Prime Minister Trudeau with a BrightDrop Zevo 600 built at CAMI Assembly, Canada’s first full-scale EV manufacturing plant, in Ingersoll, Ont.

It’s official — the first BrightDrop Zevo 600 electric delivery van has rolled off the line at GM’s recently retooled CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, which happens to be Canada’s first large-scale EV factory. Not only that, but BrightDrop’s first international client, DHL Express Canada, is expected to receive its first Zevo delivery in early 2023.

For those unfamiliar, BrightDrop is a GM-backed EV logistics company that focuses on building delivery vehicles for commercial customers. Prior to the reopening of the CAMI factory, BrightDrop vans were produced (in very limited fashion) at another facility in Michigan. Following an $800 million investment into CAMI, GM expects the factory to boast an output of 50,000 Zevo EVs per year by 2025.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario premier Doug Ford and other ministers were on hand for the announcement.

DHL CEO Andrew Williams said in a press release that DHL’s worldwide fleet includes over 27,000 EVs already, and BrightDrop will help to push the company across the finish line with respect to its 2050 sustainability goals. “As the world’s most international logistics company, we understand the important role we can play in pioneering climate-friendly operations, which is why we’re so pleased to be BrightDrop’ s customer in Canada as they invest in local Canadian communities, create unique employment opportunities and promote the growth of sustainable transportation,” he shared. DHL Canada is also reportedly testing out BrightDrop’s logistic software program in Toronto, as well as its Trace eCart delivery pallets that can “help workers securely transport more packages from vehicle to door.”

In January of 2023, BrightDrop is expected to begin at-scale production of the larger Zevo 600 vehicle, with production of its smaller Zevo 400 expected to follow in late 2023. “We are fully committed to an all-electric future,” GM Canada president Marissa West told CBC News in an interview. “We’re seeing a really high customer demand.”

“Bringing BrightDrop to Canada and starting production at CAMI is a major step to providing EVs at scale, while delivering real results to the world’s biggest brands,” shared BrightDrop CEO and president Travis Katz. “Our international expansion is proof that we can deliver exactly what our customers need where they need it. Having DHL Express Canada come onboard as a new customer shows the confidence legacy brands have in our ability to deliver.”

Already, BrightDrop reportedly has over 30 customers, including FedEx, DHL, and Walmart, with more than 25,000 vans either reserved or intended for. BrightDrop has also projected that the company will achieve $1 billion in revenue for 2023 and $10 billion with a 20 per cent profit margin by the end of the decade.

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