Electric Vehicles Outsold Cars With Manual Transmissions in 2019

The shifter is going the way of the dinosaur.

byChris Tsui|
Electric Vehicles photo


While certain manufacturers and aftermarket tuners stubbornly keep throwing manual transmissions into its enthusiast cars, it doesn't look like the old-school gearbox is getting any more popular with the general buying public. In fact, OEMs sold more electric cars than they did manuals in 2019, according to data collected by Green Car Reports

That said, neither managed to sell especially well. EVs consisted of 1.6% of all car sales, growing 0.1% from 2018, while cars with three pedals made up just 1.1% of all cars sold, down 0.5% from the previous year. The EV's slice of the pie is expected to grow, however, with governments around the world scheduling bans on the sale of internal combustion engines within the next several decades, which is forcing manufacturers to make their portfolios less-dependent on fossil fuels.

As of right now, manuals are like flip phones...or full-keyboard Blackberrys. Rare, but still out there and pretty much exclusively used by Luddites obsessed with "feel," unwilling or unable to upgrade. Once electrification fully takes over, however, we predict they'll be like typewriters or record players. A straight-up novelty owned by hobbyists.

If you're wondering whether electric cars can be equipped with a stick, they can, as evidenced by that Nissan Leaf-swapped Toyota 86 that still uses its original six-speed. But will manual EVs be mechanically advantageous or demanded by the marketplace enough to warrant many examples outside of amateur swap jobs? Extremely unlikely.

Now, who wants to bet when EV sales exceed those of the traditional automatic transmission?

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Car TechElectric Vehicles