Seamless gear change for electric vehicles

Transmission specialist Zeroshift has devised a clutchless multi-speed gearbox for electric vehicles that relies on a damper inside the gear hubs and electronic control of the motor to make ratio changes feel seamless.

The developers said that having more than one gear ratio and the ability to shift without interrupting torque means the motor runs at higher efficiency, extending range and batteries’ life expectancy by up to 10 per cent.

The innovation could enable manufacturers to downsize electric vehicle’s electric motors, keeping them running longer at the medium loads and speeds where peak efficiency of over 95 per cent is possible. For drivers, that could mean more performance and greater range.

Zeroshift is developing the transmission with several vehicle manufacturers and hopes to integrate its technology into the next generation of seamless layshaft automatic transmissions for hybrid medium-duty trucks, buses and passenger cars.