One year down and we're just getting started01/31/2022
It's been a game-changing first 12 months for BrightDrop with more milestones than we can mention here. Last January, we set out on a journey to pioneer innovative solutions as we race to decarbonize last-mile deliveries and towards an all-electric future -- and we've made quite the progress. Demand for e-commerce is growing every day, and it’s our priority to offer solutions that address the challenges created by this on-demand economy. This includes providing products and services that help reduce pollution and congestion in the places we live and work, and alleviating pressure on couriers, all while getting deliveries to people faster.
To help decarbonize our cities, electrifying delivery is critical. But the opportunity is even bigger. BrightDrop is reimagining the delivery ecosystem and, in just one year, we’ve achieved a record-breaking manufacturing milestone, revealed cutting-edge logistics software, expanded testing of our revolutionary electric delivery carts, and announced leading Fortune 500 customers that are helping push the industry’s reimagination of delivery.
Let’s take a look back.
Record-Breaking Product Launches
Earlier in the year, we announced two marquee electric light commercial vehicles - the Zevo 600 and its mid-size counterpart, the Zevo 400.
In December, after just 20 months, we met our ambitious goal of delivering the first of 500 Zevo 600s to FedEx Express, in time for another peak holiday shipping season. Those vehicles are already out in the field making deliveries today in Los Angeles. That milestone established the Zevo 600 as the fastest vehicle produced, from concept to market, in GM’s history. Truly remarkable and worth celebrating.
And while that alone would have made a successful first year, it was just the icing on the cake.
Announced Major, Fortune 500 Customers
And we landed some of the world’s largest companies as EV customers. Just this month, we announced that Walmart has signed an agreement to reserve 5,000 EVs, and FedEx entered into an agreement to secure priority for production of an additional 2,000 EVs on top of the 500 they were already slated to receive. Merchants Fleet, the nation’s fastest growing fleet management company, is now planning to purchase 18,000 BrightDrop EVs, while Verizon also plans to incorporate the Zevo 400 into their fleet of vehicles. This EV portfolio is not only critical for our customers, whose growth strategies increasingly rely on electrification, it can be beneficial for the wellbeing of our planet.
In addition to becoming a leading commercial EV provider, 2021 was a year of refining our solutions that go beyond the vehicle, including the Trace eCart, an electric cart designed to transport goods over short distances - for example, from a delivery vehicle to your front door. Last year, our pilot program with FedEx helped couriers safely and effectively handle 25 percent more packages per day with less physical strain on workers. A different limited pilot in NYC showed the Trace eCart allowed the removal of one on-road vehicle from the delivery route and cut delivery vehicle curbside dwell time in half, when used on routes in a high-density, vertical urban environment. The success of these pilots led to FedEx announcing plans to expand testing of the Trace eCart to 10 markets, beginning in 2022.
Expanded Our Footprint and Our Team
We also reimagined how delivery vehicles are sold, establishing our first dealership with an innovative structure aimed at serving the needs of large fleet customers. Downtime is death for customers, and our customer-centric dealer structure provides the expertise, service and support needed to ensure fleet operators can keep vehicles on the road. This model allows us to provide real world service to the vehicles we provide.
On top of these huge milestones, we expanded our executive bench to bring on notable leaders like Chief Technology Officer Anthony Armenta from Postmates/Serve Robotics, Chief Product Officer Rachad Youssef from Nio, Chief People Officer Shaluinn Fullove from Lyft, and Chief Revenue Officer Steve Hornyak from Fabric. And we grew our team from 20 employees to more than 150, with expertise spanning robotics, autonomy, manufacturing and more.
The secret to our success at BrightDrop is our people who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise from building innovative businesses and products at tech moguls like Apple, Facebook, Google and Lyft, to e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart, as well as some of the brightest minds from within GM. And this is just the beginning – in 2022, we are focused on continuing to welcome top tech minds and engineering talent to our team. Come join us!
Fast forward to this year, BrightDrop is embracing the spirit that led to incredible progress for our company, our industry, and our world in 2021 and we’re looking to move with even greater velocity in 2022. We have set some ambitious goals as we continue to scale the business in our race to decarbonize last-mile deliveries – and will keep knocking it out of the park with the help of our stellar team.
Most importantly, we will continue to address the urgency of climate change head-on with innovative solutions that help build smarter delivery systems. This will help us unlock our shared vision of the future, from the first mile to the last.