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This is just annoying me. Looked at lots of videos on lots of cars by lots of different reviewers and all of them used the phrase "single-speed automatic gearbox". What in all that is good and evil is that? How do you automatically change what is unchangeable? EVs are not usually direct drive I understand - they have meshed toothed metal wheels in an enclosure meaning that technically there is a gearbox, but there is no actual cog-swapping to do to change ratios. Even when we select reverse, we do not do it by moving cogs around. In what way therefore can the box of gears be described as automatic?

Looking at this another way, the user - who may know or care nothing about how it is achieved - gets some kind of control in the form of a stick, wheel or buttons that selects forward, reverse and park, or maybe even neutral. In an old-fashioned box, reverse counted as a different ratio, as its own gear. To the user this control could be perceived as their gearbox. They have, one could argue, two gears then, two ratios, two speeds, to play with but when on earth is the selection between these made automatically? In what way is changing between these ratios an 'automatic' process?

Do EVs have a 'zero gallon fuel tank', a 'fully absent exhaust pipe' or a 'doubly automatic choke'?

Isn't the right description of an EV that it has 'no gearbox and, like an automatic, no clutch' or at the very most that it has 'no clutch pedal and manual selection of forward or reverse' while for the technician that 'it has torque at zero revs and a single-speed gearbox'? No need to mention 'manual' and certainly nothing in its operation that warrants the epithet 'automatic'.

Rant over.
 

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It's all to do with how traditional car advertisements have outdated fixed data fields.

It's about time EV's get their own set of data fields: range, battery size, remote control (eg. apps), charging speed for AC and DC.

In today's day and age, I'd also want the following data fields: adaptive cruise control (inc traffic jam or only motorway), lane keep assist (active centering, active keep or passive), blind spot sensor, camera system (inc sentry mode, 360 parking and/or only backup camera)
 

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EVs don't have throttles, but the 'power' pedal still gets called that.
Actually diesels don't have a throttle either :unsure:

There is one good reason for retaining the term automatic for now which is driving licences. It's the distinction between having a clutch or not. If they didn't call EVs automatic you can bet than quite a few people will think they need a new licence to drive them.
 

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For the non technical reader, the term "single speed automatic" is not a BAD term as it does convey the FACT it can be driven on an automatic license ( legally defined term) and the fact that there is no coordination of clutch and throttle required. So not technically correct but it kinda works.

For the pedantic, of course every mainstream BEV has gears to provide for speed reduction and differential. The fact that they are in a casing and that casing is called a "box" is not really incorrect either.
 

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I don't think it matters. EV's work the same way as an auto, you put your foot down and it goes.

Most people don't know much about how their own cars work. I read something recently that most people don't even know if their car is front or rear wheel drive. In the UK barely anyone knows what winter tyres are.
 

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I once saw a friend putting snow chains on her rear wheels then I pointed out that it was most likely the engine was driving her front wheels.

single ratio, clutchless 2 speed (achieved via software)?

Whilst probably more accurate it would confuse more drivers that those it would pacify who found the term single-speed automatic gearbox frustrating when used to describe how the motor rotor transfers the power to the round spiny things with rubber on them.
 

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A challenge:

who knows (don't cheat on google :p) when the CVT was first used in production cars?
additional points to those who can name the make and model of the car using them :cool:

Post edit note: CVT stands for constant variation transmission
 

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A challenge:

who knows (don't cheat on google :p) when the CVT was first used in production cars?
additional points to those who can name the make and model of the car using them :cool:

Post edit note: CVT stands for constant variation transmission
I wanna say the DAF 55. Sometime in the 1970's maybe?

EDIT: I checked after posting, so I know I'm wrong.
 

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I used to have a honda insight mk 1 manual but there was a CVT model too so maybe Honda? Then again could it be something really early like a Porsche/beetle cause I know Porsche founder made a diesel hybrid tank for the Nazi war effort and that might have had CVT which means it could have been in a production car shortly before or not long after ww2.

nope double checked the tank thing and it was a series hybrid using hub motors and a generator.
 

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CVT might possibly be constant velocity transmission.
I E the input speed remains constant even though the output ( road) speed variies.

Bit like CV joints ( constant angular velocity)
 

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Or Continuously Variable Transmission, when the Fiesta transmission was being developed and tested we had an unofficial league of who could reverse fastest as the development transmissions were not restricted in reverse :eek:
 

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Or Continuously Variable Transmission, when the Fiesta transmission was being developed and tested we had an unofficial league of who could reverse fastest as the development transmissions were not restricted in reverse :eek:
I'd have said Daf 33 in the 60's, but having checked I'm wrong too, way way earlier.
Brian
 

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Various (see what I did there?) CV transmissions have been around since the beginning of the Motor Car (and even before), hard to pin point it down to one manufacturer.
 

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This is just annoying me. Looked at lots of videos on lots of cars by lots of different reviewers and all of them used the phrase "single-speed automatic gearbox". What in all that is good and evil is that? How do you automatically change what is unchangeable? EVs are not usually direct drive I understand - they have meshed toothed metal wheels in an enclosure meaning that technically there is a gearbox, but there is no actual cog-swapping to do to change ratios. Even when we select reverse, we do not do it by moving cogs around. In what way therefore can the box of gears be described as automatic?

Looking at this another way, the user - who may know or care nothing about how it is achieved - gets some kind of control in the form of a stick, wheel or buttons that selects forward, reverse and park, or maybe even neutral. In an old-fashioned box, reverse counted as a different ratio, as its own gear. To the user this control could be perceived as their gearbox. They have, one could argue, two gears then, two ratios, two speeds, to play with but when on earth is the selection between these made automatically? In what way is changing between these ratios an 'automatic' process?

Do EVs have a 'zero gallon fuel tank', a 'fully absent exhaust pipe' or a 'doubly automatic choke'?

Isn't the right description of an EV that it has 'no gearbox and, like an automatic, no clutch' or at the very most that it has 'no clutch pedal and manual selection of forward or reverse' while for the technician that 'it has torque at zero revs and a single-speed gearbox'? No need to mention 'manual' and certainly nothing in its operation that warrants the epithet 'automatic'.

Rant over.
It is a legal issue.

IIRC; In law, construction and use regs, a 'manual' is one in which the power transmission can be variably and continuously controlled (principally via a clutch, but I don't think it is that specific). An 'automatic' is 'not a manual'.

Write to your MP. I am sure they are doing nothing better at the moment not to spend an afternoon's worth of Parliament's time discussing pedantry in C&R regs.
 

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I dont really mind the definition tbh. While not technically accurate, it immediately conveys a meaning to your average driver about how the transmission will operate in practice.

In the same way most average drivers have minimal understanding of whether their automatic car has a conventional hydraulic torque converter auto, or a DSG type system, or a CVT. Interestingly, the recent CVT boxes Audi have used were actually programmed to have "gears", because research showed people didnt like the engine to sit at a constant RPM while accellerating. As a result despite being CVT, it moves between pre-defined positions, so sounds like its accellerating thru a "gear" and then shifting.
 
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