Do Teslas Have Transmissions? Clear If You Have the Misconception

There are a lot of misconceptions about how tesla cars operate. Tesla is a household name in the EV industry, which makes the general EV enthusiast asks certain questions like, Do Teslas have transmissions? Another significant question is, Do Tesla have engines?

Here, we’ll explain how the tesla transmission works, whether you should call it transmission or not. How does a tesla transmission work if it has one? Grab a seat while we clear the misconception about Tesla transmission and how it works.

do teslas have cvt transmissions

Teslas Transmissions Explained

To better understand how a tesla transmission works, we have to explain how a transmission works.

Transmission is the entire drivetrain system that transmits the engine power to the wheels to keep the vehicle in motion. Transmissions can either be manual or automatic. We also have CVT transmissions, which most people classify as automatic transmissions.

The automatic transmissions usually select the gears automatically based on the engine speed and acceleration. With manual transmissions, on the other hand, the driver will have to select the gears between different gear ranges. CVT transmissions work in the same similitude as automatic transmissions.

Without a transmission, it will be practically impossible for a car to start, run, and stop. Because the tranny transmits the engine power to the wheels to move the vehicle. However, the invention of electric cars is redefining how automobiles operate.

Unlike internal combustion engines, EVs do not have an engine. Instead, they have an electric motor that spins in a circular motion to produce enough power to turn the wheels. The EV motors generate enough power to turn the car into a road beast when driving. As said, Tesla cars outburst 3-5 times more power than traditional internal combustion engines.

The transmission is an essential part of a car that works in harmony with the engine to keep the car moving on the road. We explained above that a transmission helps to change gears either automatically or manually depending on the car’s speed and acceleration. Aside from that, the tranny helps to enhance the engine power.

In internal combustion engines, the transmission helps the vehicle to maintain structural stability and reduces gas consumption. But it is a little different on how electric pickups tranny works.

Tesla and other EVs have a single-speed transmission that converts the electric motors’ circular motion into a stable force that spins the wheels. (more about this in the next section). It helps electric cars run without hesitations, stuttering, or stalling. Are you still asking, Does tesla cars have transmissions? Read on.

Do Teslas Have Transmissions?

We explained above that transmission is required to transfer engine power to the wheels to create a motion that moves the wheels. Does this mean every vehicle needs a tranny to move? Here’s where things get a bit tricky.

All tesla cars are electric vehicles. And EV technology works a little bit differently from internal combustion engine (ICE) technology. So, the absence of internal combustion engines means the transmission does not work like the internal combustion engine counterparts.

Tesla cars can rev up to 20,000 RPMs. If you compare that to an internal combustion engine’s max rev of 4,000 to 6,000 RPM, that’s 3 to 5 times more. So, what type of transmission does a tesla have?

Technically, Tesla cars have a single-speed transmission that transmits the electric motor power to the wheels to enable the cars to move. Unlike the ICE-powered vehicles, Tesla and other electric cars can accelerate as much as you want at any RPM without stalling.

For this reason, a multi-speed transmission is useless since Tesla transmissions can attain any speed at any RPM. If you’re asking, do Tesla have a CVT transmission? The answer is no. They do not have a multiple-speed transmission, meaning they do not have the traditional automatic, manual, or CVT transmissions like in ICE-powered vehicles.

tesla transmission


Q: Do electric vehicles have a transmission?

Yes, electric cars have transmissions that transmit the electric motor power to the wheels. However, their transmission works differently from the ones in gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. Since the engine of electric vehicles is built with different technology, they use different transmissions from the ones on the electric vehicles.

Q: Do Tesla have gearboxes?

In this context, gearbox and transmission mean the same thing. Looking at it from this picture, tesla vehicles have gearboxes that spin the wheels. In any case, the gearbox differs from the ones in internal combustion engines. The primary purpose of a Tesla gearbox is to transfer power from the electric motor to the wheels. As a single-speed gearbox, it doesn’t have multiple gears.

Q: Does Tesla have shift gears?

We have reiterated several times that tesla cars have single-speed transmissions. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot shift gears. At least, you can shift between reverse, neutral, drive, and park. When we say single-speed, we mean it doesn’t have gears 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, but it has reverse, neutral, drive, and park.

Tesla has explained their gear shifting process in the owner’s booklet since most people may not be familiar with it. In most cases, the shifting gear options are unavailable by default. This means you have to activate it manually.

Again, the auto shift option can only work when shifting out of the park. And you have to shift the gears manually between drive and reverse.

Q: Do Teslas need transmission fluid?

It’s okay to ask, do Teslas have transmission fluids since they have tranny. Tesla transmissions do not need transmission fluid to operate. The single-speed technology is different from traditional transmissions out. However, the Tesla Model 3 and Model S use automatic transmission fluid to lubricate the single-speed gear.

Both of these models use Dexron VI automatic transmission fluid to lubricate the reduction tranny and differential. In any case, Tesla has not published any article describing how to change the transmission fluid.

Q: Is Tesla manual or automatic?

All Tesla cars and other EVs have automatic transmission designs. This means they work like the automatic transmission in traditional vehicles, except for not changing gears. Changing gears is not needed in EVs. So even if Tesla and other electric cars have multiple-speed transmissions, they’ll be useless because electric vehicle designs do not need them.

Final Words

If you’re still reading to this point, there’s a chance you want to buy a Tesla or you’re an electric car enthusiast. We’ve cleared the misconception on the question – do Teslas have transmissions?

Tesla cars have a single-speed transmission that transmits the electric motor power to the wheels. Meanwhile, the single-speed tranny does not work like the multiple-speed transmissions on internal combustion engines.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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