Will Tesla offer a manual gearbox?

Will Tesla offer a manual gearbox?

You see i really hate automatic transmissions, or single speed transs. for that matter, so I was wondering if tesla would offer a manual transs., and if it is possible to mount a manual transs. to an electric car?

Timo | 01. Oktober 2010

Why would you want a gearbox? It only increases weight and reduces response time. Also multi-gear gearbox in EV just tends to break down. ICE car gearboxes are not designed to withstand RPM and torque of electric motors. You would need something that is designed for Formula one cars. In general it is possible to install a gearbox, but it doesn't give you any benefit to have one.

Roadster doesn't actually have gearbox at all. It has one reduction gear that is fixed. No clutches or anything. When you go reverse engine it rotating other direction than when going forward.

bgoodwin | 01. Oktober 2010

Note that the single-speed reduction gear is NOT an "automatic" -- it's not like a CVT where there's no concept of "gears". There's NO shifting (by you OR the car) and there's NO delay when you adjust the throttle input. If you want to read more about my observations on transmissions and the Roadster (I'm much like you -- I hate automatic transmissions), check out the Tesla on my blog (

Brian8 | 05. Oktober 2010

Trust all us who have driven electric cars when we say that you will love it. The lack of gear-shifting of any sort (be it manual or automatic) is so natural and the response to driver input is so immediate that you will have a giddy smile on your face in no time.

Eli Green | 06. Oktober 2010

As a reminder, the original Tesla Roadster has a two-speed gearbox. It was quite prone to problems, so they replaced it with the single-speed.

Motor Authority -

Personally, I'm looking forward to the instant, on-demand torque EVs offer. Not having to work through gears will make things a lot simpler. Basically all that awesome stuff bgoodwin mentioned.

Brian H | 09. Oktober 2010

In sum: no gears, no gearbox, manual or otherwise.

nicholas.ngoo | 22. Oktober 2010

For Tesla's motor I think it has enough powerband through 14,000 rpm to not require multiple speed gearbox. Having multiple speed gearbox can actually save power for an electric motor. Since they have hight torque at low rpm, having multi speed gearbox will allow the engine to continually operate at lower rpms like ICE, but with almost constant Torque! The problem was reliability though. The original Tesla Roadster had 2 speed transmission, wonder if they will bring it back for future models.

Whistle | 22. Oktober 2010

as it is, the technology for having gearboxes in electric cars doesnt seem to be up to speed with the engines. maybe in future models theyll come up with something. if it can work, someone will do it.

Brian H | 22. Oktober 2010

The motors broke the best transmissions TM could find, even ones custom-made.
Maybe some jeenyus will produce a gel-based continuous gearbox or SLT. Until then, enjoy manually shifting from first gear into first gear!

rouskavich | 28. Oktober 2010

I love manual transmissions because of the torque that’s produced. I mean... that's the purpose of a muscle car right? Lol however, keep in mind that it doesn’t belong in this vehicle. This vehicle already maxes out seat synching torque so that feature of the transmission would be pointless. Also a manual transmission is designed for faster acceleration and shifting utilizing the cars upper power band. Well again this car is optimized for that and has a constant power band. So in essence a transmission is a few steps down in that it increases shifting time, weight and power consumption, and reducing torque. It wouldn't be a smart option for a car like this. But hey, whatever floats your boat :)

nbs | 08. Januar 2011

Two gear transmission was actually a very good idea. Unobtrusive - you only have to change the gear when getting on or out from a motorway. That's all.

No transmission means the engine and inverter has to be larger (read: less efficient) and it is not fully utilized at low speeds (torque limit) and at high speeds (angular speed/voltage limit).

I have a hard time believing the story about the Tesla's motor breaking all the available transmission. There are plenty of cars out there with larger torque engines and multi-gear transmissions. If there is anything to blame it's not the transmission but its designer.

gianni.terragni | 09. Januar 2011

OK vogliamo (we wont) un'auto elettrica con il cambio (gear box), 7 marce più retromarcia ( 7 gears+ retro) poi un altoparlante che simula il motore a scoppio ( laud speaker simulating fuel engine), poi una tanica di benzina calda che simula l'odore del motore a scoppio e ci intossica ( a tank of warm gasoline simulating the smelling of engin end is toxic )!!! PERCHE' NON COMPERARE UN'AUTO A BENZINA?? (WHY DONT BUY A GASONE CAR?)

Timo | 10. Januar 2011

@nbs, Major problem with electric engine transmissions is the RPM change between gear changes and the fact that you have that huge torque in very large RPM range. In ICE you go from maybe 5000->3000RPM switching to the bigger gear, but in emotor you would be doing something like 10000 -> 3000 change in order to have any benefit from it. Strain of change is much larger.

Also, in emotors bigger is usually more efficient than smaller, it just needs to be tuned to different voltage/amps. You don't lose anything in slow speeds, but you might lose something in top speed.

Rod Donovan | 10. Januar 2011

OK, no gearbox, no transmission, no gears! Got that! They only produce weight, heat, and mechanical liabilities. They take up room that would otherwise mire this lovely cabin. Go buy an old used Land Rover, 10 speed bicycle or something. Next thing he'll want is an ice making machine for his Pina Coladas......why was this even posted? Makes no sense.

discoducky | 11. Januar 2011

Just take a look at the underside of the car where the motor is and you'll see just how amazing an accomplishment the compact drivetrain is. Truly an amazing accomplishment!