BrightDrop signs Ryder as customer, starts first Zevo 600 deliveries
BrightDrop, the electric delivery van subsidiary of General Motors, has signed on supply chain logistics company Ryder as a new customer. Ryder plans to add 4,000 BrightDrop EVs to their rental and lease fleet through 2025.
The nabbing of yet another big commercial customer comes as BrightDrop demonstrates its ability to deliver EVs at scale. The company said Monday it has started to ship more than 500 of its Zevo 600 delivery vans, which are built at the high-volume CAMI Assembly manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada.
For comparison, Rivian, one of BrightDrop’s commercial competitors, has already delivered around 3,000 electric vans to Amazon, according to the e-commerce giant’s blog. By 2030, Amazon hopes to bring 100,000 Rivian delivery vehicles to the roads. In Rivian’s fourth-quarter earnings report, the EV-maker set a goal of producing 50,000 units this year, but those won’t all be delivery vans. Rivian also produces the R1S pickup truck and R1T SUV.
With all the backing of GM, BrightDrop reckons it can do better. The company started production at CAMI in December, when it announced DHL Express Canada as its first Canadian customer. BrightDrop says it is on track to produce 50,000 Zevo vans annually by 2025, with production scheduled to ramp up throughout the year.
The company, which already sold out of 2023 model year Zevo 600s, will have to meet those high unit numbers in order to appease its more than 30 commercial customers. At GM’s investor day in November, BrightDrop reported it had received more than 25,000 reservations and letters of intent from customers, including FedEx, Walmart, Hertz, WasteNot Compost and more.
Ryder’s order of 4,000 BrightDrop EVs will be a mix of Zevo 600s and Zevo 400s, which have a cargo capacity of over 600 and 400 cubic feet, respectively. Ryder will order the first 200 vans this year, mainly 2023 Zevo 600s, which it will deploy in rental fleets in California, Dallas-Fort Worth and New York City later this year.
Ryder said in a statement it intends to add some 2024 Zevo 600s and 400s to the fleet this year and next. BrightDrop on Monday began taking reservations for those vehicles, and expects to begin deliveries by mid-year 2023.
The increased demand for BrightDrop’s vehicles might help the company reach its previously stated goal of bringing in $1 billion in revenue this year. While a big chunk of that potential revenue will come from vehicles, BrightDrop is also hoping to leverage a SaaS product, BrightDrop Core. The subscription-based software platform, unveiled at GM’s investor day last November, aims to provide customers with detailed insights into their operations. The platform is expected to launch this year.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.