Some time ago we were approached by a City Municipality that was in the process of doing a fleet conversion of their gas vehicles to electric. Their bottom line was to achieve vehicle performance and functionality that replicated that of the gas vehicle while of course providing long term energy cost savings. Their approach was to follow the lead of so many others by setting up the driveline with a sstick type transmission.
Their first prototype proved to be very successful in all areas except one: Drivability. This unfortunate outcome was due to the use of a high torque electric motor in combination with repeated clutch engagements necessary during the normal gear changes. Numerous attempts to feather the clutch to prevent the sudden jerking of the vehicle and its passengers proved to be unacceptable.
They realized that the only solution would be to replace the stick with an automatic type transmission. On the surface this sounded easy enough, except that they discovered that throughout the EV industry most were skeptical about using an automatic for this type of application. So after much resistance to this idea, they decided to go outside normal channels and they contacted us. The result has been their complete satisfaction in achieving their bbottom line..
Our objective here is to make everyone aware that the automatic transmission is absolutely a viable alternative. Let me start off by briefly acquainting you with our company. FB Performance Transmissions is a family owned and operated business. We've been successfully producing high performance and racing transmissions for a variety of automotive aftermarket applications since 1988. One of our specialties over the years has been the ability to adapt various transmissions to different types of motors. More recently of course we've been applying similar technology for Electric Vehicle purposes.
We've developed these transmissions and engineered the related equipment specifically for use in these types of applications. We now offer two 3-speed automatic transmissions. Both of these units are based on the original Ford AOD and AODE transmissions. We chose these transmissions because of the availability of a Low Gear Planetary set and the fact that we can build them to handle 1000+HP if necessary.
The AODE is fully automatic with a programmable Power-train Control Module (PCM) where all of the shift points can be varied and set as desired. The AO3 uses a Full-manual valve body where the driver always has total control over the transmission functions. The valve-bodies in both of these units are designed to eliminate the normal fluid bleed off, so that the transmission can react immediately to the input torque of the electric motor. They both have the strength and durability to handle the typical torque of these motors in conjunction with the weight of vehicles. Yet they provide a smooth transition when shifting from one gear to next, without the sudden jerking response typically found when using a clutch with stick type transmission.
We have also successfully engineered and fabricated the entire mounting interface between the Electric motor and the transmission. These components include the following and are listed as options on our spec sheets (See Links Below):
1) Motor to Transmission Billet Mounting plate easily adaptable to a variety of electric motors that incorporate a surface mounting plate.
2) Motor shaft Rigid Steel Coupling designed to fit a number of different motor shaft diameters and torque requirements.
3) Steel Flexplate permits direct mounting of the Torque Converter (Fluid Coupler).
4) Torque Converter/Fluid Coupler engineered for minimum stall and maximum coupling efficiency and fluid dampening.
The completed package of components provides for a very rigid assembly and permits a very simple installation into almost any type of rear-wheel drive vehicle. To better illustrate this I'm enclosing a series of assembly photos. (See Attachments below). The following links cover both of these transmissions:
Heavy Duty AODE (4R70W) Non Lock-up- Electric Motor Conversions
Heavy Duty AO3 (AOD) Non Lock-up - Electric Motor Conversions
If you have an interest or any questions about what wevve developed, please contact us and we be glad to go over all of the details with you.
In NY: 1-631-242-0008
Outside NY: 1-800-769-1118