Two months after establishing a new venture capital subsidiary, General Motors has made its first strategic investment with the announcement today that GM is hooking up with Bright Automotive. Bright has been showing a plug-in hybrid van, the Idea (pictured) for the past couple of years, but has struggled to get the vehicle into production. The goal of GM Ventures is to invest in start-up companies that have technology that could provide GM with a competitive advantage over other automakers.
The Bright Idea is a through-the-road plug-in hybrid van that is claimed to have a 40-mile electric range. An electric motor drives the rear wheels while a small gasoline engine drives the front wheels. Through this new partnership, Bright will have access to GM engines and transmissions while GM will have access to Bright's hybrid developments. GM Ventures has already provided funding to Bright and further details of the partnership will be determined in the next several months.