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Old 03-25-2015, 07:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking for an EV with a manual transmission

Long story short, I refuse to own an automobile with an automatic transmission. The next time I'm in the market for a vehicle, I hope to buy a HEV, so after looking around and noticing that neither the current Honda Insights or Toyota Priuses come in manual, I decided to ask for guidance from my favorite forum!

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Old 03-25-2015, 07:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The saturn S series is a popular model to convert. You should be able to find one converted already or a suitable motor and adapter fairly easily.

All the production EVs I know of are direct drive, with sufficiently large motors to compensate for lack of gear selections.

Note, there are plenty of used EV's in the $10-$15k range. It is hard to justify a conversion for simple commuting purposes, unless you get everything you need for a bargain. Decent batteries are many thousands of dollars.

Last edited by P-hack; 03-25-2015 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The car I'm currently driving was from New York. From there, it traveled out to Colorado, where I became it's 3rd owner. Needless to say, it's old and rusted. I'm looking at possibilities for its replacement in the future(maybe a year or 2 down the road).

Whatever I decide to get, it has to be manual. That's the only stipulation, so it definitely doesn't have to be new off the lot, either. I thought I remembered hearing that the Insight was offered with a manual before, but I wouldn't know what year models they were.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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01 Honda insight

Here ya go.

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Old 03-25-2015, 09:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Nice insight!
DarkXoa, can you clarify? "Looking for an EV " but posting in the hybrid section...

Does an ev with only one gear qualify as a "manual" or an "automatic" in your book? FYI, the prius only has one gear too.

Only ev conversions keep the gearbox, and then usually only if they don't have a very large (expensive) battery pack and motor and controller.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I used to hate auto trannies in general and CVT's in particular for the shift latency and high rotating mass.
On accelerating the engine is speeding up the gearbox at first instead of the car.
I wanted the direct response that a manual provides.

The CVT in my hybrid is different. On acceleration it instantaneously throws 10 kW extra into the tranny, so the engine revs up fast while the acceleration is there too.
Direct response just like a manual, but without having to shift, ever.

I don't know your experience, maybe you have driven a hybrid and disliked the tranny.
But if you only driven non-hybrid autos give it a spin.
Maybe you'll end up owning a car you'd never thought you would, just like me.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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EV's typically only have ONE gear ratio. So they don't have an automatic OR a manual transmission.

The only EV I know of that had a clutch and had the option of using one of two different gear ratios - that only "shifted" before you started to drive - was the earlier version of the IMW 'Seven'. And it's clutch and transmission took a beating, and they failed after a brief time.

You should drive and EV - it is about much more than shifting.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-hack View Post
DarkXoa, can you clarify? "Looking for an EV " but posting in the hybrid section...
Sorry, I should've titled this thread, "looking for a HEV with a manual tranny"

Quote:
Originally Posted by P-hack View Post
Does an ev with only one gear qualify as a "manual" or an "automatic" in your book? FYI, the prius only has one gear too.
It's not a manual to me unless it has a clutch pedal and a shifter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
I used to hate auto trannies in general and CVT's in particular for the shift latency and high rotating mass.
On accelerating the engine is speeding up the gearbox at first instead of the car.
I wanted the direct response that a manual provides.
Didn't know that... Thanks for the warning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
I don't know your experience, maybe you have driven a hybrid and disliked the tranny.
But if you only driven non-hybrid autos give it a spin.
Maybe you'll end up owning a car you'd never thought you would, just like me.
I've only ever driven my friend's '05 Prius. I didn't have any more problems with it than I have ever had with any other automatic.
My experience with automatics is this: when put behind the wheel of a car with a manual gearbox, I am in tune with the road. I, personally, believe that automatic transmissions cause drivers to become lazy simply because it frees up some of the attention that the driver would otherwise be spending on the transmission. If the driver can pay attention to other things, he/she will, and we all know what that leads to... Me cursing at the idiot in front of me because they should've never been allowed to take the driver's test, much less have a license... or worse...
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
01 Honda insight

Here ya go.

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So, is it only G1 Insight, or G2 as well? As of right now, this looks to be the only option.

EDIT: A used Honda Insight looks to be my only option.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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1st gen Civic hybrids also had manual (and lean burn). 1st gen Insights 00-07 were the only ones with manual trans. 2nd gens are all CVT.

That being said, I have to agree with Neil. Driving a Prius or EV is not a lazy affair if you're trying to get good FE. However, you can still set the cruise and get great mileage too.

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