GM Just Started A New Truck Company Called BrightDrop: What Is It?

While GM killed a number of brands due to bankruptcy in 2010 it has started building up new ones. Of course, Hummer is one of them. But today GM announced a new commercial electric truck company called BrightDrop. This new business will produce a brand new EV commercial delivery truck called the EV600. Catchy. With the EV600 will come an electric pallet called the EP1, too. 

FedEx Express has ordered around 500 of BrightDrop EV600 vans

2021 GM BrightDrop EFV600 delivery van | GM

And it already has a customer for its delivery van. FedEx Express has ordered around 500 of the EV600 vans that GM will make later in 2021. GM also has orders from many other companies but did not disclose which ones. Besides the van and pallet, BrightDrop will also produce other electronic products along with software and services according to Automotive News. 

“BrightDrop offers a smarter way to deliver goods and services,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “We are building on our significant expertise in electrification, mobility applications, telematics and fleet management, with a new one-stop-shop solution for commercial customers to move goods in a better, more sustainable way.”

On the news of the new BrightDrop brand, GM’s stock rose 6.2% today

2021 GM BrightDrop EFV600 delivery van | GM

On the news of the new brand, GM’s stock rose 6.2% today. GM has been groveling about its stock valuation as compared to Tesla. It has been holding future product reveals and releasing other future plans in the hope to nudge those numbers. It has complained that while Tesla is valued as a technology company GM is viewed as a rust-belt manufacturer. This may be part of the thinking behind creating an entirely new brand when it shed a number of them just 10 years ago. 

GM is looking at grabbing a big chunk of the estimated $850 billion for future parcel, food delivery, and reverse logistics. It sees delivery for e-commerce merchandise growing over 75% by 2030. That will translate to an increase in delivery vehicles by 36% based on their estimates. 

The delivery van will be powered by GM’s exclusive Ultium batteries. With 600 cubic feet of cargo space, it has a range of 250 miles. It will become available to the general public and businesses starting sometime in 2022. 

The EP1 electric pallet will reduce handling, costs, and personnel strain

2021 GM BrightDrop EP1 electric pallet | GM

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As for the EP1 electric pallet, it is a product to reduce handling, costs, and ease personnel strain and exertion. Each EP1 can carry 23 cubic feet of cargo weighing up to 200 lbs. GM says that in pilot use by FedEx package handling increased by over 25% each day.

“Our need for reliable, sustainable transportation has never been more important,” Richard Smith, FedEx Express regional president of the Americas and executive vice president of global support, said in GM’s statement. “BrightDrop is a perfect example of the innovations we are adopting to transform our company as time-definite express transportation continues to grow. With this new suite of products, we will help improve the safety, security, and timeliness of FedEx Express deliveries, while reducing our environmental impact and protecting the well-being of our couriers.”