CVT use in Light Electric Vehicles

Despite rising costs of gas and tightening government regulation of vehicle emissions, Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) have yet to gain widespread acceptance by consumers. Nonetheless, electric motors are already far more efficient at delivering power from the motor to the road than their gas burning counterparts are. The problem is that it still takes a lot of battery power to enable electric motors to deliver the torque normally expected from the average driver. Higher torque can be achieved by adding extra battery power, but extra batteries mean extra weight and higher cost at the expense of overall efficiency. One key component that could improve LEV performance is a lightweight, compact transmission to assist the electric motor in delivering an acceptable driving experience. The Milner Continuously Variable Transmission (MCVT) is capable of providing just that.

The MCVT is a unique, rolling traction CVT that smoothly shifts between an infinite number of drive ratios without the weight, complexity and inefficiencies of a normal automatic transmission. Its compact design allows a wide variety of drive train design options.

Optimizing Efficiency and Performance with the MCVT

Milner continuously variable transmissions are able to adjust the ratio between their input and output speeds like geared transmissions do, but they do so in a “step-less” manner with the following benefits:

  • Ratio change can be done under load, and occurs without the need to clutch and change gears, so there is no interruption of power delivered to load.
  • The electric motor can be set to run at the optimum rpm for battery management – the CVT ratio controls the vehicle speed instead of running the motor at inefficient speeds.
  • Bi-directional models of the MCVT offer the LEV designer additional energy efficiency with regenerative braking capabilities.
  • The highly compact design provides multiple mounting options

Performance, efficiency and drivability can all be improved in LEVs designed with the MCVT. Improved acceleration, higher top speeds and extended driving range due to optimized battery management all combine to significantly address key problems preventing the widespread adoption of Light Electric Vehicles.