On June 21, 2021, the Japanese carmaker has filed a total of eight patents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Toyota’s detailed application is now in the public domain, published by the Patent Office on February 10, 2022. However, the company is still waiting for a patent on these.
In order to achieve a manual ICE car-like ‘experience’ while driving an EV, Japanese carmaker Toyota has come up with a clever technology that allows an EV to have an H-pattern manual gearbox, and an H-pattern manual gearbox to simulate a ‘manual’ drive experience. Clutch pedal will be used.
In electric vehicles, the controller, considered to be the brain of the EV, captures signals from the pedals (accelerator, brake and clutch), gearbox and wheel speed sensors. Along with this, it controls other sensors and technologies with the help of software.
With the help of its sensors, it modulates the power supply and torque characteristics of the electric motor to such an extent that the vehicle feels as if it is powered by petrol or diesel. Terms such as ‘sudo-gearshift’, ‘sudo clutch pedal’ and ‘sudo engine speed meter’ are used to describe the working of these mechanisms during patent applications.
This shows that these are only representative and that their mechanism and construction is very different from what you will find in ICE vehicles. The document further states that parameters such as clutch feel, vehicle stall, hill-start and reversing have also been taken into account to offer an experience close to driving a ‘real’ manual vehicle.
While there’s no doubt that EVs are the future thanks to their zero tail pipe emissions benefits, these aren’t the final words for driver participation, despite their torquey character, thanks to their single-speed reduction gearbox (or two). Reason – speed automatics in case of high performance EVs like Audi RS e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan).
With manual transmission playing a negligible role in the electrified future, it is good to see Toyota taking steps to appease those who prefer to change gears manually. Certainly, with the help of technology Toyota engineers can make an electric vehicle drive experience closer to that of an ICE manual.
But there is one important factor that will always be irreplaceable, which is the sound of the car, but to make up for the lack of it, some manufacturers are already offering ‘fake’ exhaust sounds through in-vehicle speakers. Recently, the Maruti Dzire electric conversion vehicle was given a 5-speed manual gearbox.
However, the manual gearbox on the Maruti Dzire EV is completely different and should not be confused with Toyota’s ‘simulated manual’ concept. Northway Motorsport, the company behind the Dzire EV conversion, comes with a battery-electric powertrain mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
While this certainly proves cost-effective for the kit maker, it also comes with its own challenges such as extra weight and additional moving parts that will result in greater mechanical losses, as the gearbox was originally designed to support the ICE vehicle. has been designed for.