General Motors on Tuesdays announced the opening of the first dealership for BrightDrop, a new standalone business that\’s initially focused on electric vans for commercial fleets.
Located in Fontana, California, the BrightDrop Greater Los Angeles store will be operated by an existing franchised dealer, GM confirmed in a press release. The franchisee is Mike Caposio, who also has Chevrolet and Buick/GMC dealerships in California.
GM only announced the initial BrightDrop EV600 model in January, and confirmed in late September that the first vans had been built in Ontario, Canada. At the time, GM said the first vans would go to FedEx in time for the holiday season.
The automaker has said that production will remain low-volume initially, however. GM has said it won\’t fully ramp up until November 2022. The EV600 will be followed by a short-wheelbase EV410 version, to built at the same Canadian factory beginning in 2023.
GM quotes a 250-mile range and gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of under 10,000 pounds for both versions. BrightDrop also previously mentioned plans to launch its EP1 electric pallet system before the end of 2021.
GM is also preparing a fleet version of its Ultium Charge 360 service with fleet and facility management tools plus integration with OnStar Vehicle Insights telematics and BrightDrop\’s own management platform.
While GM is going with a clean-sheet design and brand name, rival Ford\’s E-Transit is an electric version of the very popular Transit van.
Multiple startups are also aiming to sell electric vans to fleet customers in the United States. After investing in Rivian, Amazon ordered a fleet of bespoke electric delivery vans from the company. Electric Last Mile Solutions (ELMS) is assembling electric vans at the former Hummer factory in Mishawaka, Indiana, shipping the first vehicles to customers earlier this year.