Merchants Fleet to procure 12,600 GM electric vans
The US fleet management company Merchants Fleet has announced its intention to procure 12,600 electric delivery vans from the new General Motors’ brand BrightDrop. These are to be added to its customers’ fleets from the beginning of 2023.
This is BrightDrop’s second customer shortly after the brand was unveiled in January. Launch customer, FedEx Express is to receive the first EV600s from the end of 2021. According to Electrek, this order involves 500 vehicles.
Merchant Fleet stocked up it appears as they put 12,600 vehicles on an order that have yet to be made.
BrightDrop will build the EV600s at GM’s Inger plant in the Canadian province of Ontario, which GM will transform into a large production facility for electric delivery vehicles. Neither Merchant Fleet nor GM disclosed the financial details of the current order in their communications.
The delivery date of early 2023 does not seem unrealistic. At the presentation, GM had stated that it would deliver the first vehicles to FedEx at the end of 2021, but the company does not expect larger numbers until 2022.
General Motors first announced BrightDrop in January. The EV600 is an electric delivery truck based on the company’s Ultium battery technology. The Americans do not specify the exact battery capacity but put the estimated range at 250 miles (402 kilometres). With its maximum DC charging power of 120 kW, it should be possible to recharge 170 miles (274 kilometres) in one hour. GM states the size of the cargo space at 600 cubic feet (almost 17 cubic metres). The total weight is said to be around 4.5 tonnes.
“Merchants Fleet is fully committed to the future of electrification, and working to add BrightDrop EV600s to our clients’ fleets is an exciting part of our broader strategy,” said Brendan P. Keegan, the company’s CEO. “We look forward to continuing to expand our EV fleet capabilities to provide our clients with a range of electric vehicle services and solutions to meet their evolving needs.”
Travis Katz, CEO of BrightDrop, added: “Merchants Fleet’s move to add such a large number of BrightDrop EV600s to their portfolio signals their strong commitment to accelerate the electric fleet movement and their belief that BrightDrop solutions will help them and their clients achieve a greener and more efficient future.”
The EV600 is the brand’s only primary delivery vehicle for now. In addition to the van, a type of electric lift truck was also unveiled in January, allowing delivery drivers to transport goods from the van to their front door. Other models are to follow “over time”.