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.

WrightSpeed heavy duty electric truck powertrain

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.

Source: Trucks.com


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  • Ed

    Wright is pursuing a very important set of applications that represent both low-hanging fruit and very big returns. Very exciting…and important for driving acceptance of electrification on heavy duty vehicles. Let’s hope for early success.
    Has there been any writing about Wrightspeed’s braking algorithms? He surely is thinking about how to train or assist drivers in maximizing energy recover.

    • Steve Hanley

      Not that I know of, Ed. But surely the companies who own the trucks will provide drivers with the tools they need to make the technology operate at its peak. I have seen references to the WrightSpeed technology saving fleet operators up to half a million dollars PER VEHICLE over the useful life of the trucks, much of that from reduced brake replacement and diesel engine/transmission repairs.

  • Ed

    I would not be surprised to find that one of Wrightspeed’s investors is a guy named Musk! Elon apparently did not agree with Ian’s priorities, but would certainly agree with the goal!

  • kevin mccune

    multi fuels is in itself a good thing , if we can ever get over this bio fuel farce and get it standing on its two feet , that will be a happy day. Believe it or not back in the nineties I used to seek out gas with ethanol added ( thought it was a good idea then and do now) but what I want to see is the alcohol industry standing on its own , without being supported by subsidies ( good grief how many times are we paying the Plutocrats ?)