Ambitious electric vehicle maker Bright Automotive, which initially lured in the financial support of General Motors, has pulled the plug, the latest casualty in the shake-out of the still-emerging battery-car market.
Bright blames its demise on its failure to secure a Department of Energy loan needed to bring a planned plug-in hybrid delivery van to market.
The failure of the suburban Detroit start-up comes months after the collapse of Aptera, a California electric vehicle wannabe that had hoped to market an aircraft-like battery-electric vehicle. Like Bright, it had failed to secure the necessary financing to translate its plans into production.
Critics contend the nascent battery car industry is in danger of short-circuiting as the DoE reins in a once lavish program to provide funding for an array of battery car programs. The government has provided some support to a handful of makers, including established automotive giants Ford and Nissan, as well as some start-ups, notably California’s Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive.