Bright Automotive Announces First 100mpg Plug-in Hybrid Intended for Commercial Fleets

This morning, Bright Automotive announced the world’s first plug-in hybrid aimed at government and commercial fleets.

Washington, D.C. – Indiana-based Bright Automotive just unveiled the IDEA, a 100 mpg plug-in hybrid cargo van intended to significantly reduce fuel consumption for the largest vehicle fleets in the US.

According to the company press release, the IDEA will be 5 to 10 times more efficent than vehicles in current commercial fleets, and would save more than 1,500 gallons of gasoline each year. That adds up to a savings of up to $3 million per year for the top 100 fleets.

We created the IDEA by starting with a clean sheet of paper, listening to customer needs, and using breakthrough technologies and materials. The IDEA leverages Bright’s highly experienced team and delivers a lower cost of ownership than competing vehicles. At the same time, the IDEA demonstrates technological leadership for the American auto industry and will create thousands of new ‘green collar’ jobs here at home.

-John E. Waters, CEO and President of Bright Automotive.

As a plug-in hybrid, the IDEA can drive for the first 30 miles using electricity before switching into a standard hybrid mode. The 100 mpg rating is an estimate based on a typical 50-mile daily urban route, which would use only 1/2 gallon of gasoline. Of course, as mileage increases the mpg rating drops, but not too badly: a 70-mile daily route would still only use 1 gallon of gas, or 70 mpg.

The van’s design was intended to maximize fuel efficency through minimal drag and light-weight materials. It has a drag coeffeicient of only 0.30 and weighs 1500 pounds less than a similarly-sized van.

Bright Automotive hopes to produce 50,000 of these vans annually by 2013.

Learn more on Bright Automotive’s website.


In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.