San Jose, CA. August 15, 2011
Today Wrightspeed announced its Geared Traction Drive (GTD), an integrated inverter, electric motor, and two-speed transmission.
Just 12 months after A round funding, Wrightspeed has produced what established leaders in the automotive industry have not. The two-speed Wrightspeed GTD shifts electronically, using software-controlled motor synchronization instead of clutches, and provides a maximum output torque (per wheel) of 1893 ft-lbs in first gear, and 810 ft-lbs in second gear (180mph max).
Fisker recently suggested that “Veyron levels of performance” could be achieved with the successful integration of a multispeed gearbox and an electric motor. Wrightspeed’s GTD makes this performance available by eliminating the traditional compromise made in electric drivetrains between low-end torque and top-end speed.
Smaller and lighter than any other traction system of equal performance, the Wrightspeed GTD fits many architectures. Wrightspeed uses the GTD in its Powertrains, drivetrains that use electric drive with micro-turbine power generation for unlimited range, optimal performance, and exceptional efficiency. The Route™ is Wrightspeed’s medium duty truck retrofit drivetrain. Wrightspeed makes The Circuit™ for supercar manufacturers.
Wrightspeed’s Powertrains move the complexity from mechanical systems into electronic and software systems, making them lighter, cheaper, and more efficient. Clutchless gear shifting is a good example of this.
Traditional multi-speed transmissions use clutches (dry clutches, multi-disc wet clutches, or twin-clutch arrangements) and mechanical synchronizers to match speeds before gear engagement; this makes them heavy, expensive, and less efficient. But with electric motors, it becomes possible to control the motor speed so precisely, and change it so quickly, that the gears can be engaged without clashing. The sync function that used to be performed by mechanical means has been shifted into software control of electronics, driving the electric motor with precision. Wrightspeed’s control software weighs nothing, costs nothing to manufacture, doesn’t wear out, and uses the electronics that are already present to drive the motor.