The manual transmission is slowly dying as fewer and fewer automakers offer it on their vehicles. With most manufacturers shifting to an all-electric lineup in 10 to 20 years, it seems the manual only has a few years left. But what if an EV came with a manual transmission? That’s an idea that Toyota appears to be thinking about.
Toyota recently filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office for what seems to be a manual transmission for EVs. According to the patent, it’s like a traditional manual transmission similar to what you’d find in the current GR 86 or the GR Yaris with a clutch and h-pattern shifter.
Interestingly, the automaker uses the “pseudo” prefix for nearly everything to describe the manual EV gearbox. This leads us to believe that the use of the clutch and changing gears isn’t necessary for vehicle operation. However, the patent goes on to say a control module will make it feel like drivers are shifting a proper manual transmission rather than like an arcade racing game.
“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. The electric vehicle also includes a shift reaction force generator that generates a shift reaction force in response to the operation of the pseudo-shifter using by the operating of the reaction force actuator,” Toyota explains in the patent.
As cool as a manual transmission for an EV sounds, it’s still uncertain whether Toyota will put it into production. Still, we hope they do. It could make EVs, which some still perceive as boring, more exciting to drive. At the same time, it is a way to keep the manual gearbox alive for the next generation of vehicles.
What do you think of Toyota’s patent of a manual transmission for EVs? Let us know in the comments below.