The legacy automakers have a long history of making big publicity splashes for their EVs, then taking years to deliver. Well, things seem to be changing at GM, which has quietly beaten both Ford and Tesla to the electric pickup party, and stolen a march on Rivian/Amazon in the electric delivery van space.
FedEx has confirmed delivery of five EV600 electric delivery vans from GM’s BrightDrop division. These five represent just a taste of the total order of 500 vehicles, but it’s not a bad showing for GM’s new electric delivery and logistic unit, which was only launched a year ago.
“Transforming our pickup and delivery fleet to electric vehicles is integral to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals,” said Mitch Jackson, Chief Sustainability Officer at FedEx. “This collaborative effort shows how businesses can take action to help usher in a lower-emissions future for all.” FedEx has announced a goal of electrifying its global pickup and delivery (PUD) fleet by 2040.
“The speed with which we brought the first BrightDrop electric vehicles to market shows how the private sector can innovate and help bring solutions for some of our biggest climate- and emissions-related challenges,” said Travis Katz, CEO of BrightDrop.
The EV600 is powered by GM’s new Ultium platform. According to GM, it has an estimated range of 250 miles, and offers over 600 cubic feet of cargo area. The first few EV600 vans will go into service at the FedEx Express facility in Inglewood, California.
GM has also begun deliveries of the GMC HUMMER EV Edition 1 Pickup, which is also built on the Ultium platform. The automaker says it plans to develop 30 new EVs by 2025. GM’s next Ultium-based vehicle, the Cadillac LYRIQ, is expected to launch in the first half of 2022, and will be assembled in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The Chevrolet Silverado EV officially debuts at next month’s CES.
“This is the first chapter for Ultium—and for GM’s transition to a zero-emissions future,” said GM President Mark Reuss. “Both commercial and retail customers will benefit from the EV experience, from exhilarating acceleration to low cost of operation, versatility and ability to customize after the sale. GM is ideally positioned to provide EVs for every customer in every segment, retail or commercial.”