Consumers in Southern California may receive their next delivery from the parcel and logistics provider FedEx Corp. in a zero-carbon, electric cargo van, after the company said it has taken possession of its first 150 battery-powered vehicles from BrightDrop.
Palo Alto, California-based BrightDrop is the technology startup unit from General Motors (GM) that says its mission is to decarbonize last-mile delivery. The firm has now handed over the fleet of its Zevo 600-model, zero-tailpipe emissions vans to FedEx Express facilities throughout the region. According to BrightDrop, the deal marks one of the nation’s largest deployments of commercial electric last-mile delivery vans to date.
The move is part of a deal for FedEx to deploy 2,500 total Zevo 600s across its operations over the next few years. The model is designed for last-mile deliveries, with an estimated range of up to 250 miles on a full charge, powered by GM’s Ultium Platform for electric cars.
To support the new vehicle technology, FedEx is building charging infrastructure across its network of facilities, including more than 500 charging stations 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 and is investing to expand on-site generation and procurement of renewable energy in its facilities.
“For FedEx to successfully achieve our sustainability goals, it will require collaboration across the public, non-profit and corporate sectors,” Mitch Jackson, FedEx’ chief sustainability officer, said in a release.
“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,” Jackson said. “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.”
BrightDrop is also working on an order of 5,400 of its EV410 model vehicles—a lighter weight version of the EV600 design—for the New Hampshire-based freight vehicle leasing provider Merchants Fleet.