This might not seem like the best time to be starting a car company. Then again, ecologically, as giant trees fall in the forest, space opens in the canopy for the next generation.
Maybe that's what the Rocky Mountain Institute was thinking when they decided to spin off Bright Automotive.
Bright is being pioneered by John Waters, the guy behind the EV1's battery pack (not Hairspray). Amory Lovins, who started RMI, has long been fascinated by the inefficiencies of automobiles, and has a lot of ways to increase efficiency.
It's interesting to see that Bright will be following in the footsteps of the Chevy Volt, offering a range-extended electric vehicle as their first car. Before now, RMI's major innovation was light-weight materials. But it looks like, now, they're seeing the wisdom in GM's thinking on the Volt.
Bright says their first prototype will be available by the end of the year. It will have a 30 mile all-EV range, and will have an overall mileage of about 100 mpg. They say that they will then come to market "rapidly." In the car industry, that can mean anything from two to five years.
Let's hope it's on the tail end of that.
written by Ross, January 21, 2009
written by Doug Korthof, January 22, 2009
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