BrightDrop, the General Motors owned company specialising in last-mile electric delivery, has entered its first international market, Canada, adding DHL Express Canada to its customer portfolio.

The company also announced production of the BrightDrop ZEVO 600 electric delivery vans had begun at GM’s CAMi Assembly plant in Ontario, making the facility Canada’s first large-scale EV factory. BrightDrop offers a suite of products including the Zevo electric delivery vans, the Trace eCarts, and the BrightDrop Core software platform to reduce carbon emissions from last mile delivery while reducing urban congestion.

The business launched in 2021 with a nearly $800 million (USD) investment from its parent company GM to convert the CAMI Assembly plant to BrightDrop’s high-volume EV production facility. Entering the Canadian market is BrightDrop’s latest effort to address the $250 billion last-mile delivery industry, particularly as companies around the world set goals to electrify their fleets and optimize operations.

DHL Express Canada plans to add its first BrightDrop Zevo electric delivery vans to its fleet early next year. The international shipping and logistics giant is also currently piloting BrightDrop’s Trace eCarts and software platform in Toronto, with additional regions to follow. Adding BrightDrop’s commercial solutions to its operations is part of DHL’s €7 billion commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

“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,” said Travis Katz, BrightDrop president and CEO. “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.”

Building on the company’s demand in the U.S., with more than 30 customers including household names like Walmart, Hertz and Verizon, BrightDrop has entered the Canadian market with its newest customer and plans to share additional customers in the coming months. These companies and others have contributed to more than 25,000 production reservations and expressions of interest for BrightDrop electric delivery vans.

“As the world’s most international logistics company, we understand the important role we can play in pioneering climate-friendly operations, which is why we’re so pleased to be BrightDrop’s customer in Canada as they invest in local Canadian communities, create unique employment opportunities and promote the growth of sustainable transportation,” said Andrew Williams, CEO for DHL Express Canada. “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.”

To help meet strong customer demand, CAMI expects to produce 50,000 Zevo vans annually by 2025. Scaled production is expected to begin with Zevo 600 models in January 2023 and Zevo 400 models in late 2023. After a record-setting commercialization for GM, BrightDrop has delivered 150 vehicles to its US launch customer, marking one of the largest deployments of commercial electric delivery vans to date.

CAMI assembly line