Truck Topics

GM to Launch an All-Electric Van Later this Year: Here’s What We Know

By Sean M. Lyden
Posted Mar 16th 2021 1:14PM

A few weeks ago, EO checked “under the hood” of the 2022 Ford E-Transit to give you an idea of what to expect with the upcoming all-electric cargo van.

The conclusion: While the van shows promise, the estimated range at 126 miles for the initial version is not (yet) practical for most expediters.

Well...about the same time that article was published, General Motors announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that it was also entering the electric van fray.

GM said that it had launched a new business, BrightDrop, to build the all-electric all-wheel-drive EV600 van, with production beginning later this year.

So, what does this development mean for the expedite industry? Here’s what we know about the EV600 so far.

What’s the range between charges?
BrightDrop estimates the range at 250 miles. But this number does not factor in the impact of cargo weight on the range. So, the “effective range” for the EV600 is likely much lower.

How long does it take to charge?
The peak charge rate is up to 170 miles per hour when hooked to a 120kW DC fast charger. This means that it would take about an hour and a half to charge fully.

What is the hauling capacity?
The EV600’s estimated payload capacity is 2,200 lbs with about 600 cubic feet of cargo space.

For comparison, the Ford E-Transit maximum payload is nearly double the EV600’s capacity at 3,800 pounds but with an almost 20% smaller cargo area of 487.3 cubic feet.

What configurations will be available?
EV600 will be available in one configuration with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 9,990 lbs.

The body style is that of a step delivery van with front sliding pocket doors, wide cabin walkways and a rear roll-up cargo door like what you would see on the rear of a box truck.

What are the EV600’s horsepower and torque ratings?
BrightDrop has not announced these specs.

How extensive is the service network?
BrightDrop will initially serve customers in the U.S. and Canada. The company said it would have a customer support team to assist with every aspect of operating and servicing BrightDrop products, including supporting charging and infrastructure installation and advising on upfitting services. BrightDrop support services will also assist with maintenance needs, including securing parts and scheduling repairs.

What safety systems will be available?
The BrightDrop EV600 will offer several advanced driver-assist safety systems. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Standard equipment: Front and rear park assist, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, following-distance indicator, front pedestrian braking, lane-keep assist with lane departure warning, IntelliBeam automatic high beams and HD rear vision camera.
  • Optional equipment: Rear cross-traffic braking, blind-zone steering assist, reverse automatic braking, HD surround vision, rear pedestrian alert and enhanced automatic emergency braking.

What’s the warranty?
The EV600 will come with a 3-year, 36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper and 8-year, 100,000-mile electrification warranty.

The Bottom Line
From a performance perspective, the EV600’s 250-mile range and fast-charging capabilities make the van a potentially compelling electric option for expediters.

But a big piece of the puzzle is still missing: The price. GM and BrightDrop have yet to announce pricing.

So, until then, keep watching this space.