GM has launched a new electric vehicle business, brightdrop, which aims to monopolize the market for electric trucks and delivery vehicles, and use electric pallets and software ecosystems to track them.Brightdrop, which just came out of GM's global innovation department, has listed FedEx as the first batch of customers. FedEx will use all electric trucks produced by GM's ultium platform.
So far, we have seen ultium as the foundation of consumer trucks, SUVs and crossover vehicles, and we are expected to launch other types of vehicles in due course. However, brightdrop will use it for the ev600. The ev600 is an electric light commercial vehicle with an estimated range of 250 miles after charging. It will be fast charged through 120 kilowatts of DC, with a top speed of 170 mph. In the back, there will be more than 600 cubic feet of cargo space, and the total weight will be less than 10000 pounds.
Ev600 will have safety features such as automatic emergency braking, front collision warning and pedestrian braking, and lane keeping assistance. Brightdrop will also provide various optional functions, such as blind area steering assistance, 360 degree camera and rear cross traffic braking. There will be a 13.4-inch infotainment display and a front sliding door in the compartment. The cargo compartment door will open automatically to allow people to enter the back row. The motion sensor security system will be used to ensure the safety of goods, and a new electric pallet will be equipped.
Brightdrop also launched the EP1, which will actually be the company's first product, a rechargeable electric tray designed to move goods over short distances. It provides a 23 cubic foot cargo space that can carry 200 pounds of cargo, and it has an electric hub motor that can drive the EP1 at up to 3 mph, depending on the operator's walking speed. Adjustable shelves and lockable doors add extra flexibility to the contents. Brightdrop envisions that it can be used in warehouses, to deliver products to consumers' front doors, and other places. The operator can even synchronize multiple EP1 devices, guide one device, and let other devices follow.
Ev600 and EP1 will support real-time monitoring. For example, companies will be able to log in and check the location of electric delivery vehicles, as well as their battery and charging status, whether they may need to carry out any upcoming maintenance, push OTA updates, and even provide driver safety guidance and accident records. For the EP1, it will be able to view the location and battery, push updates, and lock or unlock the cabinet door. All this is enough to attract the attention of FedEx, which has been testing the EP1 in 2020. The pilot shows that FedEx can handle 25% more packages every day, and it is reported that FedEx will get the first 500 ev600s by the end of the year.