Oerlikon Graziano Expands Electric Drive Transmission Offerings

JUN 26 2014 BY MARK KANE 14

Oerlikon Graziano's 4SED, multi speed transmission

Oerlikon Graziano’s 4SED, multi speed transmission

Oerlikon Graziano is still looking for OEMs who would be willing to use something more than a single-speed transmission in electric cars, but besides the first batch of Tesla Roadster, nobody seems interested in multi-speed transmission for series production electric vehicles.

At the VDI Wissenforum in Germany, Oerlikon Graziano will present three models for EVs:

  • the 2SED, a dual-speed seamless-shifting transaxle that can be coupled with a transversal electric motor, for front or rear full electric axle
  • the electric transmission multispeed 4SED, a new compact, lightweight transmission that boasts increased efficiency, seamlessly smooth shifting and a scalable design, making it suitable for a wide range of vehicle types
  • the new 2 Speed Automated Manual Transmission. Developed in a EU-funded research project (“FP7”), called AVTR (Adaptable Voltage & Trasmission Ratio”), it is a full electric transmission for AWD city cars or pure Electric Vehicles. The 2 speed AMT offers different solutions for EV market. Used singularly it provides the advantages of multispeed transmissions to pure electric vehicles, while applied as two independent axles it makes the vehicle AWD and at the same time allows seamless shifting

Paolo Mantelli, Head of Performance Automotive Oerlikon Graziano stated:

“Our new transmission concepts will advance the development of electric vehicles, they are the most suitable for a modern full electric or even hybrid vehicle, allowing the best sizing of the electric motor and usage of batteries’ power.”

Oerlikon Graziano made us laugh a little bit because on the right side of its press release it asked us whether we knew that their single-speed gearbox was used in THINK City, “a mass-production urban electric vehicle“. Well, it’s 2014 and most of our readers already forgot THINK, a company which went bankrupt together with battery supplier Ener1/EnerDel. Maybe Oerlikon Graziano should find a better example?

Oerlikon Graziano press release with Think City hint

Oerlikon Graziano press release with Think City hint

Categories: General


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14 Comments on "Oerlikon Graziano Expands Electric Drive Transmission Offerings"

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No, thank you. I prefer my EV to be as simple and low-maintenance as possible. Replacing the simple reduction gear with a transmission adds complexity and maintenance. I’ll pass.


I also agree that Think is a bad example. Is this perhaps necessary in big, heavy vehicles? If anyone decided to create a new and improved Think today, it will use a single ratio transmission.

+100. 😉

It’s a big no thanks.

+1 keep EVs simple.

Unless its going to give me huge gains in efficiency (which from what I understand, it wont), then a single speed is the right choice.

Now if I need some sort of ultra-high performance vehicle (say, second generation Tesla Roadster) and I want to have it be able to run at speeds above 150MPH, then yeah, it might work better in that niche application.

Yeah, I was about to say. Some people like being able to drive more than 90mph (or 120 in a Tesla), but beyond that, there’s no actual need for it in an otherwise utilitarian car.

I got interested in EVs in the early 2000’s when it was just Toyota or Honda gas-electric hybrids.

Finally Ford got into the mix.

I agree with all the above comments.

One of the main advantages of the electric drive train is SIMPLICITY.

It eliminates hundreds of ICE engine parts, 8 speed automatic transmissions, catalytic converters, exhaust pipes and muffler systems, also hydraulic power steering, suction fuel pumps, and the list goes on….

Why go backwards ?

I agree, if you want to go down the German autobahn at 200 km an hour, then you might need a second gear like electric race cars.

The very best Electric motors can manage 25,000 rpm. That still may not be enough to overcome an internal combustion engine with several gear multiplications.

While EVs routinely trounce ICE vehicles at the drag strip, they start to slowly loose ground after the quarter mile.

Greater top speed will be easily accomplished with gears, just like the ICE vehicles use.

Except for the Germans, most of us do not have to travel at 200 km/hr.

In that case, one gear is usually enough.

Keep it simple.

Transmission needs OIL No Thanks

“Well, it’s 2014 and most of our readers already forgot THINK, a company which went bankrupt together with battery supplier Ener1/EnerDel.”

Enerdel restructured and left bankruptcy about two months after entering it, back in 2012. See this timeline:


For most applications, a transmission is not necessary. 0 to 80 mph operation can be done relatively efficiently with a single speed, and a transmission adds weight, packaging, and cost that can be better spent on motor or batteries.

For circuit racing applications, where the regime of operation is considerably wider, a transmission CAN make sense. Even so, most racing applications to date use a direct drive system. Formula E’s choice is interesting.

I smell fear with a healthy ounce of awareness in auto parts manufacturers.

Ha! Probably!

In terms of highway cruising, it is my understanding that EVs can gain efficiencies by having that second gear ratio…but it is also my understanding that those efficiency improvements kick in around 60mph and higher. Maybe these could be an option, where the vehicle would always be in 1st gear, but switch to the 2nd gear under cruising conditions, like the Chrysler HEMIs that drop 4 cylinders while cruising to save gas.

Or not…fixed gear ratio is very enticing for all the previously-mentioned reasons – simplicity, maintenance and cost.