General Motors has inked a deal with a supplier to start building its new electric delivery van. The unusual move will allow GM to meet commitments to its purchasers while it revamps its own plant to build the BrightDrop EV600.
GM says German supplier Kuka AG will produce initial copies of the EV600. AutoNews reports the supplier will begin building them at its own facility in Livonia, Michigan starting in October. The move largely stems from a supply agreement BrightDrop has with FedEx to start suppling the EV600 this year. Kuka AG is expected to produce fewer than 500 copies of the EV600.
“We are working alongside Kuka for initial low-volume production to keep up with market demand and remain on track to deliver our first EV600 order later this year,” BrightDrop chief executive Travis Katz confirmed.
Ultimately, production of the EV600 will happen at GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. Production at that plant is expected to commence in November 2022. By 2024 GM expects to be running three shifts at CAMI to keep up with demand of the EV600. GM is investing $800 million into CAMI to convert it to EV production.
Part of the clunkiness of this project stems from the fact CAMI is still running. The plant produces the Chevrolet Equinox and will be until April 2022.
The EV600 was announced in January as part of GM’s new BrightDrop business unit. BrightDrop aims to revolutionize the logistics market with various electrified products. One of those products is the EV600 delivery van, which offers up to 250 miles of range thanks to GM’s Ultium battery system.