Jump to content

None






Harley Lover

GM launches commercial EV brand, with FedEx as first customer

Recommended Posts

This isn't vaporware, Ford, time to get going with Transit EV (from https://www.autonews.com/future-product/gm-launches-commercial-ev-brand-fedex-first-customer?utm_source=breaking-news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20210112&utm_content=hero-headline):



General Motors is launching a commercial electric vehicle business called BrightDrop and locked in FedEx Express as the first customer for a delivery van later this year.

The BrightDrop brand will offer electric products, software and services, GM said Tuesday. Its products will include a commercial van known as the EV600 and an electric pallet called the EP1, which allows delivery drivers to more easily transport goods from the vehicle to customers' doors.

BrightDrop will build about 500 EV600s for FedEx Express to start, Pamela Fletcher, GM's vice president of global innovation, told reporters. She said the brand also has letters of intent from a number of other customers she didn't disclose.

Sam Fiorani, vice president with AutoForecast Solutions, has said GM would build an electric commercial van at its Detroit plant starting in late 2021, but the company didn't say Tuesday where it will assemble the vehicle.

The van, powered by GM's Ultium batteries, will be able to drive 250 miles on a full charge and have 600 cubic feet of cargo space. It will be available to customers other than FedEx in early 2022.

BrightDrop.jpg?h=94b341e4EV600.jpgBrightDrop2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Harley Lover said:

 

Yes sir Harley Lover. What's most impressive about BrightDrop is that it combines 2 of the 3 big long term strategic goals for the global automotive industry: 100% electric vehicles and mobility services. The 3rd goal, 100% autonomous vehicles, is likely to come soon to BrightDrop as the goods delivery business is a perfect application for AV.

Edited by rperez817

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an interesting van. The GVWR is under 10,000 lbs. so it is Class 2b like Transit, Sprinter, Promaster, and of course GM's own ancient Express.

 

Going full EV means GM can have a clean sheet design without front engine compartment. This gives GM more cargo volume without adding overall length and height, and keep the weight down. The spec says "over 600 cubic feet" of cargo volume... that is a GAME CHANGER. For comparison, Transit max out at 487 cubic feet and Sprinter at 530 cubic feet - and they do it by going high roof, which requires heavier chassis counter weight.

 

Basically, GM is giving FedEx a Class 2b van that has the cargo volume of its Ford F59 stripped chassis van with utility body - which has GVWR of16,000-26,000 lbs. and comes with Class 5 or 6 operating costs. Since FedEx probably doesn't need the weight (FexEx boxes are mostly air) of a Class 5 van but they do need the cargo volume, a Class 2b van that carries as much as Class 5 stripped chassis utility step van is going to be a really attractive option.

 

Ford has much homework to do with its Transit EV...

Edited by bzcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, bzcat said:

This is an interesting van. The GVWR is under 10,000 lbs. so it is Class 2b like Transit, Sprinter, Promaster, and of course GM's own ancient Express.

 

Going full EV means GM can have a clean sheet design without front engine compartment. This gives GM more cargo volume without adding overall length and height, and keep the weight down. The spec says "over 600 cubic feet" of cargo volume... that is a GAME CHANGER. For comparison, Transit max out at 487 cubic feet and Sprinter at 530 cubic feet - and they do it by going high roof, which requires heavier chassis counter weight.

 

Basically, GM is giving FedEx a Class 2b van that has the cargo volume of its Ford F59 stripped chassis van with utility body - which has GVWR of16,000-26,000 lbs. and comes with Class 5 or 6 operating costs. Since FedEx probably doesn't need the weight (FexEx boxes are mostly air) of a Class 5 van but they do need the cargo volume, a Class 2b van that carries as much as Class 5 stripped chassis utility step van is going to be a really attractive option.

 

Ford has much homework to do with its Transit EV...

 

Take note of the claimed range too; we've noted in prior conversations about Transit EV and Sprinter that their lower range (low 100's in Transit IIRC) are fine in the EU and probably okay in the U.S. too based on expected usage. My question is what is driving the GM choice to offer so much more range? Do they have a significant cost advantage with Ultium batteries? 

 

Just judging from the pics, this GM van is a significantly larger vehicle than Transit/Sprinter, which echoes your observations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My guess is it easier to package more batteries in a purpose build EV chassis so GM is just going to do it.

 

GM didn't give any dimensions but since it is a Class 2b, it can't be that much bigger than the LWB Transit or Sprinter. The reason GM can carry more cargo volume is the size of the cargo area... Eliminating the engine bay of ICE van while keeping the same overall length as LWB Transit and you gain 25% of cargo volume just like that.

 

Do the math: 487 cu ft x 125% = 609 cu ft.

