GM's last-mile delivery company BrightDrop announced thousands of new orders from two leading Fortune 500 companies on Jan. 5 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Walmart has been added to BrightDrop's customer base, while FedEx expands its partnership with the electric van company, according to a news release.
Walmart is reserving 5,000 of BrightDrop’s EV600 and smaller EV410 electric delivery vans for its last-mile delivery network and to supports its goal of operating a zero-emissions logistics fleet by 2040.
FedEx has reserved priority production for 2,000 electric delivery vans over the next few years. This adds to FedEx’s initial reservation of 500 BrightDrop EVs from last year. In addition, FedEx is planning to add 20,000 more in the years to follow, subject to further negotiations and execution of a definitive purchase agreement, the release notes. FedEx also unveiled plans to expand its testing of BrightDrop’s EP1 electrified container to 10 markets beginning in 2022.
BrightDrop says these moves demonstrate growing momentum for electric delivery solutions. The EV600, built on GM’s Ultium Platform, was formed in 20 months prior to initial deliveries to FedEx, — which the company says makes it the fastest vehicle to market in GM history.
“BrightDrop’s mission is to decarbonize the world’s deliveries. We leverage the best of two worlds — the innovation, agility, and focus of a technology start-up with the engineering and manufacturing might of General Motors,” said BrightDrop President and CEO Travis Katz. “This combination, coupled with BrightDrop’s holistic solution set, gives us powerful advantages that uniquely position us to support the world’s largest delivery companies, like Walmart and FedEx, with their robust sustainability goals. Today’s commitments showcase our ability to power the electrification journey of some of the world’s biggest companies.”
“As important as it is that we save our customers time and money through convenient delivery options, it’s just as important that we focus on creating a more sustainable last mile delivery fleet that avoids emissions,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of last mile, Walmart U.S. “BrightDrop’s proven ability to bring a sustainable electric van to market makes them a great partner to support our growing InHome delivery service, and we look forward to continue driving our goal of operating a 100% zero-emissions logistics fleet by 2040.”
Walmart plans to use its electric vans as part of its InHome delivery service, which the retailer plans to expand from 6 million to 30 million U.S. households by the end of the year. Walmart will hire more than 3,000 associate delivery drivers and equip them with an all-electric fleet of delivery vans. BrightDrop says the electric vans may begin hitting the road for Walmart deliveries as early as 2023.
“FedEx remains full speed ahead in taking the next steps to electrify our pickup and delivery vehicle fleet, which is a critical component in our ambitious goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations globally by 2040,” said FedEx Express Regional President of the Americas and EVP Richard Smith. “With the collaboration and innovative technology of companies like GM and BrightDrop, we will continue to meet the world’s increasing transportation needs in more environmentally sustainable ways for our customers, shareholders, and communities.”
FedEx has set a target to electrify its entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet, envisioning adding hundreds of thousands of medium electric delivery vehicles over the next two decades.
BrightDrop also announced the completion of a second pilot with FedEx in New York City. Its first pilot in Toronto saw a 25% increase in package deliveries per day when using the EP1 electric container. In this second pilot, the EP1 allowed FedEx Express couriers to increase package deliveries by 15% per hour, remove one on-road vehicle from the delivery route, and cut delivery vehicle curbside dwell time in half on routes in a high-density, vertical urban environment. FedEx plans to expand the EP1 testing to 10 markets starting in 2022.
The BrightDrop EV600 is in production, and the EV410 will be available in late 2023.