General Motors says it has secured a second major fleet customer for its BrightDrop urban delivery business. BrightDrop was launched last month at CES and offers electric first-to-last-mile products and software services to fleets.

FedEx Express is slated to be the first major customer for BrightDrop’s services, including adding a new purpose-built GM electric delivery van – the EV600 – to its fleet later this year.

Now there’s a second fleet order.

Merchants Fleet, described as the US’s ‘fastest-growing fleet management company’, has announced its plans to further electrify its portfolio with BrightDrop. Merchants Fleet is working with BrightDrop to procure 12,600 BrightDrop EV600s. The EV600 is powered by the Ultium battery system.

Merchants Fleet expects BrightDrop EV600s to enter its clients’ fleets starting in early 2023.

“Merchants Fleet’s move to add such a large number of BrightDrop EV600s to their portfolio signals their strong commitment to accelerate the electric fleet movement, and their belief that BrightDrop solutions will help them and their clients achieve a greener and more efficient future,” said BrightDrop President and CEO Travis Katz.

“We are proud to be the first fleet management company to work with BrightDrop, the innovative and vital new solution from GM,” said Brendan P. Keegan, CEO of Merchants Fleet. “Merchants Fleet is fully committed to the future of electrification, and working to add BrightDrop EV600s to our clients’ fleets is an exciting part of our broader strategy. We look forward to continuing to expand our EV fleet capabilities to provide our clients with a range of electric vehicle services and solutions to meet their evolving needs.”

Merchants Fleet aims to have 50% of its mobility fleet portfolio electric by 2025, and 50% of its managed fleet portfolio fully electric by 2030. The company has officially launched Electrify Fleet, a  vehicle electrification initiative designed to rapidly deploy new electric commercial vehicles into the market with OEM partners. In addition to increasing EV availability, the initiative is also focused on educating clients about the advantages, applications, and options available to them and providing tools and insights to help them make a seamless and cost-effective entry into EV. In December 2020, Merchants hired electrification expert Hari Nayar as Director of Electrification and Sustainability to lead its program.

EV600 production earmarked for Canadian plant

General Motors plans to bring production of its BrightDrop electric light commercial vehicle, the EV600, to its CAMI manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. The nearly US$800m (C$1bn) investment will support plans to launch the EV600 late in 2021. The investment will enable GM to convert CAMI into Canada’s first large scale electric delivery vehicles manufacturing plant.

See also: VIRTUAL CES: GM shoots for electric delivery segment

GM to invest $800 million to convert CAMI into Canada’s first large-scale commercial electric vehicle manufacturing plant