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GM Launches New Commercial EV Brand BrightDrop With Delivery Van

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This year’s CES went virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, though that hasn’t slowed the announcements. General Motors CEO Mary Barra delivered the show’s opening keynote today while announcing several GM EV endeavors. The automaker teased the 2022 Bolt EUV and the Cadillac Celestiq, though it also announced a new commercial EV brand called BrightDrop that’ll begin delivering its first products sometime this year.

The bigger of the two announcements – literally – is the BrightDrop EV600. It’s a light commercial delivery van designed to deliver goods and services on all-electric power, using GM’s Ultium batteries. GM claims the van will offer an estimated range of up to 250 miles on a single charge while charging at a peak rate of 170 miles of range per hour with 120-kilowatt DC fast charging. It boasts over 600 cubic feet of cargo space while protecting it with a cargo area motion security system. GM also offers the van with an array of both standard – and optional – safety equipment, such as automatic emergency braking or rear cross-traffic braking.

The other BrightDrop product that’ll be available will be the EP1. It’s an all-electric pallet designed to help transport cargo. It can store about 23 cubic feet of cargo with a 200-pound payload capacity. The EP1 is designed to help deliver goods over short distances, like from the delivery van to the customer’s front door. It’ll feature lockable cabinet doors and adjustable shelving organizers. GM says it features built-in electric hub motors that can reach up to 3 miles per hour.

Both products will be available this year, with the EP1 becoming available in early 2021 while the EV600 will follow in later this year. The first electric delivery vans should be delivered by the end of the year, with FedEx being BrightDrop’s first customer. The new EV commercial brand hopes to make the EV600 available to order to more customers starting in early 2022. BrightDrop’s new van looks like it’ll compete against the Ford E-Transit, the Blue Oval’s 126-mile electric delivery van set to arrive for the 2022 model year.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/465766/gm-brightdrop-commercial-ev-brand/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Mercedes-Benz EQS Interior Teaser Lets Designers Explain The Cabin

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JLR Cancels Electric Road Rover, Jaguar J-Pace Likely Dead As Well

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Uber spins out delivery robot startup as Serve Robotics

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Postmates X, the robotics division of the on-demand delivery startup that Uber acquired last year for $2.65 billion, has officially spun out as an independent company called Serve Robotics.

TechCrunch reported in January that a deal was being shopped to investors.

Serve Robotics, a name taken from the autonomous sidewalk delivery bot that was developed and piloted by Postmates X, has raised seed funding in a round led by venture capital firm Neo. Other investors included Uber as well as Lee Jacobs and Cyan Banister’s Long Journey Ventures, Western Technology Investment, Scott Banister, Farhad Mohit and Postmates co-founders Bastian Lehmann and Sean Plaice.

Serve Robotics didn’t share specifics of the funding except to confirm that the round, which will be a Series A, has not been completed yet. Funding a spin out can occur in phases, with the first tranche used for the initial launch and the rest of the round closing once IP has been transferred.

The new company will be run by Ali Kashani, who headed up Postmates X. Other co-founders include Dmitry Demeshchuk, the first engineer who joined the Serve team at Postmates and MJ Chun, who previously led product at Anki, has been heading up product strategy at Serve. The company is launching with 60 employees with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Los Angeles and Vancouver, Canada.

Serve Robotics Uber Postmates

Image Credits: Serve Robotics

“While self-driving cars remove the driver, robotic delivery eliminates the car itself and makes deliveries sustainable and accessible to all,” said Kashani, co-founder and CEO of Serve Robotics. “Over the next two decades, new mobility robots will enter every aspect of our lives–first moving food, then everything else.”

Postmates’ exploration into sidewalk delivery bots began in earnest in 2017 after the company quietly acquired Kashani’s startup Lox Inc. As head of Postmates X, Kashani set out to answer the question: why move two-pound burritos with two-ton cars? Postmates revealed its first Serve autonomous delivery bot in December 2018. A second generation — with an identical design but different lidar sensors and few other upgrades — emerged in summer 2019 ahead of its planned commercial launch in Los Angeles.

The company’s mission to design, develop, and operate delivery robots specialized in navigating sidewalks will continue, albeit with an eye towards expansion. Serve will continue its delivery operations in Los Angeles. It plans to ramp up research and development in the San Francisco Bay area and expand its market reach through new partnerships.

The spin out is consistent with Uber’s aim to narrow the focus of its business on ride-hailing and delivery in a push towards profitability. This strategy began to take shape after Uber’s public market debut in May 2019 and accelerated last year as the COVID-19 pandemic put pressure on the ride-hailing company. Two years ago, Uber had enterprises across the transportation landscape, from ride-hailing and micromobility to logistics, public transit, food delivery and futuristic bets like autonomous vehicles and air taxis. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has dismantled the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach as he pushes the company toward profitability.

In 2020, Uber offloaded shared scooter and bike unit Jump in a complex deal with Lime, sold a stake worth $500 million in its logistics spinoff Uber Freight and rid itself of its autonomous vehicle unit Uber ATG and its air taxi play Uber Elevate. Aurora acquired Uber ATG in a deal that had a similar structure to the Jump-Lime transaction. Aurora didn’t pay cash for Uber ATG. Instead, Uber handed over its equity in ATG and invested $400 million into Aurora, which gave it a 26% stake in the combined company. In a similarly crafted deal, Uber Elevate was sold to Joby Aviation in December.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/03/02/uber-spins-out-delivery-robot-startup-as-serve-robotics/

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The 2022 C40 Recharge will be Volvo’s first leather-free EV

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Volvo is going all in on going green, the company announced during an online press event on Tuesday. The car maker pledged to produce nothing but electrics by 2030, go fully carbon neutral by 2040 and to begin selling its vehicles virtually — startin… Checkout PrimeXBT
Source: https://www.engadget.com/the-2022-c-40-recharge-will-be-volvos-first-leather-free-ev-161142216.html

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