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GM’s BrightDrop to open first dealerships this year

BrightDrop is in talks with select dealers in California, Young said.

“From there we will grow that network, which is really focused on large fleets and delivery of goods and services across the U.S.,” he said.

BrightDrop plans to launch the EV600 van later this year, initially being built by a supplier in Livonia, Mich., before it moves to GM’s assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, next year.

FedEx Express signed on as BrightDrop’s first customer in January, starting with about 500 EV600 orders. FedEx also is piloting BrightDrop’s EP1 electric pallet, which allows delivery drivers to more easily transport goods from the vehicle to customers’ doors.

BrightDrop also agreed to build 12,600 EV600 vans for Merchants Fleet starting in 2023.

BrightDrop has been talking with hundreds of other customers, said Jennifer Costabile, GM’s fleet general director for marketing and sales enablement. But BrightDrop hasn’t yet shared tie-ups beyond FedEx and Merchants Fleet.

The brand on Thursday announced the launch of Ultium Charge 360 fleet, a fleet version of the consumer-focused Ultium 360 service GM introduced in April. The service will include fleet and facility management tools and integration with GM’s fleet management solution, OnStar Vehicle Insights and BrightDrop’s fleet and asset management platform.

Fleet companies are asking for help with the transition to EVs, said Costabile.

“This was all designed to really make it easy for them to start that process,” she said. “Each customer really does have a different use case.”

GM is working with four charging infrastructure companies to give drivers access to more than 60,000 public chargers on the road. Those companies are eTransEnergy, a Duke Energy company; EVgo; In-Charge Energy; and Schneider Electric.

The automaker also is expanding its existing commercial relationships with Qmerit for home charging and EVgo for public and depot charging to make charging more flexible for fleets.

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