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Electric Car Powertrain Explained

2023 Nissan Leaf Charging

The EV wave continues to swell, and with it the growing list of questions from potential buyers in the Leominster area. Whether you’re ready to buy an electric car within the next few months or simply trying to learn more about the next generation of vehicles, Ron Bouchard's Nissan is eager to be a resource for you! Below, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about electric car powertrains.



Do Electric Cars Have Transmissions?

Yes, electric cars have transmissions. There are fewer moving parts when it comes to electric vehicles (one of the many benefits), but an electric car does have a transmission, and you will still need to schedule routine maintenance to keep your vehicle in top working condition.

Do Electric Cars Have Gears?

When it comes to gears in electric cars, there’s usually just one. The term “single speed transmission” is often used when talking about electric vehicles. There is no shifting of gears in an electric vehicle – as soon as your foot hits the accelerator, you’re able to tap into all of the power in your vehicle. Here’s a simple breakdown of how your electric vehicle powertrain works:

  1. Your foot presses the accelerator
  2. The battery sends electricity to the electric motor
  3. The motor spins, in turn spinning the gearbox
  4. Your EV begins to move

When it comes to reversing an electric vehicle, it works a little differently than an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. In an ICE vehicle, a separate gear is engaged to push your vehicle in the reverse direction. In an electric vehicle, the motor simply spins backward to push your vehicle backward.

Do Electric Cars Have RPM?

Some electric car motor RPM can reach as high as 20,000 RPM (vs. ICE vehicles may reach upwards of 7,000 RPM)

Do You Have To Maintain Electric Car Transmissions?

At the end of the day, you’re probably asking yourself, “What does this mean for me? Am I going to need to schedule maintenance for an electric car transmission?” And the answer is yes. Electric vehicles are wonderful and definitely come with many benefits, but Fitchburg drivers will still need to schedule routine maintenance. How often will depend on your specific model. 

It’s important to note that some (not all) electric vehicles do still use transmission fluid, and that fluid will need to be replaced at specified intervals. If you own an electric vehicle, refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions on maintaining your vehicle’s transmission. You can also contact our Service department if you still have questions about servicing an electric vehicle. 

Experience an Electric Vehicle Today at Ron Bouchard's Nissan!

The Nissan brand offers two electric models currently – the Nissan Leaf and the Nissan ARIYA. Contact us to discuss test drive or vehicle ordering options, utilize our EV incentive calculator to see how much you could save, or value your trade-in to see if now is a good time to make the move to electric!

Contact Us
Ron Bouchard's Nissan 42.519614, -71.700719.