Make way Amazon. Pretty soon there will be a new EV competitor making its mark on the delivery service sector. During the 2021 CES conference, General Motors (GM) announced its new business venture, an all-electric delivery service called BrightDrop.
With the demand for urban last-mile deliveries estimated to grow by 78% come 2030, it was a strategic move for General Motors to enter a new domain, one that will add both value to commercial businesses and improve our nation’s carbon footprint in return.
Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO, shared her excitement for the BrightDrop launch and its first partnership with FedEx.
Thrilled to partner with another iconic American company and global leader of express distribution to build a smarter, more sustainable future for the industry. https://t.co/uzUlQ9FHHG
— Mary Barra (@mtbarra) January 13, 2021
With General Motors recent interest in pursuing an all-electric future, the development of BrightDrop will likely pave the way for more funding being dedicated to electric manufacturing nationwide.
Pursuit for a better delivery system
Among the pandemic, we watched e-commerce sales skyrocket in every industry. As a result, delivery service providers, like FedEx, felt the immediate impact of a rising demand with limited equipment and workforce.
With the environment in mind, BrightDrop will essentially help fulfil the rising demand while contributing to a more efficient process of delivering. By implementing eco-friendly pallets and vans, the task of delivering a product will run smoother and reduce carbon emissions.
Take a closer look at the technology behind BrightDrop to see how its service will help aid FedEx and future commercial businesses.
What is the EP1?
BrightDrop’s first product to make our acquaintance is the EP1, an electric pallet developed to move products efficiently throughout a space. It will be best utilized in warehouses to move goods from a shelf to a delivery van.
The EP1 will hold approximately 23 cubic feet of space with a load of up to 200 pounds. Maneuvering through tight spaces will be no problem for the EP1. So far, GM claims the EP1 helped FedEx Express handle 25% more packages per day.
The EV600 is a close comparison to most electric cars on the market, just in the form of a van. It can travel up to 250 miles on a single charge with an allotted 600 cubic feet of cargo space. Powered by an ultinium battery, its technologies include an infotainment screen, sliding doors, wide cabin, and advanced driver assist.
By the end of 2021, FedEX will receive its first delivery of EV600 vans. Come 2022, the success of EV600s will likely reach a wider customer base.
General Motors’ BrightDrop is electric delivery and software combined
There is no denying the future is in electric cars. For GM, the BrightDrop venture is a step towards their pledge of becoming an all-electric automaker. But what sets BrightDrop apart from other EV vans is its combination of delivery service and cloud-based software.
Customers will be able to track their efficiency, configure route changes, and assess operations easier through BrightDrop services. Even the EP1 will include battery status updates, location tracking, and additional features to make the entire loading process more efficient.
While the success of BrightDrop will greatly be determined by its union with FedEx, GM has already seen positive feedback from its trial run. With a strong dedication to making GM a zero emissions future, it seems we are well on our way to that goal by incorporating a delivery service that does the same.
Learn more about GM’s plan to deliver 20 new electric cars by 2030.