Published on April 6th, 2015 | by Zachary Shahan


Interviewing Wrightspeed Founder & Tesla Cofounder Ian Wright (Cleantech Talk Podcast)

April 6th, 2015 by  

Also published on EV Obsession and GAS2.

Chris DeMorro, the editor of, and I got a great opportunity for our first Cleantech Talk interview and 8th Cleantech Talk podcast. We got to interview Ian Wright. If the name isn’t yet familiar to you, two key things to know are that 1) he is the founder and CEO of Wrightspeed (a company building extended-range electric powertrains for medium-duty trucks) and 2) he was a cofounder of Tesla Motors.

The interview was a lot of fun, and I think something that readers (er… listeners) here will really appreciate. We talked about Wrightspeed’s extended-range electric powertrains, of course, which are actually more exciting than electric sports cars in some respects. We talked about the early days of Tesla a bit. We talked about the future of electric cars. And we talked about ponies (wait… scratch that one). If you have any interest in electric vehicles, I really think you should have a listen.

As always, you can listen to the podcast via the SoundCloud player below, on SoundCloud itself, on iTunes, or by downloading it and then listening to it.

Thanks again to Ian for the wonderful interview, and a huge thanks to Chris as well.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    So the fastest race track cars of the future will have a turbine powering batteries supplying power to each wheel motor. How far away is Porsche from this?

  • Asim Ali

    Very informative interview..I’m glad that you allow him the time to divulge into technical details and explain why they are using turbine engines etc.. loved it !!
    BTW, the best part was when you guys say it appears they might be making an electric car and he says “No comment”.. LOL.

    One suggestion.. Could you please mark all the CLEANTECH talks in the beginning of the header. I missed the last couple of week and had to go back and search on them. I’ve since subscribed to your podcast on SoundCloud.

  • Roger Atkins

    I met Ian and some of his team last week in LA. BIG advocate of this business plan and I’m very keen to see him succeed!

    • Yeah, we need to give it more attention. Not as hot/fun as an electric supercar… well, maybe it is if you care about cutting pollution and fighting climate change.

  • vensonata .

    Looking at the picture of the calculator, I suddenly thought, if there was a little automatic gadget that went on the dash of a gas mobile and showed simulated electric range with any car you choose (leaf, Bmw, Tesla, etc) then you could drive for a year ‘as if’ you were driving an electric in order to understand if an electric would fulfill your needs in real life. The gadget would show simulated charging at home or work etc. Just thinking out loud…take the idea and run with it!

    • Kyle Field

      “after 3 months of driving, you have taken 3 trips that would have required more than the average Electric car. Over that same time, you would have saved 76.5 gallons of gasoline, not emitted 124kgs of GHGs and saved $304! Just sayin…”

      • Vensonata

        You got it! Now I suppose one could do it with an Iphone app, but it would be better if some doodad clipped to your dashboard called “virtual EV” or something. So you can drive any model ev for a year to get to answer your own concerns about range etc. The gadget could even ping when you are near a charging station.

        • Would be a very cool product. 😀

          • Coley

            Expect an article on this gadget appearing here soon, just hope it features the people who thought of it;)

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