Over at NG Daily News, we learned about Indiana start-up company Bright Automotive and its plug-in hybrid cargo van, the IDEA, which goes 38 miles in pure electric mode before switching to hybrid mode with an impressive fuel economy of 36-38 mpg.
Designed for the American market, the IDEA is large in size but more efficient than typical trucks and cargo vehicles in this country. Using low-weight, high-tech materials like carbon fiber and aluminum, the design shaves a ton of weight (literally) off its conventional counterparts.
The company believes that the IDEA has potential as a fleet vehicle for large operator such as the U.S. Postal Service, whice may have to pay a bit more up front for the van but will save in the long run. General Motors' new venture capital wing just put up $5 million in financing for the start-up, and Bright is looking for (a lot) more funding from the Department of Energy. With adequate financing, the company says it only needa three years to bring the IDEA to market.
- Mitchell Flexo