Plenty of companies are working on plug-in hybrid (PHEV) sports cars and sedans, but Bright Automotive’s new IDEA vehicle, unveiled this morning, is the first 100 MPG PHEV truck aimed at commercial and government fleets. According to Bright Automotive, the IDEA is five to 10 times more efficient than current fleets thanks to the vehicle’s lightweight materials, advanced aerodynamics, and efficient tires. Bright estimates that a typical customer could save 1,500 gallons of gasoline annually by switching to the IDEA. A commercial customer with 1,000 vehicles in its fleet could save $3 million each year. That’s not exactly pocket change.
On a full charge, the IDEA uses pure battery power for the first 30 miles before the hybrid gasoline engine kicks in. For a 50 mile route, the IDEA uses half a gallon of gas–the equivalent of 100 MPG. The IDEA’s creators paid close attention to the vehicle’s design, too. The car features one ton of cargo capacity, an ergonomic design, and even a passenger seat that converts to a mobile office.
Production of the IDEA will begin by the end of 2012, with 50,000 units produced each year by 2013. Pricing isn’t yet available. Bright Automotive’s vehicle probably won’t be used to take the kids to soccer practice, but you might see your local mailman driving it around soon enough.