The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Bright Delivers Plug-In Hybrid to U.S. Army

October 04, 2010

WARREN, MI - Bright Automotive said it has delivered a prototype electrified vehicle, based on the Bright IDEA's plug-in hybrid architecture, to the U.S. Army for review and testing.  

Moreover, the Department of Defense has awarded a new contract to Bright Automotive to refine the hybrid and vehicle systems. 

Bright Automotive is working with the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research Development & Engineering Center's (TARDEC) National Automotive Center (NAC) to develop a vehicle for non-tactical, transport applications. The vehicle is a commercial utility vehicle retrofitted with plug-in hybrid powertrain based on the Bright IDEA.  

Vehicle features include a custom battery pack, 50-plus mpg efficiency, and integrated vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities that could improve base transportation efficiency and, in the event of an emergency, provide temporary power to the base electrical grid. 

The vehicle delivery took place at the U.S. Army's Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich., where TARDEC officials drove the vehicle and tested its vehicle-to-grid power export capabilities. The delivery is tied to an October 2009 contract from the Department of Defense to develop an electrified retrofit of a commercial utility vehicle for non-tactical, inter-base troop transport applications. 

Under the new contract, Bright Automotive will work with the U.S. Army to bring the prototype plug-in hybrid vehicle to near-production readiness.  

The delivery and the new contract mark another significant step forward for Bright Automotive, the company said. On Aug. 3, Bright and General Motors announced that they had agreed to pursue a strategic relationship and that GM has provided funding to the Indiana automaker. The relationship will accelerate the production of the Bright IDEA, a plug-in hybrid commercial vehicle designed for government and business fleets. 

"This vehicle demonstrates that the Bright IDEA architecture can serve as the core of a custom, highly efficient solution for a demanding customer such as the U.S. Army," said Nigel Francis, Bright Automotive executive vice president. "As with everything we do, Bright listened to the customer to develop a vehicle that exceeds their specific efficiency and utility demands. The U.S. Army fleet consists of over 80,000 non-tactical vehicles that rely on hydrocarbon-based fuel sources, so plug-in vehicles are a huge opportunity to cut fuel costs."

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