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General Motors Reveals New Service for EV Commercial Fleets

Yesterday, General Motors announced the Ultium Charge 360 fleet service, which is intended to encourage electric vehicle adoption among commercial fleet organizations by making EV charging easier.

Electric Car Vehicle Charging station
(TNS) — General Motors wants to make electric vehicle ownership easier for commercial fleet customers with a new charging system.

On Thursday, GM and its startup commercial van business, BrightDrop, announced the Ultium Charge 360 fleet charging service.

The new system will work similar to the Ultium Charge 360 offered on GM's retail vehicles, only this new system allows fleet customers to connect with services, features and resources to make using EVs easier.

"Fleets have a significant impact on the transition to EVs and by expanding Ultium Charge 360 to our fleet customers, GM aims to be a significant industry leader to advance fleet EV adoption at scale and accelerate our goal of reaching 1 million EV sales globally by 2025," said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet, in a statement.

GM introduced Ultium Charge 360 in April for its retail car buyers. It is technology that ties GM's vehicle mobile apps to other products and services that make it easier for drivers to find charging stations and pay to charge their vehicles.

Additionally, Ultium Charge 360 will help support home charging and provide non-fleet drivers access to more than 60,000 public places to charge.

The Ultium Charge 360 fleet service is similar and will offer:

  • Fleet and facility management tools.
  • Integration with both GM's fleet management solution, OnStar Vehicle Insights, and the BrightDrop fleet and asset management platform.
  • Support for a wide range of fleet segments, including delivery, sales, utilities and motor pool.

GM believes this system will help new and existing fleet customers find the providers, tools and other support needed to buy and operate charging infrastructure in fleet yards and depots, thereby encouraging EV adoption, said Alex Keros, GM lead architect of EV Infrastructure.

GM is working with these EV charging system and software companies: eTransEnergy; EVgo; In-Charge Energy and Schneider Electric on the new fleet charging system, Keros said.

GM is also expanding existing commercial relationships with Qmerit, which installs home charging, and EVgo, which installs public and depot charging stations, to give fleets flexibility to choose the charging that suits their needs, Keros said.

Keros said that eTransEnergy, EVgo, In-Charge Energy and Schneider Electric will offer access to on-the-go and depot charging. Customers can also access GM's existing work with Qmerit to help provide in-home installations for fleet drivers.

"Through Ultium Charge 360, BrightDrop fleet operators will be able to access tools and resources that will help accelerate their transition to sustainable all-electric delivery fleets," said Travis Katz, CEO of BrightDrop. "This is a turning point for our industry. Our commercial delivery customers are seeking innovative approaches to lower their operating costs as they electrify their fleets."

GM introduced the creation of BrightDrop in January. It will initially offer two products: the EP1, an electrically powered pallet to move packages, and the EV600, a commercial electric truck resembling the familiar big brown UPS truck. Earlier this week, GM said it has hired German supplier Kuka to build the initial batch of EV600 vans so that BrightDrop can deliver them on time to its first customer, Fedex.

On Thursday, BrightDrop's Vice President Scott Young confirmed it is looking to set up its initial dealerships in California starting early next year.

"We're not looking exclusively at GM dealers, but at the very best commercial dealers that are out there," Young told the media.

GM has said it will invest $35 billion in EV development by 2025 and plans to introduce 30 new EVs to market by that time.

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