General Motors' Commercial Electric Truck Business BrightDrop to Setup a Dealer Network
General Motors' new commercial electric truck logistics business BrightDrop is setting up a dealer network to support its business customers and help drive growth, the head of the unit said on Tuesday.
Travis Katz, BrightDrop's chief executive, said the dealer network will be smaller than GM's retail network and will focus mainly on urban markets. Katz however, did not say how many dealers the BrightDrop network will eventually include.
"The plan is we're setting up our own BrightDrop-specific dealership network," Katz told the Automotive Press Association in Detroit on Tuesday. He added that BrightDrop is talking to existing GM dealers but could use others as well.
BrightDrop is a logistics-focused unit of GM that will offer commercial electric vehicles, technology and other services to shippers. The BrightDrop locations will be tailored to serve fleet customers, including FedEx and Verizon, which GM supplies vehicles to by contract.
BrightDrop announced the completion of the first production builds of the EV600 electric light commercial vehicle (eLCV) delivery van last month, which it hopes to deliver to FedEx Express in time for the busy holiday delivery season. The production builds were the fastest vehicle program to market in GM's history, taking just 20 months from design to production.
When plugged into a 120-kW DC fast charger, the EV600 van will be able to recoup 170 miles of range in about an hour.
The company also unveiled the smaller EV410, a mid-size eLCV with 400 cubic ft of cargo space designed for smaller, more frequent trips. Verizon will be the first customer to integrate the EV410 into its field maintenance and service fleet.
BrightDrop is scheduled to begin delivering the larger EV600 vans to FedEx this fall, followed by the EV410 vehicle in 2023.
GM has big plans for BrightDrop. Company executives have said they expect BrightDrop's revenue to reach $10 billion by 2030 with low-20% profit margins. BrightDrop customers will also save on fuel and maintenance costs by switching to electric vehicles.
The automaker says that fleet managers can expect an estimated yearly savings of $7,000 by switching to the electric EV600 when compared to a similar diesel-powered vehicle.
BrightDrop is partnering with a U.S. supplier partner for initial low-volume production of the EV600 until 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 beginning in November 2022.
BrightDrop will be an entire ecosystem of electric first-to-last-mile products, software and services designed to help businesses deliver goods and services more efficiently with zero emissions.
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