So, seeing another announcement of multi-speed transmissions for EVs,
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I'm wondering if this is something it's time to reconsider. Offhand, the original version of the Tesla Roadster is the only production BEV I can think of with a multi-speed transmission, and they pulled that owing to reliability issues and changed to single speed with some electronic magic. OTOH, lots of EV conversions in the '80s and '90s kept their manual transmissions.
ISTM that the efficiency gain at freeway speeds for cars intended for other than urban use, typically claiming 15% or so, may be worthwhile even allowing for the extra complexity. I suspect a multi-speed transmission is still far cheaper, lighter and smaller than putting in extra batteries for the same range gain, and acceleration performance for passing would also be improved (although Chevy seems to have found a work-around with the Spark EV). I don't think it's worth it for the city cars, but I could see a two-speed transmission, with low for 0 to say 50 mph, and high for 45+ with efficiency optimized for the 65-80 speed band as maybe being worth it for those BEVs with enough range to give them some road trip potential. Opinions?