Electric vans are coming off the switch at GM's factory

Electric vans are coming off the switch at GM's factory

General Motors is turning off the switch at its electric van factory.

The automaker's new BrightDrop commercial van subsidiary has officially begun large-scale production of its cargo vans at GM's CAMI plant in Ontario, Canada.

DHL Express Canada has begun shipping deliveries of the BrightDrop 600, which has 600 cubic feet of cargo space and a driving range of 250 miles per charge.

The payback on energy and maintenance costs is quick and Katz said it is a bit more expensive than a diesel van up front.

The economics are quite compelling. The impact of EV credits will make it easier for customers to save 10,000 per vehicle per year, according to Katz.

The Ford E-Transit is the closest competitor of the major automakers, which is currently priced at $59,605 for a 487.3 cubic-foot model that has a range of 108 miles per charge. The E-Transit shares its platform with internal combustion-powered versions of the Transit that are also offered in retail and passenger van configurations.

DHL will add more than 2,000 E-Transits to its global fleet by the end of 2023, according to the announcement on Monday.

Katz did not say how many vans were purchased by DHL Express Canada, but the delivery company will also be testing BrightDrop's Trace eCart, a battery-powered cart designed for being pulled to and from the van with reduced effort.

The BrightDrop van was the fastest vehicle ever developed by General Motors, taking just 20 months from concept to first delivery. Katz said that the company is on track to become one of the fastest to reach $1 billion in revenue, which it hopes to achieve in 2023.