Do Electric Cars Have Gears

Young girl sat behind the wheel of her car looking out onto the road in front of her

Making the switch to electric cars means getting used to lots of new technology from charging points to manufacturers’ apps. But how different are electric cars to drive, compared to internal combustion-engine cars that we’re used to?


One of the biggest changes you might spot when you first climb into an electric car will be the lack of a traditional gear stick of a manual car. Here in the UK, this has been the most common kind of car for many years and most of us learn to drive a manual. But does an electric car have gears?


We’ll answer that question in this blog, along with everything else you need to know about the future of gear changes, gear sticks and clutches in our cars.



Do electric cars have manual gears?


So, are all electric cars automatic? Generally, they are because of the way they work, compared to internal combustion-powered cars, which means that they don’t need clutches. Not having manual gears and a clutch system means that electric cars are cheaper to repair and maintain, not to mention simpler to drive with no chance of stalling at traffic lights.


The rise in popularity of electric cars is also affecting the rise of automatic cars, with manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz starting to phase them out and the UK seeing more and more automatics bought in place of manuals.



Do electric cars need to shift gears?


So, can electric cars be manual? As we’ve seen, they can have gear sticks, but as a rule, electric cars don’t need to shift gears. This is because there is no need for them to cycle through gears to reach top speed as they have a much higher rev range and can produce maximum torque instantly, meaning a single speed transmission is enough to reach top speed.



Do electric cars have automatic gears?


Do electric cars have gears at all? Some do, perhaps with an eye on any drivers who are used to using a gear stick and might be put off by making the switch to automatic as part of going electric. However, these are the minority and it seems like automatic is the way forward for electric cars in this country.


But are all hybrid cars automatic too? Not all of them. Manual hybrids do exist, complete with clutch pedals and gear sticks, but these are ‘mild hybrids’ that cannot travel on electric power alone, with the electric motor reducing the workload of the petrol engine to reduce fuel consumption. Full hybrids and plug-in hybrids are generally only available as automatic cars.



Do electric cars have gear ratios?


Most electric cars have a single gear ratio because they don’t need any more than this to help the car build up speed. This is why very few have gears and most are automatic electric cars. So, if you’ve only ever driven a manual and are wanting to switch to an electric car, you’ll need to get ready to learn how to drive an automatic.


Luckily, not everything about learning to drive an EV is complicated. In fact, insuring your EV is one of the simplest factors to consider when you choose one of our affordable car insurance policies.

Trustpilot reviews