General Motors (GM) has launched a new business, which aims to empower delivery and logistics companies to move goods more efficiently. BrightDrop is an ecosystem of electric first-to-last-mile products, software and services, which was born out of GM’s Global Innovation organization.
“BrightDrop offers a smarter way to deliver goods and services,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. “We are building on our significant expertise in electrification, mobility applications, telematics and fleet management, with a new one-stop-shop solution for commercial customers to move goods in a better, more sustainable way.”
With this announcement GM is hoping to take a slice of the booming parcel, food delivery and reverse logistics market, which by 2025 it estimates to be worth US$850bn in the USA alone. Worldwide, demand for urban last-mile delivery is expected to grow by 78% by 2030, leading to a 36% increase in delivery vehicles in the world’s top 100 cities, according to the World Economic Forum. This increase in demand is expected to cause delivery-related carbon emissions to rise by nearly one-third.
According to GM, BrightDrop has been developed to meet the surge in demand while offering an environmentally friendly solution. It consists of four key elements – first-to-last-mile products, software-enabled services, mobile asset management, and EV fleet management.
BrightDrop’s first product to market, the EP1, will be a propulsion-assisted, electric pallet developed to easily move goods over short distances. It has a payload capacity of 200 lb and features adjustable shelving. The second product will be the EV600, which will be an electric light commercial vehicle purpose-built for the delivery of goods and services over long ranges (up to 250 miles on a full charge).
The EP1 will be available in early 2021, with the first EV600 vehicles to be delivered by the end of the year. BrightDrop will initially serve customers in the USA and Canada.
The EP1 has already been tested as a result of a pilot program in partnership with FedEx Express. During the pilot, FedEx Express couriers were able to effectively and safely handle 25% more packages per day with the EP1s. BrightDrop and FedEx Express have another pilot scheduled to take place in one of the biggest urban centers of the USA this quarter. FedEx Express is also slated to be the first customer of the EV600, receiving its vehicles later this year.
To watch BrightDrop in action, click here.