General Motors is continuing its quest to electrify its offerings by announcing the creation of a new brand of electric delivery products and a new company logo.
On January 8, the company revealed a new, lowercase company logo designed to resemble an electric plug, and on January 12 the automaker announced a new electric commercial vehicle business, BrightDrop. The company will be helmed by Travis Katz, formerly of Redpoint Ventures.
BrightDrop’s first two products, the EP1 and EV600, were also announced January 12. The EV600, which GM says will be available for order early next year, is a fully electric light commercial delivery vehicle that will use GM’s Ultium battery system. GM says the electric van will have over 600 cubic feet of cargo storage and estimates the vehicle will feature a maximum range of 250 miles on a full charge.
The EP1, according to General Motors, is an electric pallet with a propulsion system to help move parcels of up to 200 pounds over short distances, like to a delivery customer’s front door. In a release, GM said the pallet’s wheels can adjust to the operator’s walking pace. It will be available in early 2021.
The Detroit, Michigan-based automaker said in a statement that the combined anticipated market for parcel, food delivery and reverse logistics will be worth over $850 billion. The company also cited the World Economic Forum’s prediction that demand for last-mile delivery systems, especially in urban areas, will grow by 78% in the next ten years.
The brand is launching with one high-profile partnership already under its belt, package delivery company FedEx. FedEx helped GM test-run its EP1 pallets, and has already agreed to purchase and help pilot GM’s EV600 delivery van.
“BrightDrop is a perfect example of the innovations we are adopting to transform our company as time-definite express transportation continues to grow,” said Richard Smith, FedEx Express’s regional president of North and South America, in a statement.
According to General Motors, the BrightDrop brand will eventually offer a full portfolio of delivery-related products and services. In addition to the announced electric pallet and delivery van, BrightDrop will also offer a cloud-based software platform meant to manage fleets of its products and eventually a full portfolio of other zero-emissions delivery hardware.
General Motors is not the first electrifying transportation company to turn its eye to the commercial delivery vehicle market. Rivian, a startup formed in 2009, has received backing from Amazon to develop electric parcel delivery vehicles, and Ford and Daimler have also mentioned plans to enter the market.
The announcement of the new electric products comes a few days since General Motors revealed its new logo amid a marketing push designed to highlight the company’s new investments in electrification. As part of the company’s new marketing campaign, GM revised its square logo to include its initials in lowercase, with an ‘m’ made to look like an electric plug.