Is Toyota planning to launch manual EVs? Here’s what we know so far
At first glance, Toyota’s patent drawings and diagrams may appear complex, but the idea behind it is pretty simple.
The Porsche Taycan and the Audi E-Tron GT are the only two multi-gears currently on the market. Over the years, several auto companies have tested multi-gear gearboxes in electric vehicles (EVs), but none – except two – have succeeded enough to go into mass production.
According to reports, Toyota is now planning to shoot its shot with multi-gear EVs. The carmaker hasn’t officially disclosed its intention, but the patents Toyota has recently submitted suggest that something big is cooking.
Toyota wants to build a system that resembles converting an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle to electric while keeping the manual gearbox. These EV conversions are generally left in a single gear (third or fourth) depending on the motor’s configuration and maximum revolutions per minute (RPMs), eliminating the need for the clutch as no shifting is required.
How Does It work?
At first glance, Toyota’s patent drawings and diagrams may appear complex, but the idea behind it is pretty simple. The system will use a unique controller that changes the electric motor’s torque to make it feel more like a gasoline vehicle.
It seems like an actual clutch pedal that the driver will press to change gears by moving a physical shifter. However, the patent text refers to it as ‘pseudo-shifter’ and ‘pseudo-clutch pedal,’ implying that they are unnecessary. Their purpose is to simulate the feel of a manual transmission in a car that does not require it.
Referring to the pseudo shift and pedal, one of the patents reads:
The controller of the electric vehicle is configured to control the torque of the electric motor using the MT vehicle model based on the operation amount of the accelerator pedal, the operation amount of the pseudo-clutch pedal, and the shift position of the pseudo-shifter used by the operation of the reaction force actuator. The controller is configured to store shift reaction force characteristics simulating the characteristic of the shift reaction force according to the shifter’s operation. Then, the controller is configured to control the shift reaction force output by the shift reaction force generator according to the operation of the pseudo-shifter using the stored shift reaction force characteristic.
Sporty Cars Feature
Sources state that the presumed pseudo-shifter will actually move, just like it does in a Mazda MX-5. Each press of the accelerator will cause the shifter to move and respond differently, enhancing the excitement and character of the vehicle.
Experts assume that Toyota will adopt this pseudo-manual transmission in an upcoming sporty car too. Why? Because Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, is passionate about sports cars and promised his audience to introduce a broader range of thrilling cars soon.
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