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The number of transmission speeds in new light-duty vehicles has been growing over the last four decades. The share of new light-duty truck transmissions in the 9- and 10-speed category grew to 31% in model year 2020. About 44% of cars produced and 15% of light-duty trucks produced in 2020 had continuously variable transmissions (CVTs). A greater number of gears improves fuel economy and performance by more closely matching the wheel speed to the optimum engine speed. The “Other” category includes electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

New Light Vehicle Production Share by Transmission Type from 1980 to 2020 (light-duty trucks and cars).

Note: Data for 2020 are preliminary. Data are production-weighted averages for each model year. Data for cars include some 2-wheel drive and all-wheel drive small sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Data include light trucks less than 8,500 lbs. Beginning with 2011, SUVs and passenger vans up to 10,000 lbs. were also included. See source for details.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2020 EPA Automotive Trends Report.