General Motors is adding a new brand to its portfolio. The automaker announced BrightDrop, a brand that will focus on bringing electrification to the delivery and logistics segment. BrightDrop will launch with two new products, an electric pallet and a new electric delivery van.
“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.”
BrightDrop spawned from GM’s global innovation center, which also yielded OnStar Insurance, OnStar Guardian and GM Defense. GM sees a significant commercial opportunity in the future thanks to ever increasing eCommerce demand on logistics companies. Pair increasing demand with future restrictions on internal combustion powered delivery vehicles and there’s clearly an open door for the automaker.
At launch, BrightDrop is focused on two products. The first is EP1, a new electrified pallet designed to optimize the last-mile of delivery. The EP1 uses electric propulsion to help transfer goods from a delivery vehicle to the customers front door by being capable of traveling up to 3 mph. The pallet will adjust its speed to match the walking pace of the delivery agent.
The second product is the EV600 delivery van. Powered by GM’s Ultium batteries, the battery-electric van can hold 600 cubic feet of cargo and travel up to 250 miles on a charge. The cargo area is also optimized to hold EP1 pallets, of course. GM says the EV600 has a class-leading list of standard features, including a host of active safety features.
BrightDrop does not consist exclusively of physical goods. GM says BrightDrop has developed a whole ecosystem of software to complement the EP1 and EV600. For example, every EP1 is cloud-connected, giving a centralized view of the contents and temperature. BrightDrop will also offer a fleet management system to carriers, optimizing use of the EV600 delivery van.
FedEx Express is BrightDrop’s launch client. The logistics company has been piloting BrightDrop’s ecosystem and is in the process of expanding the pilot. The company hopes to take delivering of its first EV600’s later this year.
GM says BrightDrop has a range of new products and services in its product development pipeline.