While electric vehicles have some way to go before they are as ubiquitous as gas-powered cars, demand is on the rise. So much so, that they outsold manual transmission vehicles in the US last quarter, according to data from research group J.D. Power.
Around 1.1 percent of car buyers opted for cars with clutch pedals in Q3, while 1.9 percent chose an EV. J.D. Power exec Tyson Jominy suggested to Driving.ca that declining manual transmission sales were down to "the discontinuation of many compact and sub-compact sedans." Those were often seen as a cheaper way to buy a new car.
The data indicates that, while some automakers still offer manual transmissions, they tend to be found in performance or niche vehicles than mass-market cars. As Jominy suggests, manual transmissions have been on the outs for quite some time. EVs were able to bypass them in sales within around a decade of debuting.
Environmental concerns and more affordable EVs making their way into showrooms might be other factors in folks opting for an electric car over one with a clutch pedal. If interest in manual transmissions continues to decline, it's not hard to imagine that automakers will stop making them at any real scale. Still, all may not be lost if you want the best of both worlds: Ford just revealed a "one-off" electric Mustang with a gear stick.