The manual transmission is the sole preserve of internal combustion engines, or so conventional wisdom goes. Here, though, is one example of a fully electric vehicle with three pedals and a H-gate gear shift – the BYD e3 for driving schools in China.
Why, though? According to Car News China, the setup is intended for driving schools to teach the operation of vehicles with manual transmission, albeit as a pairing with the fully electric powertrain for the BYD e3 that is produced exclusively for driving schools in the country.
How the stick shift pairing with the car’s EV drivetrain works isn’t exactly clear, though this is said to be commissioned in order to satisfy demand from students wishing to learn to drive manual cars.
This version of the BYD e3 is classified as a commercial vehicle and has not been made available for sale to the general public in China, and receives the dark red and yellow exterior paint scheme for driving schools. Its exterior is largely the same as the standard car’s, and the changes are located inside.
The curious pairing of electric drive with a traditional manual transmission has actually existed before in another Chinese domestic model, namely the Chery eQ2 that was also commissioned for driving schools.
Four drive modes are offered in the e3 EV, which are Economy, Teaching, Throttle Lock and Sports – the last one only for the automatic version of the car. In addition to the addition of a manual gearlever and clutch pedal in the e3 EV, the driving school-specification car gets an additional co-driver brake pedal, auxiliary wing mirror and horn button.
In terms of powertrain, the BYD e3 electric car packs a 38 kWh lithium-ion battery that provides a maximum range of 350 km on a single charge, according to Car News China. Prices for the driving school-spec electric cars are 131,800 yuan (RM84,436) for the manual version and 141,800 yuan (RM90,842) for the automatic.
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