BMW i3 Gearless – Video


“The kind of freedom you feel accelerating from 0 to top speed in the all-electric BMW i3 without pausing to shift. It’s a new word for an electric age.”


BMW has released the third video in an ongoing series in which we see the BMW i3 on the track.  In this brief clip, BMW defines gearless, which of course refers to the single-speed gearbox found on most every electric vehicle available today.

For a refresher on the BMW i3 on-track video series, check out InsideEVs post written by Chris Neff, passenger in the i3 for the entire days worth of on-track filming.



Categories: BMW, Videos


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11 Comments on "BMW i3 Gearless – Video"

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Yeah, this is one of those advantages about EVs that you often forget about.

Automatics eliminated the task of shifting (a task I enjoyed so I almost always got manuals), but there still remained that weird lurching as a car automatically shifted gears. Granted it is a tiny little thing but it was an imperfection.

Of course the bigger thing is the cost and complexity of automatic transmissions. They are sophisticated mechanical devices. And when they break (which they will inevitably do), they are very expensive to fix.

So it is nice to be rid of them.

I took the Imiev in today for its 2 year service (i never took it for the one year svc) it has 24000 miles (I’ve had it 21 months)They charged me 116.49 after I gave them a coupon and all it really needed was gearbox oil changed (one quart is all it takes) and cabin air filter. One of the managers there told me the 2014s will be here this month! He said they are loading the ships now.

Good news on deliveries.

The only “real” maintenance my Focus Electric needs (aside from routine stuff like tires, wipers, etc.) is a battery coolant change after 10 years or 150K miles. 10 years!!!

No oil changes, no smog checks, no belts, hoses, or tune-ups. No having to deal with shady mechanics for each of those incidents.

Yeah! Good riddance.

Wow, so BMW has finally discovered the thing that every other EV owner has known for years?

The Leaf’s been on sale for 3 years now. This is old news!

Well with all the negative things being said about EVs people tend to forget the many many good things.

This advantage may be old news for the 1% EV informed, but it’s educational for the other 99%. Thanks to an endless stream of terrible ads, the 99% think the main EV advantages are encounters with aliens and polar bears. 😉

They probably have been putting down CVTs.

Emulation is the closest form of flattery from BMW, I suppose…

Once they figure out EV transmissions, the single speed gear will be eliminated. Multiple speeds will improve efficiency, acceleration and range.

Efficiency/range won’t be affected much, as electric motors are efficient over a wide RPM range.

Acceleration won’t change much either, because when an EV is below its power band, it’s pretty close to traction limited.

For example, here’s a LEAF dyno run:

It hits peak power at 25 mph, so beyond that, no transmission can improve acceleration. Below that, it’s already snappy.

The only use a transmission will have is for top speed, e.g. autobahn use.