BrightDrop readies first electric vans at record-setting pace
It wasn't quite nine months ago that General Motors introduced BrightDrop as its new brand for electric urban delivery solutions. And now BrightDrop is rolling its first production EV600 delivery trucks off the lines, setting a GM-wide record for the fastest vehicle development in company history. The boxy electrified e-vans are scheduled to join the FedEx Express fleet right in time for the ultra-busy holiday season.
The EV600 was among the first BrightDrop products GM announced back in January. BrightDrop had already begun development at that point, so this week's production announcement marks a 20-month concept-to-commercialization period that GM says is the fastest in its history. GM credits the quick turnaround largely to its versatile Ultium battery platform and virtual development processes initially established for the GMC Hummer.
BrightDrop looks to marry the fast-moving innovation and agility of a tech startup with the scale and manufacturing capabilities of a global automaker as it rolls out a full family of zero-emissions commercial delivery and logistics solutions.
“As e-commerce demand continues to increase and the effects of climate change are felt like never before across the globe, it’s imperative that we move quickly to reduce emissions," says BrightDrop CEO Travis Katz. "BrightDrop’s holistic delivery solutions are designed to help tackle these challenges head on."
The 288-inch-long (731-cm) EV600 delivers up to 250 miles (400 km) of range and offers over 600 cu ft (17 cu m) of cargo space and 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) of payload over top its flat-packaged 20-module Ultium battery. An all-wheel-drive layout handles slick and rough stretches of center-city road. GM estimates potential annual operating expense savings upwards of US$7,000 in comparison to a diesel delivery vehicle.
GM will contract out initial low-volume EV600 production while it converts its CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Canada, to take over production duties in November 2022.
One down, next one up ... GM also previewed today the next product in BrightDrop's future, the EV410 delivery van, which will slot in the BrightDrop lineup as a midsize light commercial vehicle. Designed for smaller payloads and quicker routes, the EV410 measures in under 20 ft (6 m) long and rides on a 150-in (381-cm) wheelbase. It carries over 400 cu ft (11.3 cu m) of cargo and can fit in a standard parking space.
Like the EV600, the EV410 has an estimated range of up to 250 miles, a cargo area security system, and an extensive standard features package with technologies like front pedestrian braking, automatic emergency braking, front and rear park assist, and HD rear vision camera. BrightDrop envisions the 410 finding use for commercial activities such as grocery delivery and telecom maintenance, and Verizon will be among the first wave of buyers. BrightDrop will begin EV410 production at the CAMI plant in 2023.
Source: General Motors