Bright IDEA EV van - click above for a high-res gallery

A Bright IDEA arrived in Washington, D.C. today (man, there's a joke that just writes itself). But seriously, folks, the IDEA is a new design for a plug-in hybrid from the Rocky Mountain Institute's Bright Automotive, was unveiled in Washington, DC today and it looks like, well, what does it look like? From Bright Automotive's official images in the gallery below, this thing reminds us of some of the 2005 Mercedes-Benz's Bionic Concept that was inspired by the boxfish. In much the same way, the IDEA looks so slippery it might be more at home in the water than delivering vegetables in a downtown somewhere. For its part, Bright promises that the IDEA offers functionality and fuel savings in a 100 mile-per-gallon PHEV.

Incidentally, we are less-than-enthused by Bright's calculations to get that 100 mpg number – and Bright is basing the fuel savings ("$6,000 per year!") on gas at $3.50 a gallon, something that experts are predicting will not happen anytime soon. For a good discussion about the 100 mpg claim, read the comments in this earlier post. We're not against plug-in hybrids in the least, but they really are a case of "your mileage may vary." You can learn more about the van over at Bright Automotive.

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