GM announced today it is providing funding to Indiana-based Bright Automotive to accelerate Bright’s production of the IDEA plug-in hybrid commercial vehicle.
The IDEA plug-in hybrid operates in electric mode for 40 miles before switching to an estimated 36-mpg hybrid mode for 100+ mpg potential based on daily driving behavior.
The companies signed a memorandum of understanding in July. GM this week gave the undisclosed amount of money to Bright, and the two companies intend to complete the formal agreements later this year.
Under the deal, General Motors Ventures will have a minority stake in Bright Automotive and Bright will have access to certain GM technology.
Bright Automotive will be the first company funded by General Motors Ventures, a subsidiary the automaker created to invest in auto-related start-up companies.
Funding through GM Ventures will allow Bright to begin ramping-up the development of the production program for the IDEA plug-in hybrid in the third quarter of 2010. Bright continues to seek a low interest loan through the Department of Energy’s ATVM program.
GM announced the creation of General Motors Ventures in June. The venture capital arm was funded with an initial investment of $100 million.