Starting a company is tough; starting a company in the green automotive field may be even tougher. So it seemed like the engineering team from defunct startup Bright Automotive, once granted investment by GM, might have a second chance to see their technology on the road. The assets and intellectual property of Bright were acquired by Echo Automotive, which proposed to sell bolt-on plug-in hybrid kits for trucks and vans that could improve fuel economy by 40 percent or more. ALSO SEE: Will 'Bolt-On' Plug-In Hybrid Package Succeed For Fleets Where Bright Failed? Sadly, it is not to be. On...
Startup Bright Automotive Shuts Down, Slams DoE Loan Process
Startup plug-in vehicle maker Bright Automotive announced today that it is closing down. While General Motors had invested $5 million in the company, Bright had relied on the hope that the U.S. Department of Energy would grant it low-interest loans under the advanced-technology vehicle...John Voelcker
GM-Backed Bright Idea Plug-In Hybrid Van To Be Built By AM General
How times change. Startup Bright Automotive announced last week that, once the company completes its funding, its advanced plug-in hybrid Idea delivery van would be assembled under contract by AM General. That's the outfit that built the Humvee and Hummer, and spawned the now-defunct HUMMER brand...John Voelcker
GM Ventures Invests In Startup Michigan Battery Cell Maker
If nothing else, the new, post-bankruptcy General Motors is quicker moving than the old one. The latest proof? GM Ventures, its venture-investment arm, has quietly invested $3.2 million in Sakti3, Inc. Founded in 2007 and based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the company develops "next-generation"...John Voelcker
Not-A-Big-Surprise Dept: Bright Confirms Switch to GM Engines
When GM Ventures announced it would invest an unspecified amount of money into startup hybrid truck-maker Bright Automotive, several of us noted that the prototype Bright Idea delivery van used an 2.0-liter engine and transmission from a Dodge Caliber. The announcement two weeks ago from General...John Voelcker
GM Invests In Plug-In Hybrid Truckmaker Bright Automotive
General Motors announced today that it will invest in startup Bright Automotive, which hopes to start final production engineering of its Idea plug-in hybrid delivery van design later this year. GM Ventures, the automaker's venture investing arm, already provided funds to Bright this week; formal...John Voelcker
Back in April, startup company Bright Automotive unveiled its design for a plug-in hybrid light delivery truck. Now, we've had a chance to drive the prototype, briefly, just as Bright raised its electric range to 40 miles. Our test vehicle was the only Bright IDEA van prototype built thus far by the Anderson, Indiana, firm. We were able to do precisely one low-speed loop on the roof of a Detroit parking structure. Drives...like a hybrid Due to an overnight charging problem, the vehicle's battery was largely depleted and it was running in range-extending mode with the engine on. Remembering...