General Motors is accelerating the development of all-electric vans produced by its new business unit BrightDrop. On the other hand, the company has also revealed its ambitions to bring flying car taxis into the market.
On Tuesday, January 12, shares of General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) hit a five-year record high as the Detroit automaker made interesting announcements. General Motors plans to launch an all-electric delivery van EV600 by the end of this year.
Thus, GM stock closed 6.29% higher at $47.82 on Tuesday. After hitting a low under $20 in March 2020, GM stock has surged more than 200% in the last 10 months.
A new commercial business unit of General Motors called BrightDrop shall release the EV600 electric van later this year. Besides, the decision is also working on unveiling a full product for electric vehicles which also included a delivery pallet. Just like every other automaker, General Motors plans to have a dedicated electric vehicle unit. The Detroit automaker plans to invest nearly $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025.
Pam Fletcher, vice president of global innovation at General Motors, will oversee the new BrightDrop division. He stated:
“The game changer about BrightDrop is that it’s a one-stop shop ecosystem. End-to-end, BrightDrop could help with the deliveries fleets need.”
Fletcher further added that all vehicles from the BrightDrop division shall be rolled-out via an independent sales and services network. The first 500 EV600 vans will go to FedEx. Fletcher added that one can expect broader availability of the vans by early 2022. The EV600 comes with GM’s next-generation Ultium battery system for which the automaker has spent billions of dollars.
“The interest for these products have been tremendous,” Fletcher said, adding that “a pilot program of the pallets with FedEx last year found drivers were able to deliver 25% more packages per day, she said. The pallets, like all of the company’s products, will be electric and will feature connectivity and tracking features for logistical purposes”.
General Motors Van and Foray into Personal Air Mobility
General Motors is undertaking another interesting project and venturing into “personal air mobility”. This project comes as part of Cadillac’s portfolio of luxury and EV vehicles. The project involves building autonomous vehicles along with all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Yes, this sounds very much similar to a flying car taxi. Companies like Uber are already working on flying taxi project. Michael Simcoe, vice president of GM global design said that each concept reflects “the needs and wants of the passengers at a particular moment in time and GM’s vision of the future of transportation. This is a special moment for General Motors as we reimagine the future of personal transportation for the next five years and beyond”.
GM said that the flying vehicle will hold one passenger and travel around 56mph between rooftops and other urban destinations. Also, as per JPMorgan, personal air mobility shall likely be a $1.5 trillion market by 2040.