Tesla Co-founder Sells Hybrid Engines to FedEx
FedEx will add hybrid powertrains to its delivery truck fleet. The supplier, Wrightspeed, was founded by Tesla Motors co-founder Ian Wright. According to a report by SF Gate, FedEx had previously tried out Wrightspeed’s products in two of its trucks and is now ordering 25 more.
Wrightspeed, founded by Wright after leaving Tesla in 2004, builds engines and transmissions for vehicles that have already been constructed. Its products use a lithium-iron battery pack with a range of around 30 miles, depending on how the truck would be driven.
Wright has said that each powertrain costs less than $100,000. He also expected that because of the money it is saving on fuel, FedEx would make that money back within three or four years.
FedEx has a history of testing new technologies for its vehicles, aiming to cut fuel costs and negative environmental effects. It currently has more than 300 hybrid vehicles, more than 100 electrics vehicles, and trucks running on other various alternative fuels such as propane and hydrogen.
Wrightspeed plans to expand its powertrain sales by offering kits that can be installed by other companies. Wright also plans to use the technology in garbage trucks.