Electric motors offer a wider torque curve compared to internal combustion engines, but their efficiency reduces significantly outside of the "sweet spot," says innovative transmission specialist Antonov. For this reason, a multi-speed transmission could take electric vehicles
to the next level, according to Antonov. The trans specialist claims the benefits of multi-speed transmissions include:
The electric motor operates in its most efficient speed range
The vehicle range is increased or a smaller battery pack can be used
A smaller electric motor can be specified
Allows greater flexibility of motor supplier selection
Vehicle launch performance and cruising speed is improved
The vehicle energy can be managed to suit driving modes
Low gear can be selected for increased regenerative braking
To take advantage of the potential benefits of multi-speed transmissions, Antonov has developed a modular three-speed powershift trans for a wide range of electric vehicle applications. Antonov's unit is suitable for front-wheel- and rear-wheel-drive vehicles, includes a neutral gear for towing purposes, is scalable for high-torque applications and avoids the "large ratio step" of two-speed transmissions. Antonov says the three-speed's compact design means that it can be wedged into most EVs
and that the unit's efficiency will improve the range of most electric-only automobiles.
Unfortunately, Antonov has yet to reveal when this keep-it-in-sweet-spot trans will make its debut in a vehicle that the public can actually buy.