BrightDrop delivers first EVs to FedEx

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

BrightDrop delivered the first five of 500 electric light commercial vehicles to FedEx, the first customer to the receive the EV600s.

The introduction of BrightDrop’s all-electric, zero-tailpipe emissions vehicles into the FedEx fleet is an important step in the company’s goal to take its global operations carbon neutral by 2040.

“The delivery of the first BrightDrop EV600s is a historic moment, born out of a spirit of collaboration between two leading American companies,” said Mitch Jackson, chief sustainability officer at FedEx.

“At FedEx, transforming our pickup and delivery fleet to electric vehicles is integral to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals announced earlier this year. This collaborative effort shows how businesses can take action to help usher in a lower-emissions future for all.”

FedEx has set a goal to operate an all-electric, zero-emission global pickup and delivery (PUD) fleet by 2040. As part of that effort, FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and one of the world’s largest express transportation companies, plans for 50 percent of its global PUD vehicle purchases to be electric by 2025, rising to 100 percent by 2030.

“As e-cCommerce continues to grow, BrightDrop is thrilled to partner with FedEx in our mission to dramatically reduce vehicle emissions from delivery and deliver a brighter future for all of us. FedEx has ambitious sustainability goals, and the speed with which we brought the first BrightDrop electric vehicles to market shows how the private sector can innovate and help bring solutions for some of our biggest climate- and emissions-related challenges,” said Travis Katz, president and CEO of BrightDrop.

Powered by the Ultium battery platform, the EV600 is designed for deliveries, with an estimated range of up to 400 km (250 miles) on a full charge. Purpose-built for the delivery of goods and services, the vehicle offers almost 17,000 litres (600 cubic feet) of cargo area.

“The EV600 combines the best attributes of a traditional and a step-in van into one vehicle, keeping driver safety, comfort, and convenience top of mind,” said Katz. “It’s also the fastest built vehicle, from concept to market, in GM’s history.”

These first few EV600s were delivered to the FedEx Express facility in Inglewood, California, where they will be housed and operated. To support the new vehicle technology, FedEx is building charging infrastructure across its network of facilities, including the 500 charging stations the company has already installed across California.

FedEx is also working with utility companies to help evaluate and determine the capacity needed for electrical grids to support such charging infrastructure.

“With a longstanding mission to connect the world responsibly and resourcefully, FedEx is investing in transformative solutions fueled by innovation,” said Jackson.

“That’s why we’re eager to roll up our sleeves and get to work alongside the BrightDrop team, as well as other stakeholders in the private and public sector.”

In 2003, FedEx was the first delivery company to use hybrid vehicles for pickup and delivery and, in 1994, the company used its first electric vehicle – an acid battery-powered vehicle in California. To complement the company’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact in its own operations, FedEx has been a vocal advocate for improved fuel efficiency standards and policies to support the commercial deployment of alternative-fuel vehicles.