Browse Publications Technical Papers 08-07-02-0011

Electric Vehicle with Multi-Speed Transmission: A Review on Performances and Complexities 08-07-02-0011

This also appears in SAE International Journal of Alternative Powertrains-V127-8EJ

Electric vehicles (EVs) with multi-speed transmission offer improved performances compared to those with single speed transmission system in terms of top speed, fast acceleration, or gradeability along with driving range. In this study, relevant literature is extensively analyzed to explore the performances and associated complexities with multi-speed automatic manual/mechanical transmission (AMT) system in EVs. In EV powertrain, the only torque generator component is electric motor, which is not equally efficient throughout wider speed range. To the other end, vehicles need to run at different speeds in diverse driving conditions. The study shows that multi-speed transmission system enables efficient operation of electric motor by choosing an appropriate gear at different driving torque-speed demands and thus contributes to achieve desired vehicle performances at minimum energy consumption. To demonstrate the differences, both dynamic and economic performances with multi-gear system and single speed system are compared, and the results of various techniques are presented in the form of tables and bar charts. A quantitative analysis is also conducted to show the performance improvement achievable by employing multi-speed transmission concept in EVs. Apart from additional mass, gear ratio selection and torque interruption during gear shifting are major obstacles to improve drivetrain efficiency and riding comfort in EVs with multi-speed transmission system. For optimal gear ratio in transmission system, genetic algorithm (GA) is found to be implemented in most articles. It is also observed that variable shift schedule needs to be considered during the optimization process to get the paramount gear ratios. Tables and bar charts are used to show the results of recent relevant works to these issues. In this article, the readers would gain a comprehensive knowledge on how multi-speed transmission technology can outperform the single speed system within EV platform and what the inherent challenges are.


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