GM and its new EV business unit BrightDrop are launching a fleet charging service as the automaker aims to ramp up its bet on connected and electric commercial vehicles.
The service, branded Ultium Charge 360 fleet charging service in a nod to GM’s new electric architecture and batteries that will be the foundation of its future EV plans, offers many of the tools that a commercial delivery, sales or motor pool business might need. It also includes an effort to add home charging for drivers.
The charging service is the latest addition to BrightDrop, which was launched in January. The business unit offers commercial customers — starting with FedEx — an ecosystem of electric and connected products. BrightDrop has said it will begin with two main products: an electric van called the EV600 with an estimated range of 250 miles and a pod-like electric pallet dubbed EP1. BrightDrop is part of GM’s aim to reach 1 million EV sales globally by 2025.
GM and BrightDrop are launching the charging service with Duke Energy company eTransEnergy, EVgo, In-Charge Energy and Schneider Electric, four companies that can provide the infrastructure needed to keep the commercial vans properly powered.
On the home-charging front, GM said it will expand an existing agreement with Qmerit.
The service is meant to provide tools for fleet operators, which Alex Keros, GM’s lead architect of EV Infrastructure, noted in a call with reporters Thursday are an important market growth segment and a critical piece of the electrification puzzle. The company looked at “how to put the right customer experiences together … you know, when you think about fleets these are cars that come home with employees for example, and we’ll have to help those companies and employees figure out charging in their home.”