Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Why I'm Pairing a Manual Transmission With an Electric Motor For My Chenowth EV Project

Posted April 26, 2022 5:00 AM by dstrohl

One of the many questions I get when discussing my Chenowth electric vehicle (EV) project - and one that recently came up in the comments on a recent update on this project - concerns the Volkswagen manual transmission I've decided to use with the Nissan Leaf electric motor. EVs don't need manual transmissions, right? So why am I using one? And why specifically this one?

Programming note: I haven't made too much progress on the project lately due to a vacation and a home improvement project. After figuring out where I wanted to put the batteries, I've reconsidered exactly where they should go and embarked on the process of rearranging the battery modules into three battery packs. Once I have those more or less in place, I'll discuss that process in the next full update.

But in the meantime, let's talk transmissions. Manual transmission, yay! But also, why? Internal combustion automobiles need multi-gear transmissions in the first place because their engines can only develop optimal power in a narrow band of their entire range of engine speeds, so multiple gears are required to keep the engines in that narrow band across a wider range of speeds (and in response to a wide range of loads and other demands on the engine). They also need clutches not only to shift between gears but also to keep the engine from stalling when at a standstill. Electric motors, on the other hand, develop maximum torque across much of their engine speeds, so an electric car makes 100% of its torque at 0 rpm. Even the most diehard enthusiasts walk away from their first ride in a modern EV in awe of the full torque right off the line.

Read on...

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