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EV Sales Double Those of Vehicles with Manual Transmissions

Consumers are now buying twice as many electric vehicles as they do vehicles equipped with a manual transmission. Auto123 is surprised but isn’t

The automotive industry – and those who cover it – are in love with statistics. Many get studied, picked apart and analyzed without ever making it to public awareness. For the media, they can serve to back up arguments, provide context in articles and so on.

Sometimes a stat crops up that merits sharing, if only to underline a trend in the industry.

A newly published report took a look at sales in the United States of electric vehicles in relation to those of vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, and the results are food for thought. They reflect a reality that would have been inconceivable just 10 years ago.

Photo: D.Boshouwers

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The study shows that in the U.S., vehicles with a manual gearbox accounted for only 1.1% of sales in the third quarter of this year. Meanwhile, EVs continue to grow their percentage of overall vehicle sales, and now account for nearly 2% of all vehicles sold.

And there’s plenty of reason to think that last percentage is going to climb dramatically in the coming months and years – the opposite of what we can expect for the poor manual gearbox.

We’re on the doorstep of a 2-to-1 ratio, and beyond that comes 3-to-1, 4-to-1 and so on. 

Will the manual transmission disappear completely. Some believe it will, but we’re still predicting it will continue to hang on. As long as there are people out there interested in three-pedal driving, some manufacturers will continue to offer it in niche products.

Just don’t expect a lot of choice, however.

Electric vehicles will undoubtedly continue to expand their market share. The irony is that in so doing, they will do their part in consigning manual gearboxes to near-oblivion -  because EVs don’t make use them at all.