General Motors’ electric commercial vehicle subsidiary BrightDrop delivered the first batch of its battery-electric delivery vans to FedEx. The delivery giant will use the five vehicles as part of its fleet in California.
BrightDrop is contracted to deliver 500 vehicles to FedEx, which hopes using zero-emission vehicles will get it to its goal of carbon neutrality by 2040. The EV600’s are just the first of several thousand BrightDrop is expected to produce in the next 12 to 18 months. The company has deals in place with Merchants Fleet as well as Verizon.
“As e-commerce continues to grow, BrightDrop is thrilled to partner with FedEx in our mission to dramatically reduce vehicle emissions from delivery and deliver a brighter future for all of us,” said Travis Katz, president and CEO of BrightDrop.
“FedEx has ambitious sustainability goals, and the speed with which we brought the first BrightDrop electric vehicles to market shows how the private sector can innovate and help bring solutions for some of our biggest climate- and emissions-related challenges.”
The new delivery van
The EV600 produced for FedEx is a mix of traditional delivery vehicle and step-in van, according to the company. They use GM’s Ultium battery technology, which the company is also putting into the new GMC Hummer SUT that is just now being delivered to customers.
The vans have a range of 250 miles on a charge and are purpose built for deliveries, offering more than 600 cubic feet of cargo space.
FedEx is running the vans out of its Inglewood, California distribution center. It’s building a network of charging stations in the area where the vans will be used. That network, FedEx says, includes 500 stations it’s already installed across the state.
“The delivery of the first BrightDrop EV600s is a historic moment, born out of a spirit of collaboration between two leading American companies,” said Mitch Jackson, chief sustainability officer, FedEx.
“At FedEx, transforming our pickup and delivery fleet to electric vehicles is integral to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals announced earlier this year. This collaborative effort shows how businesses can take action to help usher in a lower-emissions future for all.”
More coming from BrightDrop
While the EV600 is the “original” vehicle from the company, BrightDrop has already developed a second vehicle it expects to begin producing next year: the EV410.
It’s a smaller truck with a wheelbase of just 150 inches and measure 20 feet nose-to-tail, making it possible to tuck into a typical street side parking space. It will boast the same, 250-mile range as the longer EV600 but, at around 410 cubic feet, provide a third less interior space.
That should be enough for some applications, especially food delivery services, as well as for contractors. Katz said he sees strong demand among telecomm services, such as Verizon. The first customer for the EV410 plans to use the battery-truck for its customer service and maintenance fleets.