BrightDrop launches in Canada, first electric vans outside US

BrightDrop – GM’s all-electric, last-mile delivery unit – is venturing outside of the US for the first time and crossing the border north to Canada. FedEx, one of BrightDrop’s earliest and largest customers, will deploy an initial fleet of electric vehicles around some of the larger metropolitan areas in Canada.

BrightDrop was formed by GM in early 2021 to develop electric light commercial vehicles (eLCVs) for last-mile deliveries, electric smart containers, and cloud-based software. Its current lineup consists of three products: Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 delivery vans, plus the Trace electric storage cart.

When GM CEO Mary Barra originally announced the new division two and a half years ago, she also shared that FedEx had already signed on for the first 500 electric vans off the assembly line. An initial delivery of 150 vans began in the US in December 2021 and was followed by an order for 1,500 more in early 2022.

Shortly after the debut of the new division, GM announced a CAD 1 billion (~$800 million) investment to convert its CAMI manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, to enable the assembly of the Zevo delivery vans. BrightDrop ended up kicking off production in Canada this past December, beginning with the Zevo 600, with the Zevo 400 to follow.

Today, some of BrightDrop’s first electric last-mile delivery vans built alongside our neighbors to the North are being delivered and put into operation by the company’s first customer, FedEx.

FedEx deploys first 50 BrightDrop vans in Canada

The delivery and freight specialist shared details of its all-electric deployment in a press release today, which consists of 50 Zevo 600 from BrightDrop that will service Toronto, Montreal, and Surrey.

The EVs in Canada join 400 other BrightDrop vans already being operated by FedEx in Southern California. All of these combine as part of a larger commitment by the shipping company to integrate 2,500 BrightDrop EVs into its North American fleet in the coming years. BrightDrop’s chief commercial officer, Steve Hornyak, spoke:

FedEx is a key collaborator in our journey to help reduce carbon emissions for deliveries. As our first customer to deploy Zevos in the U.S. and Canada, FedEx is showing the world how the addition of electric vehicles can help achieve ambitious sustainability goals and improve the communities we live and work in.

FedEx Express Canada relayed that the initial BrightDrop vans will contribute to the larger company’s goal of achieving entirely carbon-neutral global operations by 2040. The company is working to establish 50% of its global vehicle purchases to be electric by 2025 and 100% by 2030.

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