Bright Automotive Hires Tesla, Chrysler Veteran Mike Donoughe as Chief Operating Officer

Bright Automotive announced the hiring of Mike Donoughe to serve as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Donoughe brings strong leadership and more than 28 years of automotive experience with executive roles at Tesla, Chrysler, and Mercedes-Benz. Mr. Donoughe will manage Bright Automotive’s day-to-day operations and lead the development of the IDEA plug-in electric light commercial vehicle.

At Tesla, Donoughe was executive vice president for vehicle engineering and manufacturing, supply chain and quality, leading Tesla in achieving quality, throughput and profitability objectives for the Tesla Roadster, the first highway capable all-electric car in the world.

At Chrysler, he served as vice president of multiple product teams, leading them in the creation of numerous vehicles, including the 2004 Chrysler Pacifica, the 2005 Dodge and Chrysler minivans, the 2007 Jeep® Wrangler, and the 2009 Dodge Ram.

"Mike brings tested leadership, proven vehicle development expertise, and dozens of successful vehicle launches," said Reuben Munger, CEO of Bright Automotive. "Mike is a perfect fit for Bright because he understands the rigor required to bring a successful, high-volume truck to market. And having served in a leadership role at Telsa, he knows how to lead in a young, advanced technology-focused enterprise. Coming on the heels of our investment from GM, the hiring of Mike is another significant step forward for Bright Automotive."

"I am truly thrilled about this opportunity," said Donoughe. "I joined Bright to work with a passionate team that is focused on creating an incredible vehicle. It is exciting to work on a truck that will enable commercial customers to dramatically lower their vehicle ownership costs while also reducing dependence on foreign sources of energy."

Donoughe’s industry experience also includes serving as CEO of SINOEV Technologies (an electric vehicle powertrain systems start-up company), directing the R-Class program at Mercedes Car Group, and serving as senior partner in the St. Clair Consortium.

Donoughe is also co-founder and president of the Cornerstone Youth Development Fund (, a non-profit organization focused on advancing the education of youth in Detroit, Michigan and Uganda.

On August 3, Bright Automotive and General Motors announced they have agreed to pursue a strategic relationship and that GM has provided funding to the Indiana automaker. This is the first funding action by the newly-formed General Motors Ventures, LLC, and it will help accelerate Bright’s production of the IDEA.

In developing the IDEA, Bright started with a clean sheet of paper, listened to customers, and took a novel approach to product development that focused on light-weighting, aerodynamics and a highly efficient drivetrain. The result is a multipurpose vehicle for business fleets, the first designed to be highly efficient and provide a clear economic benefit to its customers.

The IDEA delivers a positive total cost of ownership to fleet customers by providing significantly greater fuel efficiency than current fleet vehicles in its class. The IDEA operates in electric mode for 40 miles before switching to an estimated 36-mpg hybrid mode for 100+ mpg potential based on daily driving behavior. Bright Automotive provides details on the IDEA at

Bright Automotive launched in January, 2008 with a highly experienced EV/PHEV team and the goal of building on the work of a consortium of organizations, including Alcoa,, Johnson Controls, Rocky Mountain Institute, and the Turner Foundation. Since then, Bright Automotive has developed the IDEA, the world’s first multi-purpose, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles aimed at commercial and government fleets. It has also launched Bright eSolutions, which delivers expertise to automotive customers worldwide to accelerate vehicle electrification, lightweighting, and overall platform efficiency.