DRIVE: California's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program


Wrightspeed, Inc. Grant For the Wrightspeed Digital DriveSystem Retrofit Kit

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Wrightspeed, Inc. has received an Energy Commission grant to demonstrate the performance of their digital drive systems (DDS) that will allow large trucks to run on a hybrid-electric drivetrain.

Wrightspeed plans to manufacture digital drive systems and retrofit kits for commercial trucks in the class 3 to class 6 range-vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 to 26,000 pounds. The company's electric drive kit replaces a truck's entire drive system with a minimal increase in weight. With a digital drive system installed, these medium- to heavy-duty trucks can use plug-in electric power for the first 40 miles of operation. After that, a range-extending micro-turbine generator will kick in to charge the batteries and provide extended driving range.

Grant Amount

The Energy Commission is providing $1,197,064.

Match Funding

The project participants are providing $1,500,000.

Project Benefits

Wrightspeed estimates its industry-leading technology will result in 100 percent fuel savings; if a diesel truck gets 10 miles per gallon, the same truck with a digital drive system would get 20 mpg. When compared to a similar diesel truck, a digital drive system vehicle will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 64 percent (dependent on vehicle type).

The project team has completed the manufacturing, testing and installation of the new technology. Ten engineering jobs have been created and the company's business plan predicts adding 120 more jobs after the successful scaling up of their facility. With high market penetration, the technology could eventually create as many as 6,000 jobs, including assembly workers, technical and service staff, and sales and administration people.

Grant Agreement Number: ARV-10-025

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