 

https://www.roadandtrack.com/news/a35190352/gm-electric-delivery-van-revealed-specs-pictures-info-price/

 

brightdrop-ev600-with-fedex-express-bran

 

Also worth noting, GM is launching a new  brand and division - BrightDrop to sell this van. They are bypassing the normal retail channel to focus on direct fleet sales. There probably won't be a Chevy badged version of this van for a few years.

 

https://investor.gm.com/news-releases/news-release-details/gm-launches-brightdrop-new-business-will-electrify-and-improve

Edited by bzcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, bzcat said:

My guess is it easier to package more batteries in a purpose build EV chassis so GM is just going to do it.

 

GM didn't give any dimensions but since it is a Class 2b, it can't be that much bigger than the LWB Transit or Sprinter. The reason GM can carry more cargo volume is the size of the cargo area... Eliminating the engine bay of ICE van while keeping the same overall length as LWB Transit and you gain 25% of cargo volume just like that.

 

Do the math: 487 cu ft x 125% = 609 cu ft.

 

https://www.roadandtrack.com/news/a35190352/gm-electric-delivery-van-revealed-specs-pictures-info-price/

 

brightdrop-ev600-with-fedex-express-bran

 

Also worth noting, GM is launching a new  brand and division - BrightDrop to sell this van. They are bypassing the normal retail channel to focus on direct fleet sales. There probably won't be a Chevy badged version of this van for a few years.

 

https://investor.gm.com/news-releases/news-release-details/gm-launches-brightdrop-new-business-will-electrify-and-improve

 

I hate to say it, but I think this van is perhaps the best tangible evidence of how GM's work on bespoke EV chassis and leveraging those chassis across multiple offerings will start to affect Ford competitively. That said, the one thing missing from GM's announcement is COST. And let's face it, a big driver of decisions for business applications is cost. If this van with this range is some significant percentage higher in cost than Transit EV, and the perceived benefits it offers in range and size are not worth the added price, then it's another example of GM missing the target. We've written quite a bit about Ford's perceived knowledge of this market and its needs - the difference in this GM product and Transit EV will put those ideas to the test.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Harley Lover said:

the one thing missing from GM's announcement is COST. And let's face it, a big driver of decisions for business applications is cost. If this van with this range is some significant percentage higher in cost than Transit EV, and the perceived benefits it offers in range and size are not worth the added price, then it's another example of GM missing the target. We've written quite a bit about Ford's perceived knowledge of this market and its needs - the difference in this GM product and Transit EV will put those ideas to the test.

 

Fleet managers always focus on getting the lowest initial acquisition price for motor vehicles. However, those same fleet managers may be willing to spend extra money on value added services. Both GM and Ford have announced they are going to be involved in the entire "ecosystem" for fleet management, and that means they will sell services, software, etc. to fleet customers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

 

Fleet managers always focus on getting the lowest initial acquisition price for motor vehicles. However, those same fleet managers may be willing to spend extra money on value added services. Both GM and Ford have announced they are going to be involved in the entire "ecosystem" for fleet management, and that means they will sell services, software, etc. to fleet customers.

 

Ford will argue they have much more institutional knowledge of this market and what fleet managers need. That position will be put to the test.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

 

Fleet managers always focus on getting the lowest initial acquisition price for motor vehicles. However, those same fleet managers may be willing to spend extra money on value added services.

 

That doesn't matter if E Transit meets all their requirements at a lower initial cost due to reduced range.   I don't expect the services to be much different.  There are only a few services that make sense (vehicle tracking, remote status, navigation, etc.).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ford's approach of using an existing chassis to keep the costs in line for fleet buyers will be an advantage over BrightDrop. It looks like a nice van, but unless GM...errr, gm uses the same tophat to replace it's current gasoline and diesel powered vans, the costs may be prohibitive for fleets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, rperez817 said:

GM stock price reached its 52 week high today following the BrightDrop announcement. https://www.investing.com/news/stock-market-news/gm-to-launch-brightdrop-electric-delivery-vehicle-business-2386799

Ford actually closed at a 52 high today......GM reached a high today, but fell back a little before closing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Harley Lover said:

 

Ford will argue they have much more institutional knowledge of this market and what fleet managers need. That position will be put to the test.

 

Yes sir Harley Lover. Ford intends to integrate that institutional knowledge into its fleet management and mobility solutions software and service offerings to go along with Transit EV. They mentioned it in the Transit EV press release. https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2020/11/12/all-electric-ford-e-transit.html

 

Quote

"Ford is North America and Europe’s commercial truck and van leader, so the transition of fleet vehicles to zero emissions, especially for the fast-growing last-mile delivery segment, is critical to achieve our carbon neutrality goal by 2050,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO.

