The official world world record for an electric delivery van on a single charge — 258.85 miles — is now held by a Brightdrop Zevo 600. Its official range estimate is 250 miles and its top speed is electronically limited to 65 mph. The record was set last week by Stephen Marlin, a client solutions account executive for BrightDrop, the division of General Motors that took the battery electric van from concept to production in a mere 20 months. That’s a record for any vehicle ever produced by GM.
In the passenger seat was The Verge contributor Andrew Hawkins, who served as the official observer required by Guinness World Records to make sure there is no chicanery involved in a record stetting event. He notes all the other vans in the FedEx parking lot in midtown Manhattan had their hoods raised as their drivers checked oil and fluid levels prior to the beginning of the work day, but the Brightdrop Zevo 600 (it used to be called the EV 600 before the marketing department got involved) is sitting quietly, ready to begin its journey to Washington, DC, with stops along the way in Philadelphia and Baltimore.
The Zevo 600 has a gross vehicle weight of under 10,000 pounds and over 600 cubic feet of room for packages. It has a smaller cousin, the Zevo 400. A free lifetime subscription to CleanTechnica if you can guess what the name means! [As an aside, there is no earthly reason why an even smaller version couldn’t meet the needs of the US Postal Service, but that’s a separate story.]
The battery state of charge indicator is at 98% as the Brightdrop begins its journey south. Before the day is over, it will have set the official world record, but there’s a catch. Prior to April 22, 2022, there was no world record, at least not one the people at Guinness knew about. The Brigthdrop Zevo 600 was the first to ever attempt to set such a record.
After the journey was over and the results submitted, Andy Glass, an adjudicator at Guinness World Records, sent the following message: “Congratulations to Stephen Marlin, BrightDrop, and FedEx on achieving the Guinness World Records title for the greatest distance traveled by an electric van on a single charge. This accomplishment is a perfect example of the extraordinary efforts taken to make a difference for the environment and a fitting way to commemorate Earth Day 2022. We welcome them into the family of Guinness World Records title holders.”
CarScoops says both the Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 are based on the Ultium platform for battery-electric vehicles, the same foundation used for the Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. Brightdrop says it has booked more than 25,000 reservations for the two vehicles. FedEx itself has agreed to purchase 2,500 of them, while Walmart has signed up for 5000.
“Since the beginning, the Zevo 600 has been a record setting vehicle. Now we’re seeing firsthand what BrightDrop can do by pairing our zero operating emissions technology with FedEx, a leader in the transportation and delivery industry,” said Travis Katz, CEO of BrightDrop. “Having a long battery range with reliable power is critical to electrifying delivery fleets everywhere. This special delivery highlights our products’ advanced capabilities and our mission to decarbonize deliveries.”
Maybe someday Rivian or some other maker of electric delivery vans will break this new record, but it’s really somewhat irrelevant if they do. Most such vehicles barely cover 100 miles in a work day, although they may stop 50 times or more while they do. The point is, if you are a fleet operator, you no longer have to be concerned about your electric trucks all running out of juice and needing to be towed back to the barn every bight.
They are here, they are ready to work, and that’s the end of it. The electric delivery van era has arrived and if you aren’t part of it, your costs of doing business will be higher than your competition. That’s the triple net, rock solid, bottom line.
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