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Electric cars do not have shifter, while gasoline cars do (manual or automatic, it doesn't matter). Why?

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    $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is about automotive technology and not physics. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Oct 29 '14 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ We really need an engineering stack exchange--for all those with engineering expertise (or questions) who agree, please go to the proposal page here and press "commit". $\endgroup$ – Hypnosifl Oct 29 '14 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ ahh, engineering is (based on) physics, and i would say this is about the physical principle, rather than technological details of models etc.. $\endgroup$ – Nikos M. Oct 29 '14 at 20:28
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    $\begingroup$ plus lets not forget the impression of Swinger when he first saw Feynman diagrams (ref Genius the life of R. Feynman), "it strucked him as engineering, all T and S rays and lines" $\endgroup$ – Nikos M. Oct 29 '14 at 20:29
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Gasoline / petrol / diesel engines run best at approximately 1000 to 5000 rpm (revolutions per minute) so at slow speeds and at high speeds different gears are needed to change the ratio of the number of revolutions of the car wheels to the number of revolutions in the engine. The shifter selects between different ratios.

Electric engines work well over a much wider range of rpm so different ratios are not needed. (some electric cars do have 2 gears, but mostly they use 1 - for example, electric drag racers may have 2)

(bicycles have gears because the human body (legs) works best between about 60 and 120 rpm)

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  • $\begingroup$ For me, this is an illuminating answer! Especially explanation of bicycle gears! $\endgroup$ – VividD Oct 29 '14 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ @VividD Electric DC motors can also be configured with rotor and field windings in series connexion which gives a perfect speed-torque curve: theoretically infinite torque at zero speed, tapering off once the rotor gets moving. $\endgroup$ – WetSavannaAnimal Oct 30 '14 at 11:51
  • $\begingroup$ @WetSavannaAnimalakaRodVance, that is amazing! Good to know, thanks! $\endgroup$ – VividD Oct 30 '14 at 14:17

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