|A VW Transporter van. Click to enlarge.|
Start-up Bright Automotive, which in May unveiled its IDEA concept series plug-in hybrid light commercial van (earlier post), will convert VW Transporter vans with the series hybrid Bright powertrain as a bridge between the concept and the production version of the IDEA.
Conversions are expensive, noted Lyle Shuey, Bright VP of Marketing and Sales, and the converted Transporters will not be as efficient as the purpose-built IDEA. But “Bright-ifying” the Transporter provides fleet owners with a more immediate solution that delivers benefits compared to the conventional Transporter, and allows them to begin the learning and preparation to plug-in.
|The IDEA concept. Click to enlarge.|
Bright plans to begin delivering Transporter PHEVs in the second quarter of 2010.
The converted Transporter, which will come in cargo, cab-chassis and passenger versions, will have a 22-mile all-electric range (AER), with fuel economy of 57 mpg based on a 50-mile daily cycle. By way of comparison, the IDEA is designed to have a 30-mile AER with fuel economy of 100 mpg.
|The Bright IDEA and Transporter PHEV|
|Fuel economy, 50-mile cycle||100 mpg (2.4 L/100km)||57 mpg (4.1L/100km)||15-22 mpg (15.6-10.7 L/100km)|
|EV range (miles)||30||22||na|
|Drivetrain||AWD||AWD capable||FWD or RWD|
|Payload (lbs / kg)||2000 / 907||2000 / 907||1750-3300 / 793-1497|
|Curb weight (lbs /kg)||3200 / 1452||4690 / 2130||3200-5200 / 1451-2361|
|Cargo volume (ft3 / m3)||180 / 5.1||203 / 5.8||143-236 / 4.0-6.7|
|Aerodynamics (Cd)||Target 0.30||0.33||0.32-0.37|
The goal, said Shuey, is to prove the Bright platform, and get it into play. Bright, which also offers Engineering services including complete battery pack system design, assembles its own packs. (CEO John Waters developed the battery pack for GM’s EV-1 and Evan House, VP Advanced Battery Engineering, was the former Director of Battery Development at Seeo.)