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Nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons, particulates, brake dust and noise pollution: heavy-duty diesel vehicles, such as delivery trucks or buses are a nightmare for modern cities. 

To deal with public discontent, urban authorities have strived, for a number of years, to reduce transport and noise pollution by introducing curfews or limiting access to certain areas. However, most heavy vehicles driving around cities are necessary and useful to the community: they provide for public transport or garbage collection. This is where electric powertrains designed by Wrightspeed come into the picture. They offer a cost-effective and durable propulsion solution without compromising the smooth organization of our cities.

Created in 2005 by Ian Wright, one of the founders of Tesla Motors, Wrightspeed explores a simple basic idea. For sure, electric vehicles represent the future of road transport, but they are still very expensive to manufacture. So, on which vehicles would it be the most cost-effective to install an electric powertrain? Also, how to ensure that the fuel cost savings are well over the costs incurred by this technology? The solution proposed by Wrightspeed is to equip short distance frequent-stop heavy-duty vehicles. Typically, those we come across or use in our daily urban lives.


Wrightspeed has completely reinvented the construction of conventional heavy-duty vehicles by replacing standard drive systems with new generation powertrains. Mounted on each axle, electric engines are coupled to the wheels via an advanced transmission. The system uses electronic software controls powered by a battery pack rechargeable from a standard socket. The big challenge of this system is to keep the battery pack small and lightweight enough without extra high costs. In this case, how can we ensure that trucks or buses run all day without being recharged? Wrightspeed offers an ingenious solution: a range extending turbine generator. Directly modelled after aeronautics, the device completes the powertrain and ensures functioning over longer periods of time. Whenever necessary, the turbine starts operating to generate energy and recharge the batteries.

This range extending turbine generator is the only component that requires fuel for operating – diesel or natural gas. However, its consumption is 60% lower and emits about 90% less nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons and particulates compared to a standard diesel engine. Even though the system cannot function without any fossil energy, it is much more cost-effective, with considerably less impact on the planet.


Thanks to all these benefits, Wrightspeed powertrains have managed to convince private and public services throughout the world. They can be found in California on FedEx delivery vans in San Jose and on garbage trucks in the San Francisco Bay Area, on public transport in Wellington (New Zealand) and Amman (Jordan). Wrightspeed will help to make our cities cleaner and better places to live.