General Motors launches BrightDrop EV logistics solution

General Motors has announced plans for an ecosystem of electric first-to-last mile products, software and services for delivery companies.

The business, dubbed BrightDrop, is designed to assist firms in their overall sustainability objectives and maximise productivity and safety. The company made the move following information revealing e-commerce last-mile delivery is expected to grow by 78% by 2030 – leading to a 36% increase in logistics vehicles in the world’s top 100 cities. If these vehicles are not electric, the increase in carbon emissions by the end of the decade for such areas would rise by a third.

The products available for companies includes:

  • The EP1: an electric pallet system to move goods short distances, with a speed of 3mph and load capacity of 200 pounds
  • The EV600: a zero-emissions electric light commercial vehicle purpose-built for the delivery of goods and services over long ranges, built around the firm’s Ultium battery system.
  • Software-enabled services: an integrated, cloud-based software platform, which provides customers visibility and access to their BrightDrop products through both web and mobile interfaces.
  • Mobile asset management: EP1 connectivity provides location monitoring, battery status, remote commands to lock and unlock, and over-the-air updates of connected features.
  • EV fleet management: EV600 connectivity provides fleet operators remote access, real-time location, battery and charging management, driver safety coaching and incident recording, remote diagnostics, safety alerts and predictive maintenance insights, and over-the-air updates.

The business will be available in the US and Canada at first. A pilot programme with FedEx Express revealed couriers were able to safely handle an additional 25% more packages per day with EP1s and employees revealing they were easier to manoeuvre than traditional pallets, reducing physical strain. FedEx Express will be trialling another pilot this year – and is also going to be the first customer of the EV600 vehicle when it comes to market.

Speaking about the new business, GM chairman and CEO, Mary Barra, said: “BrightDrop offers a smarter way to deliver goods and services. 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.”

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