Published on May 15th, 2017 | by Steve Hanley
WrightSpeed Links With AxleTech To Make Heavy Duty Electric Truck Drivetrains
WrightSpeed manufacturers an innovative heavy duty electric truck propulsion system. The key to its range extended vehicle (REV) powertrain is a small multi-fuel turbine range extender engine that company head Ian Wright claims is 30% more efficient than any other turbine on the market. It provides 80 kW of power to keep the onboard batteries charged and eliminate range anxiety. The turbine can run on diesel, CNG, LNG, methane, biodiesel, kerosene, propane, heating oil, or any other combustible fuel, Wright says.
Regenerative braking is an essential part of the WrightSpeed electric truck program, which is specifically designed for heavy duty trash trucks and city buses that spend their entire day starting and stopping hundreds of times. It takes a lot of energy to get a 50,000 lb vehicle moving. Some of that energy can be recaptured when the vehicle slows to a stop again.
AxleTech International also specializes in powertrain components for heavy duty vehicles. It will now build the custom made axle housings for the high power regenerative braking systems that WrightSpeed uses for heavy duty range extended electric vehicles. “All electric vehicles offer some degree of regenerative braking, but WrightSpeed has exceptionally high power braking to virtually eliminate brake wear even in the demanding frequent-stop vehicle drive cycle,” says Arlan Purdy, product manager at Wrightspeed. “To accomplish regenerative braking, force must travel back through the drive axle, back through Wrightspeed’s proprietary gearbox, and into the electric motors.”
AxleTech will become a WrigthSpeed strategic partner to design and build additional gearbox components, Purdy says. “Together AxleTech and Wrightspeed are providing spectacular technology to the market, and our partnership plays to our respective strengths,” said Jason Giles, business development manager at AxleTech.
WrightSpeed CEO Ian Wright was one of the original founders of Tesla Motors. He split with Elon Musk about how to bring electric vehicles to market. Wright believed the focus should be on heavy duty vehicles, which are responsible for a significant proportion of the carbon emissions attributable to the transportation sector. Today, the company has hired people from Tesla, Ford, and Cummins to help it expand into more electric truck and bus markets worldwide.