BrightDrop Completes First Production Build, Announces New Vehicle

BrightDrop, the technology startup from General Motors Co. in Detroit that seeks to decarbonize last-mile deliveries, today announced the completion of the first production EV600.
a brightdrop ev600
BrightDrop from GM today announced it has completed its record-speed production of its EV600 along with a new vehicle announcement. // Courtesy of GM

BrightDrop, the technology startup from General Motors Co. in Detroit that seeks to decarbonize last-mile deliveries, today announced the completion of the first production EV600.

The electric light commercial vehicle will be delivered to FedEX by the holiday season.

The company states the build completion is the fastest vehicle program to market in GM’s history, and came amid global supply chain delays and shortages.

BrightDrop also unveiled a new addition to its vehicle lineup, the EV410, a mid-size vehicle designed for smaller, more frequent trips. Verizon, one of the largest fleet operators in the U.S., is the first customer slated to integrate the new vehicle.

“Getting our first electric vehicles on the streets in record time before another peak holiday shipping season is the best gift we could receive this year, especially when we consider the supply chain headwinds the world is facing right now,” says Travis Katz, president and CEO of BrightDrop.

“This is a strong statement to the market of how our unique operations setup, which marries the cutting-edge innovation, agility and focus of a technology startup with the scale and manufacturing might of a major automaker, can deliver real value to both customers and the planet.”

The development of the EV600, which took just 20 months, was made possible by leveraging GM’s highly flexible Ultium battery platform, virtual development processes established during the development of the GMC Hummer EV program, and an agile approach manufacturing development.

In addition to segment-leading range and safety features, fleet managers can expect an estimated yearly savings of $7,000 by going electric with the EV600 compared to similar diesel-powered vehicles.

“As e-commerce demand continues to increase and the effects of climate change are felt like never before across the globe, it’s imperative that we move quickly to reduce emissions. BrightDrop’s holistic delivery solutions are designed to help tackle these challenges head on. We’re excited to get these world-class electric vehicles on the streets in record time,” says Katz.

BrightDrop is partnering with a U.S. supplier partner for initial low-volume production while the conversion of GM’s CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Canada, is completed. CAMI will serve as the large-scale production home of BrightDrop’s EV600 van starting in November 2022.

The new EV410 combines many of the same features from the EV600, boasting a 400 cubic-foot cargo area, a shorter wheelbase of just over 150 inches, and length under 20 feet. The van offers upgrades in curb management and maneuverability while being small enough to fit into a standard-size parking space. This feature aims to reduce street congestion in urban areas.

“Mainstream EV adoption by businesses will require the largest fleet operators to work together with innovators like BrightDrop in the development of vehicles that meet the particular needs of our business,” says Ken Jack, vice president of fleet operations at Verizon. “Adding the EV410 to our fleet is the latest step in our commitment to Verizon achieving net zero operational emissions by 2035.”

Other features of the EV410 include:

  • Estimated range of up to 250 miles on a full charge.
  • Available at a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds.
  • Segment-leading safety features to keep both drivers and pedestrians safe including standard front and rear park assist, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, following distance indicator, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with departure warning, automatic high beams, and an HD rear vision camera.
    Security system with motion sensors to help keep cargo secure.
  • A driver-centric interior design based on hundreds of hours in the field, to help them do their job more efficiently and with more ease, such as a low step-in height, front sliding pocket doors, wide cabin walkways, and an available large auto-open cargo bulkhead door.

Production of the EV410 is expected to being at CAMI assembly in 2023.