General Motors subsidiary BrightDrop has entered Canada, its first international market, as large-scale production of its Zevo 600 electric delivery van has begun at the CAMI Assembly plant in Ontario.

BrightDrop has also announced that DHL Express Canada has placed an order for an unspecified number of Zevo electric vans. The international shipping and logistics giant plans to add its first BrightDrop Zevo electric delivery vans to its fleet early next year. 

In addition, the company is currently piloting BrightDrop's Trace eCarts and Core software platform in Toronto, with additional regions to follow. Adding BrightDrop's commercial solutions to its operations is part of DHL's €7 billion ($7.35 billion) commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The General Motors business unit said production of the BrightDrop Zevo 600 electric delivery vans has begun at the CAMI Assembly plant, making the Ontario facility Canada's first large-scale EV factory. The facility was recently converted to EV manufacturing.

"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. 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."

Travis Katz, BrightDrop president and CEO

Gallery: BrightDrop Zevo 600 production at CAMI Assembly plant in Ontario

CAMI expects to produce 50,000 Zevo vans annually by 2025 to help meet strong customer demand. Scaled production is expected to begin with Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 models in January 2023 and late 2023, respectively.

BrightDrop says it currently has more than 25,000 production reservations and expressions of interest for its electric delivery vans in the US, from more than 30 fleet customers. Those include Walmart, FedEx, Hertz and Verizon, among other companies. BrightDrop has delivered 150 vehicles to FedEx, its US launch customer, marking one of the largest deployments of commercial electric delivery vans to date.

Entering the Canadian market is part of BrightDrop's mission to address the $250 billion last-mile delivery industry as companies around the world set goals to electrify their fleets and optimize operations.

"DHL made a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and as we continue to invest in our electric ground fleet worldwide, which now includes 27,000 electric vehicles, relationships such as the one we're launching with BrightDrop in Canada helps bring us closer to our sustainability goals while also supporting our customers with their own climate goals."

Andrew Williams, CEO for DHL Express Canada

BrightDrop says it plans to share the names of additional customers from the Canadian market in the coming months.

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