GM Debuts BrightDrop To Electrify Logistics
Just days after unveiling its new logo, which is meant to evoke "the clean skies of a zero-emissions future," General Motors announced its latest move as it continues to go all-in on electric vehicles.
With Wall Street currently obsessed with electric vehicles, GM launched a new business named BrightDrop, which will offer electric first-to-last-mile products, software and services for delivery and logistics companies. BrightDrop will offer solutions to improve almost every aspect of first-to-last-mile delivery that will help businesses reduce expenses, maximize productivity, improve employee safety and support overall sustainability efforts.
GM estimates the combined market opportunity for parcel, food delivery and reverse logistics in the U.S. will be more than $850 billion by 2025. Citing World Economic Forum data, GM says urban last-mile delivery is expected to grow by 78% by 2030, leading to a 34% increase in the number of delivery vehicles needed.
"BrightDrop offers a smarter way to deliver goods and services," GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said. "We are building on our significant expertise in electrification, mobility applications, telematics and fleet management, with a new one-stop-shop solution for commercial customers to move goods in a better, more sustainable way."
BrightDrop's first product to market will be the the EP1, which is a propulsion-assisted, electric pallet to help move items over short distances. The EP1, which will be available early this year, already underwent a pilot program through a partnership with FedEx Express, enabling the company's couriers to handle 25% more packages per day.
"BrightDrop is a perfect example of the innovations we are adopting to transform our company as time-definite express transportation continues to grow," FedEx Express regional president of the Americas Richard Smith said. "With this new suite of products, we will help improve the safety, security and timeliness of FedEx Express deliveries, while reducing our environmental impact and protecting the well-being of our couriers."
BrightDrop's second product to market will be the EV600, which is an electric light commercial vehicle designed for delivering goods and services over ranges of up to 250 miles. The EV600 will be powered by GM's Ultium battery system and features more than 600 cubic feet of cargo space. GM says early customer interest has been strong as the first deliveries will take place by the end of this year, with more customers able to place orders in 2022.
Investors cheered the news as GM shares jumped more than 6% yesterday to a record high and are now up 45% from the company's post-bankruptcy initial public offering in November 2010.
Travis Katz, who previously served as entrepreneur-in-residence at venture capital firm Redpoint Ventures, will serve as BrightPoint President and CEO. BrightPoint will initially serve U.S and Canadian customers with full support, including maintenance needs, securing parts and scheduling repairs.
As investors continue to pour money into everything related to electric vehicles, GM investors are being rewarded as the company continues to lay out its vision of a "zero-emissions future."
Walmart pilots new grocery delivery program. Walmart announced it will test delivering groceries to a temperature-controlled HomeValet-powered smart box outside customers' homes this spring in Bentonville, Arkansas. The smart box runs on an internet of things (IoT) platform with three temperature-controlled zones, enabling frozen, refrigerated and pantry items to be delivered. "If there's one thing we know about our customers, it's that they're busier than ever," Walmart said. "Our pilot with HomeValet is one of many solutions we're testing that can make their days more manageable."
Boeing reports record cancellations. Boeing announced it delivered 157 planes last year as cancellations topped 650 planes, a new record for the company. Boeing saw 184 gross orders for planes last year as the company removed more than 1,000 planes from its backlog. "As we continue navigating through the pandemic, we're working closely with our global customers and monitoring the slow international traffic recovery to align supply with market demand across our widebody programs," Boeing CFO Greg Smith said.
Twitter suspends nearly 100,000 accounts. Following the riots in Washington, DC, Twitter announced it has suspended more than 70,000 accounts as it laid out the steps the company has taken to "protect" the conversation on Twitter. "We've been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm," Twitter said. "Given the violent events in Washington, DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon."
PIMCO warns of complacency. PIMCO said in its 2021 outlook that the U.S. economy should return to pre-pandemic levels later this year but warned investors could be caught off guard by factors such as a pullback in U.S. fiscal stimulus and cautious U.S. spending, investment and hiring. "Investors may have become too complacent as reflected by the bullish consensus positioning. As these risk factors underline, we see this as a time for careful portfolio positioning and not for excessive optimism or risk-taking," PIMCO wrote.
Yelp will let you rate health precautions. Yelp announced a new feature that will let users see details about a restaurant such as whether social distancing is being enforced and if the staff is wearing masks. The information will be displayed on a business' Yelp page under the "Health & Safety Measures" icon. "As the pandemic continues to change our daily lives, we are relentlessly focused on addressing the needs of both local businesses and consumers by providing helpful and up-to-date information during these uncertain times," Yelp said.