- gm announces a new business named brightdrop that will build electric delivery products for release later this year.
- its upcoming on-road electric vehicle, the ev600, will have a target range of 250 miles and have 600 cubic feet of cargo space.
- brightdrop is also making the ep1 pallet, a smaller device used to help couriers carry items in a secure, electric-propulsion-assisted box.
gm continues its bullish push into electrification. today the automaker unveiled a new business venture, brightdrop. the company's plan is to create an ecosystem of electric products to be used as delivery vehicles and "last mile" delivery solutions for commercial customers.
the new company will produce multiple vehicles, starting with the ep1, an electric pallet that looks like an oversize library cart with doors. it will be available early this year. gm envisions the vehicle will help deliver packages from a vehicle to a customer. the electric box on wheels rolls at up to 3 mph while being directed by a courier and can carry up to 200 pounds. modular shelving and locking cabinet doors keep items of various sizes secure, and it's claimed to be easy to maneuver in tight spaces. the goal is to reduce costs, the strain on drivers, and package touch points.
according to gm trials conducted with partner fedex express, the ep1 can help deliver 25 percent more packages a day than a delivery driver alone. according to the two companies, couriers said the ep1 was easy to maneuver and reduces strain.
for on-the-road deliveries, the company introduced the ev600, a light commercial vehicle delivery van. it will use gm's ultium battery system, with an estimated range of up to 250 miles. the battery pack will support a charge rate of up to 170 miles in an hour via a 120.0-kw dc fast-charging station. the ev600 will have a capacity of over 600 cubic feet (likely why it’s called the ev600) in the cargo area. the rear door is automated, while the two front doors slide open instead of opening outward. a 13.4-inch infotainment display sits in the dash, and there's a full suite of active-safety features including front and rear park assist and automated emergency braking, along with a cargo area security system with motion sensors.
gm says that in addition to the vehicles, the new company will offer up asset and ev fleet management software to help customers track vehicles, get detailed data to help implement more efficient routes, and offer remote diagnostics.
in the future, gm says that brightdrop is working on electric concepts including a medium-distance vehicle that would transport multiple ep1s and a rapid-load vehicle concept.
gm won't be alone in the electric-delivery-vehicle business. it will compete with offers from rivian, which is building delivery vans for amazon and has a partnership with ford. ev startup bollinger is also working on a delivery vehicle.
the first brightdrop ev600 vehicles will be delivered to customers including fedex express by the end of 2021, with orders opening to additional customers in canada and the united states in early 2022.