General Motor’s recently unveiled its new business venture, BrightDrop. The company’s plan is to create an ecosystem of electric products to be used as delivery vehicles and “last mile” delivery solutions for commercial customers.
The new company will produce multiple vehicles, starting with the EP1, which will be available early this year. GM says 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.
According to GM trials conducted with partner FedEx Express, the EP1 can help deliver 25 percent 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 250 miles. The battery pack will support a charge rate of up to 170 miles in an hour via a 120.0-kW DC fast-charging station.
GM says that in addition to the vehicles, the new company will offer up asset and EV fleet management software to help customers track vehicles, get detailed data to help implement more efficient routes, and offer remote diagnostics.
In the future, GM says that BrightDrop is working on electric concepts including a medium-distance vehicle that would transport multiple EP1s and a rapid-load vehicle concept.
The first BrightDrop EV600 vehicles will be delivered to customers including FedEx Express by the end of 2021, with orders opening to additional customers in Canada and the United States in early 2022.