Tesla is the most popular EV company with more than 2.5 million cars on the roads worldwide. Customers around the world are satisfied with Tesla’s products which include Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model Y and Model X. Cybertruck and Roadster are the upcoming Tesla models.
When it comes to electric vehicles, especially Teslas, people are always curious about the technologies used in EV production. One of the most sought questions is ‘Do Teslas have Transmissions?’ or ‘Do Electric Cars have gearboxes?’.
The short and exact answer to these questions is a ‘No’ however, there are some technical facts that you would love to know about the transmission technology used in fully electric vehicles.
Do Tesla Cars use Transmissions?
All electric cars are automatic which means they are not equipped with manual transmissions. You can’t find numbered gearboxes such as 5-speed gearbox, 6-speed gearbox or 9-speed gearbox. Electric cars feature Drive, Park and Neutral modes only.
Talking about Tesla Cars, the type of transmission technology used is the single-speed fixed gear. The transmission type of the Tesla Model 3 is a single-speed fixed gear with a gearbox ratio of 9:1.
Likewise, there are two modes of transmission used in the Tesla Model S which are Front Transmission and Rear Transmission. Both these transmissions are equipped with single-speed fixed gear. The only difference is the gear ratio which is 7.5:1 for the Front transmission and 9.0:1 for the Rear Transmission.
The Front Transmission on Tesla Model S Plaid is a single-speed fixed gear with a gear ratio of 7.5:1 including enhanced lubrication. Likewise, the Rear transmission type is an independent single-speed fixed gear with a ratio of 7.5:1. The rear transmission comes with dry sump lubrication.
Tesla Model Y is equipped with a single-speed fixed gear transmission with a gear ratio of 9:1.
The transmission system used in the Tesla Model X is unique in comparison to the other models. Overall Final Drive Ratio and Reverse Gear are the two types of transmission used in the Tesla Model X and Model X Plaid.
Both the Model X variants use the single-speed fixed gear transmission system. In Overall Final Drive Ratio, Model X has a front unit motor with a drive ratio of 7.5:1 and a rear unit motor with a drive ratio of 9.0:1 whereas Model X Plaid has a front unit and rear unit motor with a ratio of 7.5:1.
The Reverse Gear transmission on both Model X and Model X plaid is featured with the reverse direction of the motor which is limited to 15 mph (24 km/h).
How does a Tesla Transmission work?
Before knowing about the working process of the transmission technology in Tesla Cars, let us first explore how transmission works in electric cars.
Vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine can have a 6-speed, 7-speed, 8-speed, 9-speed or even 10-speed transmission with which you can switch between gears for optimum performance. However, this is not possible in electric cars because a single-speed automatic transmission is only available.
While driving manual gasoline-powered cars, you need to press the clutch first and then shift the gear lever to 1 from neutral and press the accelerator while releasing the clutch to move forward. But, in the case of electric cars, you just need to start the vehicle, activate the driving mode and then press down on the accelerator pedal to move forward.
Here are the processes that happen during transmission on electric cars
First of all, the energy from the battery is supplied to the electric motor when you step on the accelerator pedal.
Once the electric motor gets enough electricity, it starts spinning which in turn results in executing or spinning the gearbox. This process is called the Transmission system in electric vehicles.
The electric car starts to move forward once the motor and gearbox start to spin with the required momentum. The reverse transmission is activated when you shift the gear lever to ‘R’. The electric motor spins backwards to provide a reverse movement.
You will find R, N, D and P options for electric cars that are equipped with automatic transmission. Gas-powered automatic cars also feature the same transmission as electric cars.
Let’s take an example of the Tesla Model 3 Gear Selection.
Tesla models offer single-speed transmission systems with R, N, D and P gear selections. R stands for Reverse, N for Neutral, D for Drive and P for Parking. You might find gear levers on electric cars located at the manual gear positions however, Tesla models offer gear selection via a lever located in the steering wheel.
If you push up the gear selection lever, it will activate Reverse mode in the Tesla Model 3. For Driving mode, you need to press the lever to the downward position. Activating parking mode is quite different which requires you to push in or press the knob-like button on the tip of the lever.
Getting into Neutral mode is quite tricky. You need to push the lever down and hold it for 1-2 seconds. You can watch the video below to explore the Gear Selection process on Tesla Cars.
Does Tesla have transmission fluid?
Tesla cars do not have or require transmission fluid because the system works perfectly with smooth transmission. Enhanced lubrication is used in the Front Transmission of Model S Plaid whereas the rear transmission is lubricated with dry sump lubrication. That’s why Model S could require lubrication changes every 12,000 miles covered.
As we come to the end of this article, we answered ‘Do Teslas have transmissions?’. We also discussed the transmission systems used in all Tesla Models (Model 3, Model S, Model X and Model Y).
In a nutshell, electric cars including Tesla models are equipped with a single-speed automatic gear transmission that requires just a press on the accelerator pedal to move forward. Reverse–R, Drive–D, Park–P and Neutral–N are the gear selections available on electric vehicles.
Do Teslas have Transmissions? (FAQs)
What kind of transmission does Tesla use?
The Tesla models including Model 3, Model S, Model Y and Model X use a single-speed fixed gear transmission with a ratio ranging from 7.5:1 to 9.0:1.
Do Tesla cars have a gearbox?
The gearbox available on Tesla cars offers a single-speed fixed transmission. Once you step on the accelerator, the electric motor gets electricity from the battery and spins.
What kind of transmission do electric cars have?
All electric cars have a single-speed automatic transmission that requires just a step on the accelerator pedal to deliver electric energy to the electric motor from the battery.