GM’s commercial EV business BrightDrop to supply new van to Verizon

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  • General Motors’ commercial electric vehicle business Brightdrop plans to add a second van to its lineup in 2023.
  • The first customer for the mid-sized commercial van is expected to be Verizon Communications.
  • The new product follows the first production build of BrightDrop’s first product, a larger van called the EV600, completed for FedEx.

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DETROIT — General Motors’ commercial electric vehicle business Brightdrop plans to add a second van to its lineup in 2023, with Verizon Communications being the first customer.

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The automaker said Tuesday that the EV410, a midsize work van, is expected to cater to customers like Verizon who don’t need a large delivery van like its EV600, which was unveiled in January.

A Brightdrop spokesperson declined to comment on the deal with Verizon. A spokesperson for the communications giant did not immediately respond for comment.

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The EV410 was announced after BrightDrop confirmed that the first production build of the EV600 has been completed. BrightDrop CEO Travis Katz told CNBC they will be reaching their first customer, FedEx, by the end of this year.

Katz, who joined GM late last year, said the second vehicle would open up new markets for the business, which he says is working as a startup within the traditional automaker.

“It helps to strengthen this overall ecosystem that we are doing,” he said during an interview.

The EV410 is essentially a smaller version of the EV600. It shares the same look and will also offer a GM-estimated range of 250 miles on a full charge.

Katz said the EV600, at about 20 months from conception to market, is the fastest vehicle GM has ever produced. He said it is better than the upcoming GMC Hummer EV pickup in 26 months.

“The world is changing. The automotive industry is changing,” Katz said. “We need to be able to iterate more quickly. A lot of what we’re doing is really pushing the envelope on how we can bring vehicles to market faster.”

GM is working with German auto supplier Kuka to help produce the initial EV600 for FedEx. The automaker is currently remodeling an assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, to produce the EV410, along with the larger van.

According to Katz, GM expects to begin production of the EV600 at the Canadian plant next November.

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