Manual EV gearbox simulator
Toyota has filed a series of patents in the US for simulating a manual gearbox in an EV (writes Nick Flaherty).
The set of eight patents would have an impact on the design of the central motor controller, influencing the torque of the motor based on the operation of the accelerator and a ‘pseudo-clutch’ pedal. This would emulate the existing three-pedal system in manual cars.
One of the patents cites a shift reaction force generator, the equivalent of the gear stick, which generates a force in response to the operation of the pseudo-clutch. It covers the relationship of the torque to the wheel speed and the pseudo-clutch, and suggests different profiles could be stored for the gear stick, providing the equivalent of sport or economy modes. It also suggests a connection to a ‘rev counter’ to indicate the level of power from the motor, and a protocol for how the display would move.
This is more important in an EV as there are not the same environmental cues from the noise and vibration of the engine as to the best time to change the ratio of the electric motor.
The various elements would all be connected up via the vehicle’s comms network, typically a CAN bus, and the processing would be handled in the central ECU.