Wrightspeed has unveiled Route, a retrofit electric drive powertrain with an on-board generator engineered for the surprisingly large medium-duty commercial fleet market. In the US alone, this part of the transportation sector boasts over 2 million trucks.The company says the Route can save a commercial truck twenty times more fuel than a 100mpg car.
Unlike a pure battery powertrain, the Wrightspeed Route does not restrict fleet operations with range limitations, because it has an on-board generator that charges the 40 mile battery in the field. Unlike in a conventional hybrid, the efficient electric motors are always producing the variable torque necessary to turn the wheels. This frees the generator from having to perform over the entire speed-load map, and allows it to operate at its most efficient point to charge the small, high-power battery, according to the company. Wrightspeed calls this system architecture a Range-extended Electric Vehicle (REV) powertrain.
The Route combines the efficiency of an EV with the unlimited range of a mild parallel hybrid, according to Wrightspeed marketing manager Maya Giannini.