Ryder Gets Its First Brightdrop Electric Vans, & They Look Neat!

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Ryder, a prominent truck rental company in the United States, recently made an exciting announcement. It has deployed its first set of BrightDrop Zevo 600 electric vans at strategic Ryder facilities in California, Texas, and New York. This introduction of BrightDrop’s electric vans into Ryder’s rental fleet marks a significant milestone in their ongoing efforts to meet the growing demand and adoption of commercial electric vehicles (EVs) in the country.

Earlier this year, Ryder revealed its ambitious plans to incorporate 4,000 BrightDrop electric vans into its fleet by 2025. As a testament to its commitment, the company has already placed an order for the initial 200 vans this year. Ryder is taking proactive steps to embrace sustainable transportation solutions and contribute to a greener future.

To introduce the new EVs to the Ryder fleet, Ryder organized “Ride & Drive” events for customers. These events showcased the BrightDrop vans as well as EV chargers from ChargePoint. Customers had the opportunity to experience the power, safety, and efficiency of these vehicles while learning more about Ryder’s fleet investments and strategic initiatives with EV and charging manufacturers.

Ryder locations in Southern California (Santa Fe Springs), Northern California (Hayward), Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas (Saginaw), and New York (Long Island City) now offer rental services for the BrightDrop Zevo 600 electric vans. Experience the convenience of emission-free transportation in these areas.

“Working with companies such as BrightDrop keeps Ryder at the forefront of identifying and testing advanced and emerging vehicle technology, and we’re excited to incorporate these new EVs into our fleet,” says Tom Havens, president of fleet management solutions for Ryder. “Through our partnerships with technology providers and equipment manufacturers, Ryder can offer commercial fleet management solutions that drive sustainability and operational goals for our customers.”

The BrightDrop Zevo 600 electric van impresses with a remarkable range of up to 250 miles and a payload capacity ranging from 1,460 to 2,450 lb. This electric light commercial van from BrightDrop not only offers the advantages of an electric powertrain but also provides ample cargo space with a capacity of 615 cubic feet.

“Electrifying commercial fleets can reduce operating emissions without sacrificing range, safety, or performance,” said Steve Hornyak, chief commercial officer for BrightDrop. “By adding BrightDrop EVs to its fleet offerings, Ryder is helping make electrification possible for companies big and small.”

The Ryder rental fleet offers a range of EV options, including the BrightDrop Zevos. Renting through Ryder provides numerous benefits, such as flexible vehicle insurance coverage, around-the-clock roadside assistance, geotagging for monitoring vehicle usage, and more. Ryder’s charging infrastructure, powered by ChargePoint, ensures accessible charging options at their facilities and public charging stations. This enables longer trips and greater flexibility for EV drivers. Additionally, Ryder’s single-source maintenance service ensures optimal vehicle performance.

Ryder introduced its turnkey EV fleet solution, RyderElectric+, last year, catering to companies seeking long-term rentals. This comprehensive offering navigates the EV landscape and provides customers with electrification advisors, leased vehicles, charging infrastructure, telematics, and maintenance services, all bundled at a single price.

“Ryder’s aim is to continue to evaluate and provide advanced vehicle technology solutions to help customers seamlessly integrate EVs into their business,” says Carlo Rodriguez, managing director for electric vehicles for Ryder.

You Probably Won’t Be Able To Rent One For A Moving Truck, Though

I was curious about renting one myself sometime to see how Brightdrop’s trucks work out, but sadly, you probably can’t rent one like you can a U-Haul or Penske truck.

Through no fault of the company at all, the part of the company that used to offer one-way moving services of that kind found itself in a real mess in the 1990s. On top of declining revenues and increased competition in that space, two terrorist attacks were conducted using Ryder rental trucks — the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, which failed to bring any buildings completely down, as well as the extremely deadly 1995 attack on a federal building in Oklahoma City. The two attacks put Ryder’s truck in the news in a bad way. I personally remember a number of people saying something about the Oklahoma City bombing whenever they’d see a Ryder truck, and it wasn’t a big surprise when we stopped seeing the iconic yellow trucks.

But let’s keep in mind that the company not only did everything right in vetting customers (to the limits of what they could do under the law), but it’s also been careful to avoid letting any future trucks get used like this, even if it costs the company good money.

While we aren’t going to see yellow EV Ryder Trucks in this reality (maybe they have them in some alternate reality where McVeigh got caught by a more competent FBI, or wasn’t radicalized by poor federal decisions in Waco, Texas), we do get a classy new red livery for the Brightdrop electric vans available for fleet and round-trip customers, and I’m loving it.

Image provided by Ryder.

As you can see in the image at the top of the article, they’ve got a nice red color that fades to black and then back to red again. They also have nice hexagon shapes (my kids say “hexagons are the bestagons”), text making it clear that the vehicles are electric, and some nice blue accents around the main EV lightning bolt graphic.

So, it’s clear that the company is not only proud to rent electric vehicles out, but is also trying to use this move to expand the Ryder business. The electric vans even have prominent graphics saying, “RENT ME 855-RYDER-EV.”

With over 4,000 total EVs coming in the next couple of years, I’m looking forward to seeing this new design take to the streets. It might not be the classic yellow, but it’s got a decent design that’s fresh for 2023 and it’s got what really counts: electric drive. For commercial customers, it probably includes other Brightdrop features like good software management and Brightdrops cart system. So, they’re good options all around, both for the Earth and for people who need things moved.

Featured image provided by Ryder.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1770 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba