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Stellantis Considers Two-Speed Transmission For Electric Vehicles

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Daniel Rufiange
This transmission would be reserved for off-road vehicles.
  • Stellantis considers two-speed transmission for electric vehicles

According to a patent application filed by Stellantis with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the company is developing a two-speed transmission for off-road electric vehicles.

Most electric vehicles are equipped with a single-speed transmission because the instant availability of torque eliminates the need to use additional gears to regain torque by reducing engine speed.

However, Stellantis argues that the single-speed solution is not ideal for off-road vehicles.

The company explains that while off-road driving typically requires a lot of torque at low speeds, the gearing that enables this is not ideal for efficiency and range on the road. Stellantis therefore proposes one gear for highway driving and another for low-speed excursions off the beaten track.

The transmission itself would use two sets of planetary gears in a housing mounted between an electric motor and the half shafts of an axle, with clutches controlling torque output. These clutches would engage one of the two gears and control the output to the wheels.

The clutches could also be used to rotate the half-shafts in opposite directions, allowing an electric vehicle to "pivot around a central point to improve mobility," according to the patent application.

Rivian has considered a similar solution, as has Mercedes-Benz, which may include it in its electric G-Class SUV.

It is worth noting that a patent application does not necessarily mean that a technology or innovation will automatically appear in a production model. In this case, however, it is plausible to believe that it will.

Stellantis is preparing the Recon, which will be an electric version similar to the Wrangler, while the latter model transitions to all-electric in the medium term. These products will have to be highly efficient in off-road driving, undoubtedly with a transmission with a specific ratio for their expected use.

Another story to follow.

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists