Ryder will be the latest customer for General Motors’ BrightDrop electric vans.
The rental company on Monday announced plans to acquire 4,000 BrightDrop vans through 2025, with the first 200 to be ordered this year, according to a company press release. The first vehicles will be 2023 BrightDrop Zevo 600 models heading to rental fleets in California, Dallas-Fort Worth, and New York City later this year, followed by 2024 Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 models arriving sometime between this summer and early calendar-year 2024.
The BrightDrop vans have an estimated range of up to 250 miles and payload capacity of between 2,000-3,400 pounds. The Zevo 600 is a longer model with over 600 cubic feet of cargo capacity, while the shorter Zevo 400 has around 400 cubic feet of cargo space.
GM launched the BrightDrop brand in January 2021, and revealed the first electric van just a few days later. At the time, it was referred to as the EV600, but BrightDrop has since rebranded it as the Zevo 600. BrightDrop showed its shorter van model in Sept. 2021, initially badged EV410, and GM opened the first dealership for BrightDrop in Dec. of that year.
The ramp-up of mass production is in Canada, at a facility that has in the past produced GM and Suzuki products. BrightDrop completed the first of a small batch of hand-built vans for FedEx in 2021, with a high-volume production attained the following year. In a recent update, BrightDrop said the entire 2023-model-year production run for the Zevo 600 is sold out. It’s now taking reservations for 2024 models, with deliveries “to begin mid-year 2023.”
Ryder planned to widely offer electric trucks from the failed company Chanje, which looked to import vans from China and eventually assemble kits in the U.S. Now it’s having another go with another new brand, albeit one backed by the largest U.S. automaker.
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