Electric vehicles tend to be exclusively automatic, as they don't need a clutch or gearbox to switch through gears like a traditional gas or diesel vehicle. Some automakers, however, like the idea of a gimmicky manual EV, though it definitely isn't something that is required - and it's uncertain how many EV drivers would even care about this feature.
Japanese automaker Honda understands the transition to EVs will inevitably end manual transmissions and doesn't seem interested in simulated or artificial manuals for its EV models. Electric sports cars also probably won't see a manual for drivers to shift gears, and drivers will just need to adapt to modern vehicle designs.
Here is what Shinji Aoyama, leader of global electrification business at Honda, said during a recent media roundtable: "Artificially, we can do it. Mechanically, it is not easy," when pondering the thought of a simulated manual "like an extension of active sound control." Honda wants it is EVs to be "edgy" and stand out from competing EVs, though confirmed: "I'm not sure if we can replace the manual transmission."
Honda plans to transition towards EVs and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in stages, so fans of manual transmissions will have plenty of time left. By 2030, 40% of sales will be EVs, 80% by 2035, then 100% EVs in the vehicle portfolio by 2040.
Toyota is the No. 1 automaker in the United States but has lagged behind its competitors when it comes to EV development. Ironically, it would seem like a better strategy to focus on battery range and other car features than a gimmick "manual" clutch and gears in an EV. However, early in 2022, the company filed a patent for an EV with manual transmission and clutch, so drivers can change gears - or enjoy a gearless driving mode as well.
Of course, Toyota won't be alone if it wants to make a manual EV, as the Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo and Audi e-Tron GT are available with manual transmissions. Looking at future EV models, this isn't something that most companies are really worried about trying to include