keep in mind that the level of regeneration varies from one EV to another, from being very mild to a more complete experience.

Benefits & Disadvantages of Automatic EVs

4 Benefits

In addition to its appealing lower repair and maintenance costs, other advantages of owning an electric car include the following:

1. Instant Torque

Because EVs don’t depend on an internal combustion process, they deliver torque almost immediately.

For example, a comparison of electric and standard fuel versions of Mercedes B-Class sees the electric accelerates from 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds. In contrast, the fuel version takes 7.1 seconds to reach the same speed.

2. The convenience of a manual drive

3. No acceleration or gear change noise

4. Overall smooth and seamless experience

4 Disadvantages

1. A new drive feel

You may find it difficult to adjust to the new or non-traditional drive feel of an electric car. It could even be worse if you’re so used to the shifting gear and pressing down a clutch driving experience.

2. Too much refinement

Unlike a petrol car where you can switch up to higher gears that allow for greater torque, an EV power starts to fade out.

3. Electric cars are generally more expensive to drive than their petrol counterparts.

4. No revving

An EV doesn’t undergo any ICE process before it’s fired up for movement. Although electric cars have higher revs than a petrol cars, they don’t have the roaring sound of a petrol car.