This Car Company is Working on a Manual EV

While it’s not functionally necessary for an EV to have a manual transmission, there are many people who enjoy stick-shift driving which is the crowd Toyota is trying to appeal to.
Written by Serena Aburahma
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Apr 29, 2022
Much to the disappointment of some drivers, it has already become
less common
for cars to offer manual transmission options. Stick shift fans are likely to see this become even worse, as
electric vehicles
are automatic by default. Is a manual EV possible, though?
Toyota has a design that might make a manual EV a reality.
InsideEVs
reports that Toyota recently filed a patent for a manual transmission and clutch system for future EVs. Interestingly, this would not even be the first multi-gear transmission in an EV.  

Toyota has designed a manual EV system

It might sound crazy, but the patent filed by Toyota shows plans for a system that would make driving EVs feel like driving a stick shift. The plan outlines mechanisms that Toyota calls a "pseudo-clutch pedal" and "pseudo-shifter." 
As the name would lead you to believe, these take on the roles that a clutch and stick would serve in a standard manual transmission.
If a vehicle were to implement the system outlined in Toyota's patent, it would become a manual EV. When the "gears" in the manual EV shift, the level of torque the electric motor puts out would change. This would simulate the feeling of changing gears in a gas-powered stick shift. 
While the patent filed by Toyota demonstrates how this technology would feasibly work in an EV, there is no information about this system being used. We will have to wait for future updates from Toyota to see how or even if this manual transmission will be implemented in an EV.

Why would an EV need a manual transmission?

The short answer is that EVs don't really have a functional need to be manual. Electric motors don't typically have different gears like internal combustion engines. 
However, even though it would not be necessary, that is not to say that it would be pointless. Some drivers loyally choose manual transmissions, even as fewer cars have offered the option, as seen in recent sales of the
manual Ford Bronco
These drivers prefer the control and engagement that come from manual transmissions, and this is hard to replicate in an automatic.
By making an electric vehicle that mimics the feeling of driving a manual transmission, Toyota could convince some stick-shift fans to try an EV. A manual EV might not be necessary, but it could be great for the right driver.

Other EVs with multi-gear transmissions

In the same article that discusses the Toyota manual EV patent, InsideEVs also mentions two EVs that use a multi-gear transmission. These are the Audi E-Tron GT and the Porsche Taycan.
According to
Road and Track
, the Porsche Taycan features a two-gear system, which is different from the single gear most EVs use. The first gear is meant for fast acceleration. Once the Taycan reaches 62 mph, it shifts to a second gear that is more meant for cruising. 
However, this system is not the same thing as the manual transmission that Toyota has patented. It lacks the clutch and shifter system to replicate a manual transmission.

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Toyota's patent could one day lead to manual EVs, which would possibly make stick-shift fans more likely to try an EV. While there might not yet be a manual EV on the market, there is a way to use technology to save money on car insurance thanks to
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Kemper
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Nationwide
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