Fleet Vehicle Redefined: Bright Automotive's plug-in hybrid IDEA
After months of secrecy, Bright Automotive finally unveiled its flagship vehicle, the IDEA, a fuel-efficient and dynamically designed plug-in electric fleet vehicle they intend to have available by 2013.
Lots of impressive stuff going on here. For example:
Outstanding Fuel Efficiency
Hyped as a 100 MPGe vehicle, this is only narrowly true. In order to achieve that kind of miles per gallon equivalency, the driver must not exceed a 50 mile range in a single day. The less you drive the IDEA, the higher your MPGe, because for the first 30 miles the IDEA is an EV running on battery power only. Beyond that it becomes a standard hybrid. At around 100 miles, the efficiency levels off to around 50 MPGe. Still very good.
The Convertible Office
One of the vehicle's smartest features is the Convertible Office (below), a mobile office that can be put together with three quick steps in the area of the passenger seat. Features include file storage, a large work surface, a charging center for laptops and phones, and lockable multi-use storage compartments. This is a dazzling addition. Don't be surprised if Bright figures out how to make and sell convertible offices for use in any car.
The company isn't putting every egg into the IDEA. Through its Bright Works division, they're providing engineering services such as mass-production vehicle conversions into EVs and hybrids, and battery pack system design and development. This clever business decision will help proliferate the Bright brand more quickly than if they were to rely on the fleet vehicle only.
However, the most impressive—and astonishing—aspect about Bright Automotive is that they have put together this company in a mere 16 months.
Check out more pictures of the IDEA at Bright's Gallery page.
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