FedEx Express will receive the first 500 CAMI-manufactured BrightDrop EV600 vehicles
FEDEX EXPRESS WILL be the first customer of a new General Motors subsidiary business ― BrightDrop ―centered around electric vehicles.
BrightDrop will offer electric products, software and services for commercial delivery companies. Later this year, FedEx is scheduled receive 500 of the company’s electric light commercial vehicle, the EV600, to be built at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll.
On Friday, GM Canada announced it had reached a tentative $1-billion deal to manufacture the all-electric light commercial delivery van at the CAMI Assembly plant. Unifor members made it official Monday by ratifying an agreement to convert the plant to Canada’s first electric vehicle manufacturer.
Work will begin immediately to transform the CAMI plant. The deal will support jobs and transform work at the plant over the next two years from Chevrolet Equinox production to production of EV600s, serving the growing North American electric delivery solutions market.
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BrightDrop is an all-new business within GM, offering commercial customers an ecosystem of connected and electrified products and services designed to improve the delivery of goods and services from the first to last mile. It aims to help B2B customers reduce cost of ownership, improve productivity and safety, and improve their carbon footprints and sustainability efforts.
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.
The BrightDrop EP1 electric pallet
According to GM trials, conducted with FedEx Express, the EP1 can help deliver 25 per cent 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 400 kilometres. The battery pack will support a charge rate of up to 270 kilometres 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.
The first BrightDrop EV600 vehicles will be delivered to FedEx Express by the end of 2021, with orders opening to additional customers in Canada and the United States in early 2022.