GM's BrightDrop EV Vans Found A Huge New Customer

GM brand BrightDrop has announced a new partnership with Walmart that'll involve thousands of its electric vehicles for use in the retailer's last-mile delivery network. In addition, BrightDrop and FedEx have expanded their existing partnership, increasing the delivery company's initial EV reservation from 500 to 2,000 vehicles.

All signs point toward an all-electric future and vehicles are no exception. Large companies like Walmart have been testing and otherwise utilizing EVs for what's known as last-mile delivery, which typically refers to the times when a product you've purchased is loaded onto a nearby truck and delivered to your residence.

Walmart's last-mile delivery needs have expanded with its various services, not the least of which is grocery delivery for those who aren't interested in shopping in-store or physically driving themselves to the store for pickup. Under this new partnership, Walmart has reserved 5,000 BrightDrop EVs to help expand its last-mile delivery network.

The reservation covers BrightDrop's EV600 and EV410 electric delivery vans; GM shared images of the EVs decked out in Walmart's bright blue color scheme, logo, and a large emblem showing that the delivery vans are fully electric. According to GM, Walmart will leverage these EVs for its InHome delivery service, which the company just announced will expand from 6 million to 30 million households across the US by the end of 2022.

FedEx, meanwhile, has reserved 2,000 "priority production" electric delivery vans from BrightDrop that it'll get over the "next few years," GM said. The delivery company had originally reserved 500 EVs in 2021; this new deal is on top of that agreement. Over the coming years, FedEx may add up to another 20,000 EVs under a deal said to currently be in the works.

A definitive purchase agreement has not been penned at this time, however, and GM's brand notes that additional negotiation is still necessary. In the meantime, FedEx will start testing more of the BrightDrop EP1 electrified containers this year, rolling them out in 10 markets.

Over the next couple of decades, FedEx plans to make its full delivery and package pickup fleet electric under its carbon-neutral goal. That will require the addition of "hundreds of thousands" of electric delivery vehicles, however, and the process will take years, hence the company's 2040 deadline.