BrightDrop, General Motors’ electric commercial vehicle business unit began deliveries of its first product, the Zevo 600 delivery van in December, 2021 just 20 months after launching product development. The first batch of vans were delivered to a Fedex depot in California. Recently a Fedex driver set a Guinness world record by driving a Zevo 600 nearly 260 miles to make a delivery.
The Zevo 600 (formerly known as the EV600) is a delivery van with a capacity of 600 cubic feet and a claimed range of 250 miles. It is built using the same Ultium batteries and electric propulsion system as GM’s other new generation electric vehicles such as the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. When it was announced in January 2021, Fedex was identified as the first customer with an order for 500 units. The first 150 vans are all being deployed across southern California where they will have some company on the roads from Amazon’s test fleet of Rivian electric vans.
At least one of the BrightDrop vans is being used in the New York area which was the origin point for BrightDrop driver Stephen Marlin. That van was loaded up with sustainable cleaning products from New York City-based Full Circle. Marlin drove the van MOM’s Organic Market in Washington D.C. with a couple of stops at landmarks in Baltimore and Philadelphia to capture content. The whole trip took roughly six hours with a mix of city and highway driving.
This is an atypical type of trip for this style of van which typically operates only in local areas, but it did demonstrate the range capability of the Zevo 600. The quoted 250 mile range is about double what competitors like the Rivian and Ford e-Transit offer. According to Ford, 90% of commercial Transit users drive less than 76 miles per day. While the typical BrightDrop use case will probably be similar, the extra battery range does provide flexibility to ensure it has enough usable range to support features like air conditioning in very hot climates and heating when operating in winter months.
The first batch of Zevo 600s is being hand-built at a facility in Michigan while GM’s assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario is being retooled. That plant which currently builds the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain should be building the Zevo 600 by the end of 2022. The smaller Zevo 400 will follow it in 2023.