New GM Electric-Truck Business Targets Delivery Market
By Ben Foldy and Mike Colias
General Motors Co. is launching a new electric-truck business
geared toward delivery services, the latest in the company's
efforts to commercialize new battery technology it is developing
The Detroit auto maker said Tuesday it would begin making
electric delivery trucks and pallets as part of a new division,
called BrightDrop, that seeks to capitalize on the now-booming
market for e-commerce and home delivery.
GM's BrightDrop plans to roll out a new electric truck designed
specifically for commercial purposes later this year, called the
EV600, that will offer a 250-mile range on a single charge. The
move pits GM against rival Ford Motor Co., which recently
introduced its own electric Transit delivery van, as well as
electric-vehicle startups such as Rivian, which is making plug-in
vans for Amazon.com Inc.
FedEx Corp. is expected to be GM's first customer for the EV600
with the package-delivery firm agreeing to purchase 500 new
electric trucks for delivery later this year, GM said.
BrightDrop also plans to debut a new electric pallet -- a small
four-wheeled dolly used to ferry packages around warehouses and
from trucks to front doors -- in the next few months.
GM chief Mary Barra has pinned her growth strategy on electric
cars, earmarking $27 billion to develop plug-in and driverless
vehicles by mid-decade. She also wants to add services around
electric-vehicle technology, such as BrightDrop and a
driverless-car business through its subsidiary, Cruise.
During a video appearance at CES Tuesday, Ms. Barra said the
service aims to help commercial-delivery companies work more
efficiently and sustainably, as they face pressure from governments
for cleaner vehicle fleets while e-commerce demand surges.
The BrightDrop-branded trucks will be powered by GM's new Ultium
battery line. The company is building a $2.3 billion battery
factory in Ohio with LG Chem Ltd. to produce battery cells that GM
executives say will gradually bring down the cost of electric
GM executives say the market for package delivery is only
expected to continue growing in the coming years, citing a forecast
by the World Economic Forum that projected demand for delivery
vehicles in large cities could increase 36% by 2030.
Write to Ben Foldy at Ben.Foldy@wsj.com and Mike Colias at
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 12, 2021 11:27 ET (16:27 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.