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Wrightspeed’s New Power-Train Can Cut Fuel Use in Half

Capture1.0“Wrightspeed’s power train combines powerful electric motors and batteries, but in order to cover the distances commercial trucks run, the power-train incorporates a gas-turbine range extender; the whole package is then retrofitted into vehicles from truck OEMs

“Our motors have four times the power-to-weight ratio than anything else available.” Additionally, like most EVs, their technology uses regenerative braking — which puts energy back into the batteries every time the brakes are applied.

“Consequently, Wrightspeed’s technology lends itself particularly well to commercial vehicle applications where frequent start-stop cycles occur — a feature common with a typical package delivery or garbage truck. “A thousand horsepower easily goes into the brakes of a commercial truck,” when such vehicles are brought to a stop, says Wright. In a conventional truck, that energy is wasted, but when you consider 1,000 horsepower is the equivalent of about fives times the peak horsepower of most family cars, that’s worth capturing.

“So, what does all this add up to in terms of efficiency? Wright told me the average garbage truck travels about 130 miles a day with around 1,000 hard stops, gulping down around 14,000 gallons of diesel a year in the process. Wrightspeed’s power-trains use less than half that amount of fuel, with the added benefit of very significant emissions reductions.”

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