Images of the IDEA, plug-in utility vehicle. Courtesy Bright Automotive. And today a car rolled into the heart of the beast, right up to Capitol Hill amidst all that government posturing and power. And this car's makers say THIS IS THE FIRST 100 MPG CAR THAT IS A PLUG-IN UTILITY VEHICLE. Made by Bright Automotive, IDEA mass production is to begin in 2012 at an annual rate of 50,000 units, creating more than 5,000 jobs. AP says they won't hit the 50K mark until 2013.
One company involved in the car's introduction is Envision Solar. They're goal is to make parking lots into solar power plants. I blogged about Envision way back when this blog first started. Architects designing parking lots that turn barren pavement into shaded solar farms. Envision wants to supply the solar tree recharging stations that go along with the IDEA, the electric vehicle from Bright Automotive. The company is based in Anderson, Indiana.
An interesting footnote: the Bright CEO is John Waters, who invented the battery pack system for General Motors’ EV1 electric vehicle, which was discontinued after three years in 1999. If Bright succeeds in the market, Waters will have his sweet revenge on GM. Bright's looking for a $450-million loan from the Department of Energy. I'm betting they get it. Indiana has seen its RV industry tank, with little hope of recovery in near future. Indiana barely went for Obama in '08 and the Dems won't want it to slip back into the red.
THE BRIGHT IDEA
The IDEA is making the rounds. Bright Automotive and Envision Solar will take their IDEA and CleanCharge/Solar Tree® System to Stavanger, Norway May 13–16, 2009 for the “EVS24 Towards Zero Emission,” a world conference on electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Participants from 40 countries will attend. IDEA will not be made of steel, but lightweight materials, reducing the energy needed to move it. Aerodynamic design will also reduce air resistance.
There's been no selection of a battery supplier for the IDEA, and no price point can be discerned so far.