One of Tesla Motors’ five original founders, Ian Wright, wants to revolutionize the huge trucks that runs on massive fuel and emit excessive pollution, says a report by John Mcduling from Quartz. Wright was the third person to join Tesla in 2003 and played an important role in explaining the idea of making electric cars to Elon Musk in his SpaceX office in Los Angeles.
Tesla does not offer value proposition
Musk continued his dream of making electric cars under the name of Tesla, but Wright, on the other hand, established Wrightspeed, a company that makes range extending, electric powertrains used in making existing medium and heavy duty trucks more efficient and greener.
Although Wright exited Tesla a year later, he has remained in the electric car industry since then. According to him, the car named the X1 (one of his creations) is the fastest “street legal” electric car in the world. Wright’s company has already won a contract from FedEx to use its technology in some of FedEx’s delivery vehicles. Now the company is determined to scale down the number of gas guzzling, high emission garbage trucks it uses.
Comparing his venture to Tesla, Wright says, “They are not selling the economic proposition at all, but we are.” Presently, Wright is in talks with investors to fund an expansion.
Small but lucrative market
The Tesla Motors co-founder already has a competitor in this category from a company known as Motiv, which already supplies electric garbage trucks to the city of Chicago. Wright knows the market he has chosen is small compared to Tesla’s addressable market, but it is still a lucrative one.
Explaining the potential of the market. Wright told Quartz, “Consumer automobiles don’t burn enough fuel.”
Family cars, on average, use 600 gallons a year, compared to 14,000 gallons a year for the garbage trucks. So, in terms of saving on fuel and maintenance costs, the opportunity is huge. For companies using a huge number of garbage trucks, which can cost $500,000 each, saving on fuel and maintenance can be huge. Wrightspeed’s technology can add an extra cost of $200,000 per vehicles, but the savings from the technology can offset this in four years.