While most newcomers in the van business are still building prototypes, developing testing protocols and addressing difficult usage conditions, Ford’s commercial vehicle ecosystem is expanding to include electric vehicle monitoring software and connected solutions for fleets to seamlessly integrate into day-to-day operations. 

“We are doubling down on software and digital services to help our fleet customers grow and more efficiently run their businesses,” said Farley.

Edited by rperez817

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, akirby said:

I don't expect the services to be much different.  There are only a few services that make sense (vehicle tracking, remote status, navigation, etc.).

 

Services and software offerings will expand greatly as fleets become ZEV and AV focused and will be the real differentiator among the automakers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now the BIG question is - what does THIS guy think of'em?!?!?  😂

 

-Ovaltine

kingofqueens.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ford probably had that slide 3 years ago. 
 

It is frustrating when Ford has ideas and plans that take so long to come to fruition that the competition has time to catch up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, akirby said:

Ford probably had that slide 3 years ago. 
 

It is frustrating when Ford has ideas and plans that take so long to come to fruition that the competition has time to catch up.

 

Not sure Ford had this idea before GM did.  That van has been under development for quite some time.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bzcat said:

My guess is it easier to package more batteries in a purpose build EV chassis so GM is just going to do it.

 

GM didn't give any dimensions but since it is a Class 2b, it can't be that much bigger than the LWB Transit or Sprinter. The reason GM can carry more cargo volume is the size of the cargo area... Eliminating the engine bay of ICE van while keeping the same overall length as LWB Transit and you gain 25% of cargo volume just like that.

 

Do the math: 487 cu ft x 125% = 609 cu ft.

 

https://www.roadandtrack.com/news/a35190352/gm-electric-delivery-van-revealed-specs-pictures-info-price/

 

brightdrop-ev600-with-fedex-express-bran

 

Also worth noting, GM is launching a new  brand and division - BrightDrop to sell this van. They are bypassing the normal retail channel to focus on direct fleet sales. There probably won't be a Chevy badged version of this van for a few years.

 

https://investor.gm.com/news-releases/news-release-details/gm-launches-brightdrop-new-business-will-electrify-and-improve

 

I have a feeling that this van is bigger than a Sprinter or transit.  While the engine 'doghouse' is gone, the batteries had to go somewhere, and even if they are primarily under the load floor they still take up volume.  Unless I am wrong, those wheels appear to be the heavy duty steel 18" wheels from the Silverado/Sierra 3500HD's and if so that gives the perspective this vehicle is closer to the size of a UPS package car.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, akirby said:

Ford probably had that slide 3 years ago. 
 

It is frustrating when Ford has ideas and plans that take so long to come to fruition that the competition has time to catch up.

 

Here's the thing: we don't know what Ford have been telling their customer base with regard to these capabilities in the run up to actual production of the Transit EV. GM is great at what I call "engineering by press release", while Ford seem to prefer doing the work in the trenches with their fleet customer base. 

 

All that said, it's a giant 'we'll see' in terms of whether Ford are prepared, and know this market as well as they claim. Things will come into focus (no pun intended) as this year progresses. I'm somewhat concerned that Ford might not have adequate battery supply lined up to support what appears to be burgeoning interest in this segment. Again, we'll see how well they have planned. I have to admit, based on past performance, when it comes to planning, I'm not confident about this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, 7Mary3 said:

 

Not sure Ford had this idea before GM did.  That van has been under development for quite some time.


They’ve certainly been working on E Transit for several years and they announced cloud based fleet management services were in development at least a couple of years ago.  They’ve been installing modems in vehicles since 2016.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Harley Lover said:

I have to admit, based on past performance, when it comes to planning, I'm not confident about this.

 

Both GM and Ford have transformed their organizations to enter the "new world" of the automotive industry, including new generation fleet products and services. While GM is definitely the leader right now, I think Ford will catch up with Jim Farley's leadership.

Edited by rperez817

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We'll know a lot more later this year but I think it's short sighted to think that GM has eclipsed Ford regarding BEV vehicles designed for the fleet market. The timetable for introducing BEV vehicles of all types is accelerating as the manufacturers compete with each other to make sure that they're in position to compete when the market actually starts buying or leasing BEV vehicles in volume. But no one should sell Ford short and I'm not talking about the stock! Ford's success with trucks in general, and fleets specifically, spans decades and they know those segments better than anyone. I'll wait to see what actually happens rather than assume GM is leading the market with BEV vehicles aimed at the fleet market based solely on GM's press releases.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That van appears to be a class above transit and not aimed at the same market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, akirby said:

That van appears to be a class above transit and not aimed at the same market.

 

Okay. We'll see but I'll be surprised, very surprised, if Ford doesn't have an appropriate response when the time comes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×