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Wrightspeed launches Geared Traction Drive: a breakthrough in Electric Drive

Wrightspeed has revealed its Geared Traction Drive (GTD), consisting of an integrated inverter, electric motor, and two-speed transmission. Just 12 months after first round funding, the company has accomplished what the leaders in the automotive industry have not.
Posted: September 14, 2011 - 5:42PM
Author: Don Bain


The two-speed Wrightspeed GTD shifts via electronic means, using software-controlled motor synchronization rather than a mechanical clutch, providing a maximum output torque per wheel of an awesome 1,893 ft.-lbs. in first gear with 810 ft.-lbs. in second up to a maximum speed of 180 mph.

Officials at Fisker recently suggested that "Veyron levels of performance" could be achieved by the integration of a multi-speed gearbox and an electric motor. Wrightspeed's GTD makes this performance available by eliminating the current compromise in electric drivetrains between low-end torque and top-end speed.

Smaller and lighter than other traction systems of equal performance, the Wrightspeed GTD fits into many architectural configurations. Wrightspeed uses the GTD in its Digital Drivesystems – drivetrains using electric drive with micro-turbine power generation for unlimited range, optimal performance and exceptional efficiency. Wrightspeed's medium duty truck retrofit drivetrain is called The Route. Wrightspeed also makes one called The Circuit for supercar manufacturers.

Wrightspeed's GTD remove the complexity of mechanical systems to electronic and software systems, producing lighter, cheaper and more efficient clutchless gear shifting.

Traditional transmissions use clutches, whether dry, multi-disc wet or a twin-clutch arrangements, and utilize mechanical synchronizers to coordinate speeds before engaging the gears. Such devices are heavy, more expensive and less efficient. With electric motors, you can control the motor speed precisely, changing it on the fly, so gears can be engaged without conflict. The synchronizing function once performed by mechanical means, is now controlled by software, precisely driving the electric motor.. Wrightspeed's software weighs nothing, costs less to manufacture, won't wear out and uses already present electronics to drive the motor.

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