I’ve been predicting it for a while, and here it is: GM’s new EV delivery van, the EV600, is to be sold under a new logistics-oriented brand “BrightDrop”. And the first 500 are going to FedEx, and yet in this year. But that’s just the beginning. Vans, especially EVs, are a red-hot segment, and there are a number of new entrants to the field as well as from the existing van makers. The delivery/logistics market is expected to almost double within the next few years, as remote shopping continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
BrightDrop is not only building the van, but also a compatible electric-powered pallet to make deliveries quicker and easier on the driver.
The EV600 will of course use GM’s new Ultium battery-based technology, which will allow a 250 mile range for the EV600. That’s quite a lot, in this segment. Long range really isn’t very necessary, as most delivery vans typically have a limited daily radius. Cargo capacity: 600 cubic feet.
Here’s the EP1, an electrically-assisted pallet that easily moves goods over short distances, such as in the warehouse as well as to a customer’s door. Top speed: 3 mph. Capacity: up 23 cubic feet. Payload: up to 200 lbs.
BrightDrop will initially serve customers in the US and Canada. It will have a customer support team to assist with every aspect of operating and servicing BrightDrop products, including supporting charging and infrastructure installation, advising on upfitting services, and retrofitting a current fleet vehicle to integrate with BrightDrop products. BrightDrop support services will also assist with maintenance needs, including securing parts and scheduling repairs.
Customers will connect with BrightDrop through an independent sales and service network, leveraging a newly established BrightDrop dealer network to support vehicle sales and service.
For more info, here’s a video:
The market for EV trucks and vans is going to be one to watch. Rivian has already announced an initial order of 100,000 vans for Amazon. Mercedes and Ford have announced EV versions of their existing vans. And there’s at least a couple of others coming on soon too.
UPS has thrown their support behind Arrival, a UK based company that intends to rapidly expand to the US and other countries, with local production.
Workhorse’s C1000 van is picking up orders and will go into production later this year or next.
There’s the Canoo van, which is priced at $33,000 and as such which will undersell all the rest considerably.
And I read about a JV of a Chinese company planning to build and sell a version of their EV van in the US, but I can’t remember the name right now. And there’s probably more…