BrightDrop van output starts in Ontario

“DHL made a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and as we continue to invest in our electric ground fleet worldwide, which now includes 27,000 electric vehicles, relationships such as the one we’re launching with BrightDrop in Canada helps bring us closer to our sustainability goals while also supporting our customers with their own climate goals,” DHL Express Canada CEO Andrew Williams said in a statement.

BrightDrop last year started low-volume production of the Zevo 600 in southeast Michigan while retooling was underway at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ont. Going forward, CAMI will be home to the Zevo 600 and the smaller Zevo 400, which is scheduled to enter production later in 2023.

The first Zevo 600s were scheduled to roll off the assembly line at the CAMI plant on Monday. Scaled production will begin in January, GM said. The Zevo 600 has 600 cubic feet of cargo space, can travel up to 400 kilometres on a full charge and is intended for long-range deliveries.

GM set production targets of 50,000 Zevo vans per year by 2025 at CAMI. Last month, GM said BrightDrop is on pace to generate US$1 billion in revenue next year, en route to as much as US$10 billion in revenue and 20 per cent profit margins by decade’s end.


“Bringing BrightDrop to Canada and starting production at CAMI is a major step to providing EVs at scale, while delivering real results to the world’s biggest brands,” BrightDrop CEO Travis Katz said in a statement. “Our international expansion is proof that we can deliver exactly what our customers need where they need it. Having DHL Express Canada come onboard as a new customer shows the confidence legacy brands have in our ability to deliver.”

GM invested about $1 billion to retool CAMI, which previously built the gas-powered Chevrolet Equinox crossover, into an all-electric manufacturing site for BrightDrop, which the automaker says will allow the brand to achieve greater production scale. The federal and Ontario governments contributed a total of $518 million to the upgrades as well as separate work to expand production of pickups at the Oshawa Assembly Plant east of Toronto.

The two-million-square-foot (185,806-square-metre) CAMI plant opened in 1989.

BrightDrop has said it has more than 25,000 reservations and letters of intent for its vans from customers including Walmart, Hertz and Verizon. To date, it has delivered 150 Zevo vans to FedEx Express, its first U.S. customer.

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