Visiting the Maker’s Faire and chatting with electric vehicle builders taught me a quite a bit about my Palmer build and confirmed some of what I have been reading.
First, the transmission on the trike should go. The maximum torque of an electric motor is reached instantly and stays at that level for the majority of its operating speed range. A transmission is needed for gas motors since the torque varies at different RPM. In order to run an engine efficiently, you need to keep it running in certain RPM range. So when your starting movement, it needs to be geared down so that the engine can rev more for the low speed. Most electric vehicles don’t have a transmission because you get just as much power at a low speed as you do at top speed. With the old drive train on the palmer, I was always a bit surprised that when I tried to downshift going up a hill, it didn’t seem to change our speed at all. That makes sense given this information. So the transmission is getting dropped. That leaves more room for batteries.