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 manufacturing program. A letter from its CEO and COO to Energy Secretary Steven Chu notes that the Indiana company has waited more than three years for a DoE verdict on applications it submitted in December 2008. 'Unacceptable to us and our investors' "Last week, we received the fourth 'near final' Conditional...
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
100-MPG Bright Idea Delivery Van: Now With 40 Electric Miles!
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...John Voelcker