Romeo Power, Wrightspeed collaborate to electrify buses, trucks
By Chad Elmore14 March 2022
Wrightspeed developing chassis-specific “Powertrain in a Crate” kits
Romeo Power and Wrightspeed are working together to leverage Romeo Power’s high-capacity battery packing and module technology along with Wrightspeed’s high torque powertrain system to accelerate electrification in the bus, and medium and heavy-duty truck market.
There are more than one million existing buses and trucks that are candidates for repowering to zero emission full battery electric right now, and at a much lower upfront cost than purchasing expensive new battery electric vehicles. Wrightspeed is developing “Powertrain in a Crate” kits that are chassis-specific and can be installed locally where fleets operate, creating jobs and new technology opportunities for those supporting school bus, work truck and other fleets. By using Wrightspeed’s Route traction drive technology, the repowered vehicles will reportedly be more efficient and provide higher torque than new vehicles based on single speed remote mount systems.
Together, the companies intend to develop and sell repower kits to the addressable market. “Romeo Power’s advanced electrification solutions for complex commercial vehicle applications is a perfect fit for our Route powertrain system. We are particularly impressed by their high level of safety, packaging density, and modularity,” said Alan Dowdell, acting CEO of Wrightspeed. “We are proud to team up with Romeo Power and set a new standard in performance and efficiency for electric buses and trucks.”
Romeo Power and Wrightspeed together bring a combination of real-world, on-road experience and powertrain technology to accelerate electrification safely. After vehicles are selected and inspected, they will have their diesel or gasoline powertrains removed. The unique powertrain kits including traction drive axle with motors, inverters, battery modules and new dash with telematics will then be added to the vehicle. After thorough testing, the vehicle will be qualified to re-enter the fleet as a safe, quiet, efficient zero-emission bus or truck.
“Wrightspeed’s medium and heavy-duty Powertrain in a Crate kits are a great way for our battery technology to help quickly and locally convert legacy diesel and gas vehicles to zero-emission electric vehicles,” said Susan Brennan, Romeo’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are as excited about Wrightspeed’s technology and business model as we are about our new partnership.”
The battery packs will be manufactured at Romeo Power’s new facility in Cypress, Calif., where production is scheduled to begin later in 2022. The balance of the Powertrain in a Crate solution will be assembled in Wrightspeed’s 110,000 sq.ft. Alameda, Calif., facility.
The complete system will be shipped and installed near fleets locally with training and support from Romeo Power and Wrightspeed.