Delivery ‘decarbonized’ by GM’s GM’s BrightDrop electric delivery system, which aims to “decarbonize” the last mile, has been in the limelight since its unveiling in January 2021.
FedEx (FDX) was announced as BrightDrop’s launch client during the launch, and over the next year, 500 EV600 electric vans were added to the delivery fleet.
Walmart (WMT) and Verizon (VZ) joined the mix as well.
BrightDrop isn’t just about electric delivery vans.
The system consists of software, charging stations, and even an electric propulsion-assisted pallet that can be used both in the warehouse and on the street for delivery and package pickup.
FedEx’s early trials in New York and Toronto have been successful. According to FedEx and BrightDrop:
FedEx package deliveries were increased by 15% by using EP1 electric pallets,
Through efficiency gains, FedEx was able to remove one vehicle per day from delivery routes,
FedEx reduced dwell time on delivery vehicles by half, and
FedEx’s couriers were able to reduce physical stress by using self-propelled EP1s and reducing dwell times.
A description of how the system works
To demonstrate how BrightDrop works, GM invited journalists to see the EP1 and EV600 in action in a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York.
During the demo, the EP1 palette was featured in the first part. An electric motor drives the
pallet’s wheels, which can move the cart at speeds up to 3 miles per hour, the walking speed of a human.
By pushing or pulling the handle, the EP1 can move forward or reverse.
A robotic lift will load the EP1 into the EV600 van, which will then move autonomously to the EP1 through the BrightDrop software ecosystem.
Not only can pallets be used in the warehouse for loading, they can also be used for deliveries and can even be left on the street or residential area for package pickup.
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