General Motors Co. (GM) is developing an electric van. The new initiative will be aimed at delivery companies such as Amazon.com, UPS, and FedEx.
Reuters is reporting that GM is aiming to build and deliver more electric vehicles in an attempt to corner a potentially lucrative market among package delivery companies. It’s a segment that Tesla has surprisingly not yet entered. General Motors, the top U.S. automaker, has said publicly that it plans to introduce at least 20 all-electric vehicles by 2023. Those EVs will be in a variety of body styles including sedans, trucks, and crossovers.
General Motors (and other automakers like Ford) view trucks and commercial vehicles among their most profitable business lines.
The electric GM van – code-named “BV1” – is due to start production in late 2021. It is believed that the BV1 will share similar components with GM’s future electric pick-up trucks and SUVs. That means it will probably include GM’s Ultium advanced battery system. It’s expected that the BV1 van will be assembled at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant.
GM is still considering how to brand the BV1. IT might offer the vehicle through its traditional truck brands of Chevrolet and GMC. It could also end up under a different brand, like Maven. GM’s first electric pick-up truck, due in late 2021, will be sold as a Hummer.
GM isn’t the only game in town, though. In February, Ford said it would introduce an electric version of its Transit van for 2022. “The most critical bet we will be making over the next several years will be our commercial vehicles,” Ford’s CEO Jim Farley said at the time.
Other automotive companies expected to develop electric delivery vans and other electric commercial vehicles include Daimler AG, Volkswagen, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. As online commerce and home delivery businesses continue to expand into multi-billion dollar industries, it’s no surprise that every major car maker wants a piece of the action.