By on January 13, 2021



General Motors has rolled out BrightDrop, moving them further into the business of first-to-last-mile products, software, and services for delivery and logistics.

“BrightDrop offers a smarter way to deliver goods and services,” said Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO.


To lower costs, maximize productivity, improve safety, increase security, and support sustainability, Barra said, “We are building on our electrification expertise, mobility applications, telematics and fleet management, with a new one-stop-shop solution for commercial customers to move goods.”


BrightDrop is another brilliant idea from GM’s Global Innovation unit, along with a gaggle of other recent GM startups, such as OnStar Insurance, OnStar Guardian, and GM Defense. From a growth perspective, this is meant to attract investors who see GM as a tech firm, and less so an automaker, a part of what GM revealed during the Consumer Electronics Show.


By 2025, GM estimates the opportunity for parcel, food delivery, and reverse logistics in the U.S. will be over $850 billion. Citing the World Economic Forum, urban last-mile delivery demand by 2030 is expected to grow by 78 percent, a 36 percent increase in the world’s top 100 cities. This demand is expected to cause delivery-related carbon emissions to rise by nearly one-third.


To meet the demand and reduce the environmental impact, one of BrightDrop’s solutions is the EP1, an electric pallet. Reducing package touchpoints and costs, the EP1 runs at up to 3 mph, maneuvers in tight spaces, has 23 cubic feet of cargo-carrying capability, a 200-pound payload capacity, and lockable doors.

BrightDrop’s second big idea is the EV600, an electric light delivery vehicle that offers zero emissions, and safety and convenience features more commonly found in consumer EVs. The EV600 is powered by an Ultium battery system with a 250-mile range, with a peak charge rate of up to 170 miles of EV range per hour by 120kW DC fast charging. With over 600 cubic feet of cargo area, the EV600 is available with a GVWR of less than 10,000 pounds.

The first EV600s will be delivered by the end of this year, and FedEx Express will be the first recipient. “Our need for reliable, sustainable transportation has never been more important,” said Richard Smith, FedEx Express regional president of the Americas and executive vice president of global support. “BrightDrop is a perfect example of the innovations we are adopting to transform our company as time-definite express transportation continues to grow.” Maybe its early adoption of BrightDrop will cause investors to relax, because it’s FedEx. For a company that lives to deliver, BrightDrop couldn’t ask for a better partner.

[Images: BrightDrop]

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12 Comments on “BrightDrop, General Motors’ Shiny New Delivery Business...”

  • avatar

    It’s actually not a bad idea for FedEx and UPS, with their numerous stop/starts.

    I think they need to increase the top speed beyond 3mph though.

    Where will these be vans be made?

    • 0 avatar

      The 3mph was for their robotic pallet. The van’s top speed isn’t mentioned. My company might actually be able to use one of these some day. We’ve got a 2005 Isuzu NPR-HD for local pick up and delivery, and it’s getting up there in mileage. It’s rated to carry 6,500# and we use all of that, but we almost never exceed 100 miles in a day. I wonder how much this thing could carry? What’s the range when fully loaded?

  • avatar

    Makes the new lower case gm logo make more sense – this brand would make for a pretty brutalistic logo in old gm font. That’s not saying I like the new logo though.

  • avatar

    “Good business is where you find it.”

    Hey, as long as this kind of stuff helps fund products like the Corvette, GM can Drop Brightly to its’ heart’s content.

  • avatar

    I like the looks of that van. Great for a short haul in town vehicle.

  • avatar
    Funky D

    Electric delivery vehicles actually make a lot of sense, If there is low-hanging fruit to be had in reducing pollution, especially from diesels, it is in urban delivery. It is also a way for EVs to gain critical mass to possibly accelerate battery technology and power infrastructure,

    • 0 avatar

      I agree and they, along with hybrids, allow OEMs to continue research on the tech. But the CARB overlords demanded EV and thus billions wasted on Volt, Leaf, whatever Hyundai’s was called etc. which no one asked for or wanted. Its a game only Tesla won, and even it could only be kept afloat for years through dark pool trading and market frauds, err distortions, such as CARB credits.

  • avatar
    Funky D

    Electric delivery vehicles actually make a lot of sense, If there is low-hanging fruit to be had in reducing pollution, especially from diesels, it is in urban delivery. It is also a way for EVs to gain critical mass to possibly accelerate battery technology and power infrastructure,

  • avatar

    The name “Bright Drop” sounds insulting to me. But may be for Americans it is attractive.

    • 0 avatar

      It infers “drop in intelligence”.
      There’s nothing like bureaucratic management to create charts (there’s one in the article) and half-baked ideas. GM can barely manage an automotive business*, much less accurately reinvent itself into the marvelous, prosperous and wonderful future.

      *GM has an Incredible Shrinking Market Share. Their logo should be an image of the Incredible Shrinking Man. Cadillac has been a mess for decades. Consistent quality has also been unattainable for decades.

  • avatar

    there is a market for these units and a good opportunity for GM.

  • avatar

    Good god. It’s back to ’50s in the UK when I was a kid. Electric milk floats, electric travelling fruit and veg vans with drop down sides to tour city residential areas on a schedule. Few people had cars, and who wanted to carry spuds a mile from the shopping main street? Most side streets were without bus service. Also, such services meant old people and the infirm only had to struggle out to the street to get groceries, not walk miles, use friends or call a taxi.

    When we came to Canada in ’59 and lived in a rural area, big old Dodge vans were used to provide the same sort of service, house to house. The intervening years saw a actual reduction in food availability, because you HAD to drive to get supplies at a supermarket in town. Other even more remote areas had the mailman used as a grocery hauler, picking up orders for delivery. It all worked well enough.

    What I’m saying is, all this stuff has been done before, but few living have seen it and think it’s all new. Of course local delivery should be by EVs, particularly in heavily populated areas. Gotta get your new shiny cardboard box full of amazon junk somehow.

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