GM funding to accelerate intro of Bright plug-in hybrid CV

  • 05-Aug-2010 09:45 EDT
Bright IDEA.jpg

Development of Bright’s IDEA multipurpose vehicle for business fleets focused on lightweighting, aerodynamics, and a highly efficient drivetrain. The IDEA operates in electric mode for 40 mi (64 km) before switching to an estimated 36-mpg hybrid mode.

Bright Automotive and General Motors have agreed to pursue a strategic relationship, with GM already providing funding to the two-and-a-half-year-old automaker based in Anderson, IN. Funding through the newly formed General Motors Ventures, LLC will allow Bright to ramp up development of the production program for the IDEA plug-in hybrid commercial vehicle (CV) in the third quarter of this year. A spokesperson told AEI that Bright is in the process of reconsidering its production schedule based on the new investment from GM. The company’s goal is to start producing vehicles in the 2013-14 time frame, the spokesperson said. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding in July and plan to complete the formal agreements later this year, at which point GM Ventures would have a minority stake in Bright, and Bright would have access to GM technologies, including advanced engine and transmission systems. “Funding early-stage start-up companies is a new way of doing business at GM to accelerate the introduction of innovative technology to support our core automotive business and give us a competitive advantage,” said Jon Lauckner, President of GM Ventures. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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