GM Launches BrightDrop EV600 Production, Advances Renewable Energy Target


General Motors sees an opportunity to get ahead of the competition when it comes to marketing electric delivery vans. He created a new division called BrightDrop to build electrified last mile delivery vehicles. Its first offering will be the EV600, which will use GM’s Ultium battery technology to power a minivan with a range of 250 miles and a load capacity of 600 cubic feet.

The first is being built by an anonymous private contractor from Michigan, while the company completes a modernization of a production line at its CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Canada. They will be used by FedEx to deliver packages during the next holiday season. The company will offer a smaller version called the EV410 which will use the same Ultium platform but a capacity of 410 cubic feet. Its first customer will be Verizon, according to ArsTechnica.

“Getting our first EVs to the streets in record time before another peak holiday shipping season is the best gift we can receive this year, especially considering the supply chain headwinds that the world is facing right now, ”said Travis Katz, president of BrightDrop. and CEO. “As the demand for e-commerce continues to increase and the effects of climate change are felt like never before around the world, it is imperative to act quickly to reduce harmful emissions. BrightDrop’s holistic delivery solutions are designed to help meet these challenges head-on.

“People on the business side don’t really care about the technology – they care about the economy,” said Brett Smith, chief technology officer at research firm CAR. TechCrunch. The reduced expenses due to a combination of reduced maintenance and lower fuel costs attract the attention of fleet managers, who typically track total operating expenses down to the tenth of a cent per mile.

“BrightDrop offers a smarter way to deliver goods and services,” GM CEO Mary Barra said when she announced the new startup at CES. “We are leveraging our significant expertise in electrification, mobility applications, telematics and fleet management, with a new one-stop-shop solution that enables commercial customers to move goods in a better and more sustainable way. “

More renewable energy sooner

GM has previously said that all of its operations in the United States will be powered by electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This week it announced that it was advancing that 5-year timeline to 2025, which will prevent 1 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions that would otherwise have found their way into the atmosphere during this period, according to the Washington post.

“We know that climate action is a priority and that every company must strive to decarbonize further and faster,” said Kristen Siemenm, the company’s director of sustainability, in a statement reported by the Washington post. GM says it will meet the 100% renewable energy standard for its global operations by 2040.

Several factors should allow GM to phase out electricity from fossil fuel power plants, according to the company’s announcement. These include the introduction of more energy efficiency to reduce overall demand for electricity, investment in renewable energy sources and the development of new energy storage technologies such as batteries to enable to the company to overcome the intermittent production of wind or solar parks.

The automaker also said it would track its carbon emissions in real time through a collaboration with TimberRock, which has developed software to assess emissions from a customer’s energy use, and PJM Interconnection, the electricity transmission operator for the region spanning New Jersey and Pennsylvania. in Virginia, and west to northern Illinois.

With the start of production of BrightDrop and the five-year rollback of its renewable energy intentions, the company is signaling its intention to stay in the vehicle manufacturing business a little longer. Like most mainstream automakers, he was slow to accept that the electric vehicle revolution was real. Now he’s catching up and trying not to let executives like Tesla get too far ahead. Will his strategy be enough? “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.

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