FedEx has received it's first five GM-built electric delivery vans out of an order of 500, the company announced. The move represents an important landmark for FedEx in its stated goal to be have an all-electric delivery fleet and be carbon neutral around the world by 2040.
"The delivery of the first BrightDrop EV600s is a historic moment, born out of a spirit of collaboration between two leading American companies," said FedEx's chief sustainability officer Mitch Jackson. "[T]ransforming our pickup and delivery fleet to electric vehicles is integral to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals announced earlier this year."
FedEx was announced as a key customer for the Brightdrop EV600 vans and has been testing Brightdrop's electric EP1 pallets over the last while. GM, which owns Chevrolet and Cadillac, spun out the Brightdrop business unit early this year. "The EV600 combines the best attributes of a traditional and a step-in van into one vehicle, keeping driver safety, comfort, and convenience top of mind," said Brightdrop CEO Travis Katz. "It’s also the fastest built vehicle, from concept to market, in GM’s history."
The all-wheel-drive EV600 has 600 cubic feet of cargo space and can go up to 250 miles on a charge. Inside, drivers get a security system in the cargo area, auto-locking doors and motion-activated interior lighting. They also benefit from automatic emergency braking and parking assistance. The EP1 is a kind of trolley often found in stores an warehouses, with 23 cubic feet of space and an electric motor that makes it easier to move heavy objects.
The first five EV600s are being delivered to FedEx's Express facility in Inglewood, California. To support them FedEx is building charging stations across its network of facilities, including 500 already installed across California. It's also working with utility companies to evaluate electrical grid capacity required for its charging infrastructure.
While FedEx has thrown its electric delivery lot in with GM, rival UPS has ordered 10,000 electric delivery trucks from UK-based Arrival Ltd. Amazon, meanwhile, placed an order for 100,000 Rivian electric delivery vans and even owns a 20 percent piece of the company. Amazon is ahead of both FedEx and UPS, having already started Rivian electric deliveries in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
This report by S. Dent originally appeared on Engadget.