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Bright Automotive will shut down after the maker of the extended-range plug-in utility vehicles said the federal government took too long to make good on its planned loans to the Michigan-based company, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a letter company executive sent to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday.

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Bright Automotive Chief Operating Officer Mike Donoughe invoked President Barack Obama's recent call for U.S. companies to create American jobs while developing alternative energy sources for transportation by requesting that Congress speed up the company's federal loan process.

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The production lines at the AM General Corp factory in Mishawaka, Indiana used to crank out the Hummer H2. Now they're set to produce a vehicle that may not quite have the same intimidation factor, but does have a high degree of practicality. In the process, about 300 workers could find new jobs.

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The Rocky Mountain Institute has been working for ages, it seems, to perfect the ideas behind a hyper-efficient vehicle (see here). A year ago, people working at RMI joined up with others in the green car space to form Bright Automotive. The group believes, "the best way to reinvigorate the American transportation sector is to innovate high volume automotive solutions based on economics, fuel efficiency, superior design and lightweight materials." The company's plan is to reduce a vehicle's weig

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