BrightDrop brings GM battery tech to commercial vehicles

BrightDrop brings GM battery tech to commercial vehicles

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

General Motors has launched a new business called Brightdrop to develop an integrated ecosystem of electric products, software and services for the first to last mile using the Ultium battery technology

BrightDrop’s electric pallet, the EP1, will be available in early 2021, and its electric light commercial vehicle, the EV600, will be on roads in late 2021. This is the first time the Ultium battery platform will be used in the commercial vehicle segment with Level 2 autonomy and DC fast charging capabilities

“BrightDrop offers a smarter way to deliver goods and services,” said Mary Barra GM Chairman and CEO. “We are building on our significant expertise in electrification, mobility applications, telematics and fleet management, with a new one-stop-shop solution for commercial customers to move goods in a better, more sustainable way.”

GM estimates that by 2025, the combined market opportunity for parcel, food delivery and reverse logistics in the U.S. will be over $850bn. GM has signed a deal with Analog Devicves for wirleess battery management system for the Ultium system.

The BrightDrop ecosystem includes EP1 is a propulsion-assisted, electric pallet developed to easily move goods over short distances – for example, from the delivery vehicle to the customer’s front door. Available in early 2021, the EP1 can help reduce package touch points, costs and physical strain on delivery drivers. This will use built-in electric hub motors with adjustable speed up to 3 mph depending on operator’s walking pace.

The EV600 commercial vehicle will be powered by the Ultium battery system and have a 250 mile range. A peak charge rate of up to 170 miles of EV range per hour comes from 120kW DC fast charging.

The first vehicles to be delivered by the end of this year to Fedex and BrightDrop expects to make the EV600s available to more customers to order starting in early 2022.

Next: Brightdrop integrated strategy

This is integrated with a cloud-based software platform, which provides customers visibility and access to their BrightDrop products through both web and mobile interfaces. Built-in connectivity provides businesses with detailed data and insights that can help improve overall operations, including route efficiency, asset utilization and product upgrades. Drivers and couriers can utilize the mobile application for a variety of tasks.

The EP1 connectivity provides customers real-time features, including location monitoring, battery status, remote commands to lock and unlock, and over-the-air updates of connected features.

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