FedEx conquers holiday delivery with electric cart delivery, courtesy of GM’s BrightDrop

The holiday season can be especially difficult for delivery workers or Santa’s helpers with the never-ending task of delivering everyone’s packages on time. FedEx is deploying a new solution, thanks to GM’s electric delivery startup BrightDrop, which will help not only delivery workers but also the communities they serve.

General Motors established BrightDrop in early 2021 to develop last-mile electric delivery solutions.

With e-commerce expanding significantly in the past several years, it has become a priority to reduce carbon emissions in the industry. BrightDrop has three products so far, including:

  • BrightDrop Trace electric cart
  • BrightDrop Zevo EV delivery van (600 and 400)
  • BrightDrop software platform enabling connectivity

This past April, BrightDrop rebranded its electric delivery vans to include ZEVO in a nod to zero-emission vehicles and EVs.

The electric delivery vans are powered by GM’s Ultium platform, which is used for its current and upcoming electric vehicles like the Chevy Blazer EV and Silverado EV.

When the BrightDrop electric delivery van was introduced in 2021, it was revealed FedEx had already placed an order for 500 units that began delivering in December of that year. The e-commerce giant followed it up with an order for 1,500 more in January as part of its standard vehicle replacement schedule.

Meanwhile, BrightDrop’s Trace electric cart, an electronically propelled cart designed to optimize delivery, can add another dimension to last-mile solutions.

FedEx worker using BrightDrop electric delivery cart (Source: FedEx)

FedEx expands electric cart delivery program

If you live in New York City, keep a lookout for electric delivery carts rolling by. FedEx said in a press release today it has expanded its electric cart delivery pilot program designed to improve deliveries in major cities.

Michael Salerno, a FedEx Express senior station operations manager in Manhattan, stated:

FedEx customers depend on us to deliver resourcefully and reliably, especially during the holidays. By furthering the use of these carts on real routes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, FedEx hopes to shape what the future of efficient urban delivery could look like.

The e-carts will be deployed during the business time of the year to help reduce wait times and improve delivery efficiency.

Using electric delivery carts will help reduce emissions during a time when carbon emissions typically spike due to idling vehicles. On top of this, by using e-carts, FedEx can navigate high-traffic streets, alleviating some of its biggest bottlenecks.

FedEx says the electric delivery carts will be making deliveries in five NYC locations, including the Diamond District, Theatre District, Midtown, Midtown East, and Brooklyn Heights.

The e-commerce company is striving for a more efficient network to reach its goal of carbon-neutral operations globally by 2040. FedEx will continue analyzing the progress to help drive change in last-mile delivery solutions.

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Avatar for Peter Johnson Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is covering the auto industry’s step-by-step transformation to electric vehicles. He is an experienced investor, financial writer, and EV enthusiast. His enthusiasm for electric vehicles, primarily Tesla, is a significant reason he pursued a career in investments. If he isn’t telling you about his latest 10K findings, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or exercising