Ian Wright shares his story as a technological pioneer who is on a mission to change how the world moves at Kea Inspire 2017.
Over the past two decades, Ian has emerged as one of the leading minds of the electric transportation era
Ian Wright was never a victim of ‘tall poppy syndrome.’ He grew up on a sheep farm in Dargaville before he pursued a degree in electrical engineering. Before he’d even graduated, was snapped up by US company EngNet. He became a Senior Director, a Director at Cisco Systems before taking up the role of CTO at Altamar Networks.
In 2003, Ian met Martin Eberhard who, along with Marc Tarpenning, had ambitions to start an electric car company. Ian capitalized on his knowledge of cars, helping to found the high-performance electric car company, Tesla Motors - becoming its first employee, and Vice President of Vehicle Development.
Ian broke away from Telsa in 2004, to focus on high-end performance electric cars. With his imagination and love of speed leading him to create the X1 sports car – an Ariel Atom he converted in his garage which become the fastest street-legal electric car in the world.
The entrepreneur then opted to shift his focus from electric cars to electric trucks, he founded Wrightspeed Inc. in 2005, as part of his quest to solve Equivalent Variation (EV) economics. Wrightspeed’s revolutionary goal is to create the world’s most efficient range-extended electric vehicle powertrains. Built on a tradition of quality systems engineering, its vehicles represent a new era in propulsion, repowering a generation of lighter and quieter, more efficient fleets for urban streets - dramatically reducing fuel costs and improving efficiency in this multi-billion-dollar industry.
In 2015, he won the Silicon Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum Award and the Bronze Power Generation Edison Award for his work, and in 2016, he was also acknowledged as a Technology Pioneer from the World Economic Forum.