GM, Startup Commercial Company BrightDrop Announce Fleet Charging Service

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【Summary】General Motors believes that having a charging service for fleet use will help the transition to electric vehicles.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jul 11, 2021 4:00 PM PT
GM, Startup Commercial Company BrightDrop Announce Fleet Charging Service

Automakers and charging companies have focused on charging infrastructure for private owners before commercial customers. While this has helped consumers make the switch to electric vehicles, it's left commercial customers, which are more inclined to see the full benefits of electric vehicles, out to dry. General Motors is looking to change that with a new charging system.

Making Fleet EVs Easier To Use

Earlier this week, General Motors and BrightDrop, its startup commercial van business, announced a new fleeting charging service called Ultium Charge 360. The system will operate similarly to the Ultium Charge 360 charging service that General Motors offers for its retail vehicles. The main difference is that Ultium Charge 360 allows fleet customers to utilize resources, services, and features that are aimed at making electric-vehicle ownership easier.

"Fleets have a significant impact on the transition to EVs and by expanding Ultium Charge 360 to our fleet customers, GM aims to be a significant industry leader to advance fleet EV adoption at scale and accelerate our goal of reaching 1 million EV sales globally by 2025," said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet, in a statement to the Detroit Free Press.

GM's retail Ultium Charge 360 service is tied directly to the automaker's mobile apps, providing owners with access to products and services that make it easier to find charging stations or to pay for charging. The fleet service will provide similar features, but for fleet use, including fleet and facility management tools, OnStar Vehicle Insights, GM's fleet management solution, the BrightDrop fleet and asset management platform, as well as support for various fleet segments.

BrightDrop Coming Out With EV

With the introduction of the new fleet charging service, General Motors hopes that it will help fleet companies make the switch to electric vehicles. The American automaker is working with EVgo, eTransEnergy, In-Charge Energy, and Scneider Electric for the new fleet charging system. Additionally, GM is expanding its relationship with Merit and EVgo to provide fleet customers with more charging choices.

"Through Ultium Charge 360, BrightDrop fleet operators will be able to access tools and resources that will help accelerate their transition to sustainable all-electric delivery fleets," said Travis Katz, CEO of BrightDrop. "This is a turning point for our industry. Our commercial delivery customers are seeking innovative approaches to lower their operating costs as they electrify their fleets."

BrightDrop came out earlier this January. The startup has plans to offer the EV600, a commercial electric truck, to companies in need of a green transporter that is being manufactured with some help from German supplier Kuka. Fedex is BrightDrop's first customer and has ordered 500 vehicles by the end of this year.

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