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Bright Automotive Dies, But Ideas Remain Intact

The regrettable demise of RMI spinoff Bright Automotive is an old business story—the struggles of start-ups in tough economic times—far more than it represents a failure of Bright’s innovative business model or technology.

Bright drew interest from companies ranging from Google to General Motors, weathered the market crash of 2008, and lasted 39 months through a Department of Energy loan process before deciding to shut down. Bright, which said Tuesday it opted against private capital from China, said it received four “near final” conditional commitment letters from DOE during that time, once being told in 2010 that it would get its loan “within weeks, not months.” This loan never materialized.

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