Dec 112010
 

If you were a hybrid vehicle manufacturer, and you wanted to lower the world’s CO2 emissions, would you first…

  • a) Try to replace all the privately-owned gas vehicles, that mostly just drive to and from workplaces, one vehicle at a time, or…
  • b) Replace entire corporate fleets of gas delivery vehicles, that typically spend all day, every day, on the road?

Well, you’re supposed to answer “b”. That’s what Indiana-based Bright Automotive wants to do with their plug-in hybrid delivery van, the IDEA. And now that they’re close to signing a pact with an unnamed major automaker, they’re one step closer to realizing that vision.

The company

Bright Automotive is a product of the Colorado-based green think-tank, the Rocky Mountain Institute. They launched in January 2008, and by the following May, were unveiling the IDEA to the world at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Norway. The vehicle was designed with input from corporate clients, who dictated what they wanted in the way of comfort, utility and efficiency.

The Vehicle

The IDEA has a claimed 40-mile all-electric range, and gets nearly 40mpg in standard hybrid mode. This is thanks in part to its lightweight, aluminum/composite construction. By Bright’s calculations, clients will save $US.18 per mile and 1,500 gallons of fuel per year, over gas vehicles. On a larger scale, a fleet of 250,000 IDEAS should save 30 million tons of CO2 and 2.8 billion gallons of fuel over their 150,000-mile life cycle.

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