Wrightspeed says it can cut fuel costs by as much as 50% while reducing the wear-and-tear of an internal combustion engine. The $150,000 extra upfront cost of the system can double the price of a truck, which ranges from $150,000 to $230,000. It would take at least three years for the savings to cover that extra cost. ”The problem [Wrightspeed} has to solve is to get the upfront cost down to an affordable level,” Sam Jaffee, managing director of Cairn Energy Research Advisors, wrote in an email. “If they can reach that point, they’ve got a great product.”

Wrightspeed says it has booked a $30 million deal with a New Zealand transit authority for electric buses, as well as contracts with FedEx and waste companies for electric truck drivetrains. Wright is also fielding inquiries from the military, mining companies, ports, and tanker companies.

Nikola Motors is also releasing a long-haul truck combining a large battery pack with a natural gas engine. Siemens is testing its own semi-trucks with electric recharging from overhead wires, while Tesla, in its master plan last month, announced it would build a semi truck.

Let the race begin.

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