Porsche and Audi are the only two automakers that currently offer electric vehicles with more than one gear (the mechanically similar Taycan and E-Tron GT respectively), and whether or not having more than one speed in an EV is a topic that really divides opinions. Now there’s a company called Inmotive from Canada that has launched its own two-speed transmission for EVs and it claims its gearbox has a whole host of advantages.
Inmotive says its Ingear box has been
Invented and designed for the next generation of electric vehicles, the Ingear enables OEMs to design faster, more efficient powertrains at a lower cost. It improves a wide range of vehicles, including passenger cars/SUVs, buses, trucks and off-highway vehicles. Most EVs have two reduction gears between the motor and the wheels. The Ingear replaces the second reduction gear with a continuous chain drive and a morphing sprocket. To shift, an actuator directs bigger (or smaller) sprocket segments into place during a single revolution of the wheels. Power flows continuously between the motor and wheels, even during a shift.
The company lists the transmission’s advantages as being a 7 - 15 percent range increase and a 15 percent acceleration boost. Both of these advantages are also the reasons why Porsche said it gave the Taycan a two-speed setup too, and the only disadvantages we would point to are the extra cost, weight and complexity that it adds.
The transmission can apparently be retrofitted to any EV, as was proven when it was installed in a Kia Soul EV. There’s a video about that on Inmotive’s YouTube channel, in which they have three ‘experienced EV drivers’ try it out and comment on how it works and how it changes the driving experience. They also have detailed videos explaining how exactly the transmission works, and we added the most relevant ones in this article.
More EVs with gears