The time for the Hybrid Electric Fleet Truck is now
Wrightspeed is a provider of hybrid powertrains that can be retrofitted to existing delivery trucks to create a Hybrid Electric Fleet Truck (HEFT) with an electric motor drive and a diesel generator to create much greater fuel savings than passenger cars ever could, regardless of fuel efficiency.
The company is the brainchild of Ian Wright, a former employee of electric vehicle pioneer Tesla. The system he has devised removes heavy engine, transmission and drive elements, replacing them with a lighter weight electric drive and generator system that can achieve up to four times the mileage of the current fleet truck. Not only that, it can be charged up overnight to further extend its savings.
“For electric drive to make economic sense, you have to displace enough fuel to pay for the technology,” Wright said, according to a post by Joe Duarte on AutoNet.ca. “That pretty much rules out passenger cars, because they don’t burn enough fuel. Medium-duty trucks on commercial routes burn thousands of gallons of fuel annually.”
According to the system’s description the new system weighs less than the components it replaces since the system generates its own electricity with a diesel generator, the battery doesn’t have to be as big.
Called The Route, the retrofit promises savings on fuel of up to 50 percent, while meeting the performance expectations of route drivers, without reducing the payload capacity of the vehicle.