General Motors’ startup BrightDrop just got a big order.
BrightDrop, which makes electric delivery vans and other technological solutions for the delivery industry, said fleet management company Merchants Fleet is expanding its order to include the EV410, a new midsize electric light commercial truck.
Merchants Fleet decided to buy 5,400 EV410s, bringing its total purchase to 18,000 BrightDrop electric vehicles. The company has already ordered 12,600 EV600 vans, the company’s first vehicle, which most resembles a UPS truck. The EV600 vans will be integrated into Merchants Fleet’s fleet starting in 2023.
“Merchants Fleet’s plan to purchase such a large order of our electric commercial vehicles shows they are serious about leading the fleet industry’s transformation to an all-electric future,” said BrightDrop CEO Travis Katz. “The collaboration with Merchants Fleet opens the door for other companies that want to electrify their fleets by providing access to our portfolio of electric vehicles.”
The EV410 will have an estimated range of up to 250 miles on a full charge and is well-suited for smaller payload deliveries or as a last-mile and traditional service vehicle compared with the EV600.
The EV410’s gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds means there is no need for additional operating licenses, GM said. That will expand adoption of the vehicle, it said.
The electrification of fleet is no longer in the future — it is here, said Merchants Fleet CEO Brendan Keegan. “We are proud to work with BrightDrop to reach diverse segments and drive this transformation forward.”
BrightDrop unveiled the EV410 in September, saying the first customer for it would be Verizon.
BrightDrop, which GM started in January, has finished its first build of the EV600 vans for FedEx Express. BrightDrop will start to deliver some of the first 500 vans to FedEx by year-end, with the balance delivered on a rolling basis into next year. GM brought the EV600 to market in just 20 months, making it the fastest vehicle program to market in GM’s history, Katz said. Typically, it takes 50 months.