Announced back in January with the EV600 electric van BrightDrop, GM’s all-electric delivery vehicle division, is putting its EV vans into production. And now it’s marking the occasion with a new model and a new customer FedEx as the first fleet buyer. BrightDrop aims to give the Ultium platform a commercial outlet for zero-emissions last mile deliveries.
The EV600, BrightDrop promised, would have a range of up to 250 miles on a charge. It’ll support 120 kW DC fast charging – sufficient for 170 miles of range added per hour plugged in – and there’ll be more than 600 feet of cargo space in the back.
BrightDrop’s ecosystem, though, encompasses more than just delivery vans. There’ll be an electric pallet, the EP1, intended to move goods over short distances such as to and from an EV600. FedEx has been trialing the system since 2020, and was slated to be BrightDrop’s first commercial customer just as long as it could deliver the initial EV600 units by the end of this year.
That’s on track, GM confirmed today, with the EV600 beginning first production builds. It’s “a key milestone” the automaker says, ahead of handing over electric vans to FedEx in time for the upcoming holiday season. In fact, it took just 20 months in all to develop the EV600.
Now, there’s a second version, slotting in underneath the EV600 in size. The BrightDrop EV410 has over 400 cubic feet of cargo space, but the same potential 250 miles of range on a full charge. It has a gross vehicle weight rating of under 10,000 pounds.
In fact, it’s compact enough to fit into a regular parking spot, GM says, which should make it a hit in urban areas. Verizon will be first to take advantage of that, as the EV410’s first customer. It intends to include the EV into its service fleet, once production begins in 2023.
That’ll take place at CAMI Assembly, GM’s plant in Ingersoll, Canada. Conversion for its Ultium future is still underway there, so for the moment the EV600 is being produced in low-volume at a US supplier partner, GM says. From November 2022, CAMI will take over EV600 production and the numbers will ramp up accordingly.
Like the EV600, the EV410 will have a variety of tech features baked in. That’ll include standard front and rear parking assistance, forward collision alerts and automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane-keeping assistance with lane departure warnings, an HD reversing camera, and automatic high-beams. Rear cross traffic braking, blind zone steering assistance, reverse automatic braking, a 360-degree camera, rear pedestrian alert and enhanced automatic emergency braking will be optional.
Motion sensors and a built-in security system for the cargo area will be included, and there’ll be front sliding pocket doors and an available auto-open cargo bulkhead door.