FedEx receives its first 150 battery-electric delivery vehicles from General Motors-owned technology startup BrightDrop.
The BrightDrop BEVs are a key to Memphis-based FedEx’s plans to transform its entire parcel-pickup and delivery fleet to all-electric, zero tailpipe emissions by 2040. GM fulfills the FedEx order just months after BrightDrop’s commercialization of the Zevo 600 as the fastest vehicle to market in the automaker’s history.
“At FedEx, we have ambitious sustainability goals, and our phased approach to vehicle electrification is a crucial part of our roadmap to achieve carbon-neutral global operations,” Mitch Jackson, FedEx chief sustainability officer, says in a news release.
“In just under six months, we’ve taken delivery of 150 BrightDrop Zevo 600s for our parcel-pickup and delivery fleet. In today’s climate of chip shortages and supply-chain issues, that’s no ordinary feat and a true testament to the collaboration between FedEx and BrightDrop,” he says.
The first 150 BrightDrop Zevo 600s were delivered throughout Southern California to FedEx subsidiary FedEx Express, one of the world’s largest express transportation companies. The Zevo 600 is powered by GM’s Ultium BEV platform and is designed for last-mile deliveries, with an estimated range of up to 250 miles (403 km) on a full charge.
FedEx is to incorporate a total of 2,500 total Zevo 600s across its operations over the next few years, GM says.
“This shows how BrightDrop is delivering sustainable solutions at scale to customers today, and we couldn’t be happier to be part of FedEx’s sustainability journey,” BrightDrop President and CEO Travis Katz says. “Our Zevo 600 has been a record-setting vehicle from the start. From a record-setting time to market, to delivering one of the largest fleets of electric delivery vans on the road today, BrightDrop is showing the world what sustainable delivery looks like.”
To support the new BEV technology, FedEx is building charging infrastructure across its network of facilities, including the more than 500 charging stations the company already has installed across California. FedEx also is working with utility companies to help evaluate and determine the capacity needed for electrical grids to support such charging infrastructure and is investing to expand on-site generation and procurement of renewable energy in its facilities.
In 2003, FedEx was the first delivery company to use hybrid vehicles for pickup and delivery and, in 1994, the company deployed its first EV – an acid-battery-powered vehicle in California.
German parts supplier Kuka is handling the initial production run of Zevo 600 BEVs while GM prepares its CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, ON, Canada, for permanent production.