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.

[Source: Antonov, PhysOrg]

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