The efficiency of a car is not only given by its engine, electric motor, or whatever the energy converter would be – but it is also given by its transmission part, the gearbox, that if used properly can boost the engine’s wheel-to-wheel ratio and provide the proper efficiency. For example, you automatically do that conversion efficiently when you ride a bicycle, and find that changing the gear ratio makes your bicycling life easier. Anyway, the above text was merely an example of how important gearboxes are.
Th!nk, the electric car from Norway, has started a relationship with Oerlikon Graziano, who makes gearboxes. So, they designed a special gearbox, the only one at this time made specially for electric vehicles. With this gearbox, th!nk wil have the most efficient transmission system, would not waste energy on useless rpm, and run quietly. It can go up to 180km and have a maximum speed of more than 110km/h (>68 mph).
Richard Canny, Th!nk CEO, says: “We opted for Oerlikon Graziano because of its superior technical expertise as a development partner and system supplier”. Th!nk is not the only customer Oerlikon Graziano has. Zytek Automotive LTD wants to apply their 70kW electric motor’s output to a gearbox designed by them. Ford also has plans for a partnership with the gearbox manufacturer.
So, what can’t for the moment be gotten from battery technology, can partially be obtained from other components, like the gearbox, aerodynamic shape and tire rolling resistance. Car technology evolves – it’s good to know where it’s heading to.