Manual transmissions- Will it survive the new EV- world?


The transmission is probably one of the most complicated components in your vehicle. The transmission is a metal case that houses a series of gears – which explains its nickname of “gearbox”.


The transmission takes power from the engine and delivers it to the wheels to help power your vehicle. It is responsible for making sure the right amount of power goes to the wheels so it can operate at a given speed.


Each gear operates within a specific ratio to ensure that the wheels and engine don’t spin at the same speed. When you take off from a dead stop, your vehicle uses a lower gear ratio to get the car moving using more power and less speed. At higher speeds, your transmission uses a higher gear ratio to move the vehicle while keeping the RPMs at a low level.

A manual transmission (MT), also known as manual gearbox, is a multi-speed motor vehicle transmission system, where gear changes require the driver to manually select the gears by operating a gear stick and clutch pedal. Engaging the clutch pedal disengages the clutch mechanism that is located between the engine and the transmission. Pressing down on the clutch pedal stops power going from the engine to the transmission so you can change gears.



For most of the 20th century, all drivers only knew the manual transmission, and most of the millennials can remember what it was like learning how to drive with a full manual vehicle.  


Although we still get a lot of new models, available with manual transmissions, some of us does not want to admit to the fact that the manual transmission is slowly starting to extinct.



Auto Motor und Sport reports that all new VW models introduced after 2023 will lack a manual transmission, although this will mainly affect vehicles in the European market. By 2030, the change will affect models sold in the U.S. and China.

According to MOTORTREND, the manual transmission lifespan is closely tied to the lifespan of the internal combustion engine. VW is planning to stop selling new cars with internal combustion engines sometime between 2033 and 2035 in most major markets, with 70 percent of new cars sales being EV by 2030.

We will be seeing more and more articles with headings like this one: “Wolfsburg’s stick shift is dying.” Most of us are getting ready to enter the new EV-era, and that means that we must leave the manual transmission behind.

Audi and Volkswagen’s market share of automatic transmissions has already grown in recent years. With an automatic transmission, the driver simply selects “D” on the shifter and the car does all hard work. Owning an automatic vehicle was always seen as a luxury that only some could afford, but over the years, however, they have become increasingly affordable, reliable, economical, and have also been able to establish themselves in lower segments. This is mainly due to the switch from classic torque converter automatics to direct-shift transmissions.

2015 Vw Touareg 34 1
Parts Of Automatic Transmission
Automatic Transmission Diagram

Advantages of the Manual Transmission


  • Lower purchase price.
  • Many drivers like the feeling of being in control.
  • Fuel efficient.
  • Superior acceleration – favoured by race car and performance drivers.
  • Less expensive to service.


But of course, like any other vehicle component, the manual transmission also has its common problems.

Common Manual Tranmission Problems:

Struggling to Select Gears

Usually, this points to a problem with a loose linkage, worn shift cables or worn bearings.

Other causes for a hard-to-shift manual transmission include:

  • Worn/ loose internal parts 
  • Low oil level, or the incorrect kind of gear oil 
  • Misaligned transmission
  • Synchronizer issues
Gear Shift
Damaged Synchro Ring

Transmission in Stuck in Gear

You may notice that you just cannot get the transmission out of gear.

This can be caused by:

• Low oil level or the incorrect type of oil
• Problems with the linkage or shifter assembly
• Internal components: shift rail, detents, forks or a stuck synchronizer sleeve
• Worn-out/ broken drive gear teeth
• A stuck shift rail
• Misaligned transmission


At present, there are no EVs with manual transmission globally. Most electric cars are equipped with a single-speed automatic transmission, with a few exceptions being the Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-tron GT, both of which get a two-speed automatic transmission. For the German automakers, the EV’s will mean the extinct of the manual transmission.

At VAG Spec Centre, our specialists can service or repair any transmission. Whether it’s automatic or manual, we can do it all. Make sure to contact one of our 5 nationwide branches for any queries regarding your vehicle’s transmission.

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