This year’s CES went virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, though that hasn’t slowed the announcements. General Motors CEO Mary Barra delivered the show’s opening keynote today while announcing several GM EV endeavours. The automaker teased the 2022 Bolt EUV and the Cadillac Celestiq, though it also announced a new commercial EV brand called BrightDrop that’ll begin delivering its first products sometime this year.
The bigger of the two announcements – literally – is the BrightDrop EV600. It’s a light commercial delivery van designed to deliver goods and services on all-electric power, using GM’s Ultium batteries. GM claims the van will offer an estimated range of up to 250 miles on a single charge while charging at a peak rate of 170 miles of range per hour with 120-kilowatt DC fast charging. It boasts over 600 cubic feet (16,990 litres) of cargo space while protecting it with a cargo area motion security system. GM also offers the van with an array of both standard – and optional – safety equipment, such as automatic emergency braking or rear cross-traffic braking.
The other BrightDrop product that’ll be available will be the EP1. It’s an all-electric pallet designed to help transport cargo. It can store about 23 cubic feet (650 litres) of cargo with a 200-pound (90 kg) payload capacity. The EP1 is designed to help deliver goods over short distances, like from the delivery van to the customer’s front door. It’ll feature lockable cabinet doors and adjustable shelving organisers. GM says it features built-in electric hub motors that can reach up to 3 miles per hour.
Both products will be available this year, with the EP1 becoming available in early 2021 while the EV600 will follow in later this year. The first electric delivery vans should be delivered by the end of the year, with FedEx being BrightDrop’s first customer. The new EV commercial brand hopes to make the EV600 available to order to more customers starting in early 2022. BrightDrop’s new van looks like it’ll compete against the Ford E-Transit, the Blue Oval’s 126-mile electric delivery van set to arrive for the 2022 model year.