GM Innovates with Clutch Pedal for Enhanced EV Experience

Beyond concerns about charging and range, many car enthusiasts believe electric vehicles lack the thrill of driving. They argue that features like one-pedal driving, regenerative braking, and the absence of a traditional gearbox make EVs feel soulless. General Motors aims to change this perception and convert drivers to the electric way.

The American carmaker is developing a clutch pedal for electric vehicle transmissions, as reported by Motor Authority. This initiative follows similar efforts by Hyundai and Lexus, both of which have outlined plans for manual EVs.

According to GM’s patents, the company is creating a new type of clutch actuation for its future electric models to enhance the transmissions in high-performance EVs. The patent describes using a hydraulic actuator to operate a clutch in automatic transmissions for electric cars. A controller would adjust the pressure of the fluid in the actuator, moving a piston to open or close the clutch based on what the controller deems optimal in different scenarios.

GM states that this setup would be simpler than conventional automatic transmissions, facilitated by the electric motor’s need for fewer gear shifts.

Additionally, it would avoid “instabilities at the electric motor” associated with other clutch actuation methods.

Published recently, the patent claims that the new clutch would boost the “efficiency and performance” of GM’s future electric models by giving drivers “precise control over the clutch operation,” as noted by GM Authority.

With more control over the transmission connected to an electric motor, drivers could make real-time adjustments, ensuring smoother gear shifts in some models. However, it’s crucial to note that a patent doesn’t guarantee the technology will be implemented in future electric models. Manual cars have been declining in the U.S., and stick-shift car sales have been unstable in recent years.

This innovative approach by GM reflects a broader trend among automakers to increase engagement and enjoyment in electric vehicles, potentially addressing one of the major criticisms from driving enthusiasts. If successful, it could mark a significant shift in the appeal and driving experience of electric cars.

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