Toyota appears to be exploring the idea of using manual transmission (MT) systems for modern electric vehicles, at least based on several patents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Toyota’s manual transmission patents hint at the company’s next step into the electric vehicle market.
Each of Toyota’s patents for manual transmission in electric vehicles are listed below:
Patent 20220041155A1, first seen in BZ Forums, for Toyota electric vehicle with manual transmission refers to a controller configured to control the torque of the electric motor. It also mentions a shift reaction force generator that generates a shift reaction force when the driver operates the vehicle’s “pseudo-shifter”, providing an experience similar to manual gasoline cars that use a shift lever. gears and a clutch pedal to change gears. It looks like Toyota’s EV MT design will also rely on similar gear shifting tools, except the patents call them “pseudo-shifter”, “pseudo-gearshift” and “pseudo-pedal clutch”.
According to patent 20220041062A1, Totyota’s manual electric vehicle calculates engine torque using an MT vehicle model that simulates manual ICE vehicles with internal combustion engines.
“In the first operation mode, an operation amount of a pseudo-clutch pedal and a shift position of a pseudo-shift are input to the vehicle model MT to reflect the operation of the pedal of pseudo-clutch and pseudo-shift operation in electric mode control of motors,” the patent reads.
Automatic or manual transmission
Electric vehicles operate more like cars with automatic transmissions. Manual transmission systems have been difficult to integrate into electric vehicles, in part due to the torque provided by EV motors.
Automatic vehicles have gradually conquered the global automotive market, especially in the United States. However, manual cars are still popular around the world. According to Statistical, four out of ten light vehicles produced worldwide are still fitted with manual gearboxes. Meanwhile, automatic cars account for around 34% of the global share.
In the United States, automobiles with automatic transmission make up the bulk of the vehicle market. However, cars with manual transmissions, which some call shifters, are still popular in Europe and Asia.
Manual vehicles are generally less expensive than their automatic counterparts, and they are also easier to maintain. One of the main reasons shifters remain popular is because they provide a better driving experience. Manual cars give drivers more control over the operation of the car, providing opportunities for fun and unique driving experiences on the road. People who enjoy driving or racing usually prefer manual cars.
Toyota’s manual transmission patents seem to be for these drivers. The Japanese automaker might want to produce manual electric vehicles to meet the needs of drivers who like to be behind the wheel.
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