Delivered: Last-mile industry round-up

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GM Starting Electric Delivery Van Program

General Motors Co is developing an electric van, or "EV," aimed at business users, notably those engaged in deliveries, joining a growing list of carmakers planning EVs for the same segment which includes customers such as Amazon and UPS reports Reuters.

This strategy could enable GM, Ford, and at least two EV startups to build and deliver more electric vehicles at a time when consumer demand for battery-powered models is still a small fraction of overall industry sales while targeting a potentially lucrative market segment that competitors like Tesla have yet to address.

GM’s plan to develop an electric van has not previously been reported. The No. 1 U.S. automaker did not confirm the van but has said it plans to introduce at least 20 new all-electric vehicles by 2023, in a variety of body styles including sedans, trucks, and crossovers.

Suppliers familiar with such plans at GM and Ford told Reuters the Detroit automakers, which count trucks and commercial vehicles among their most profitable businesses:

“We don’t want to leave the door open for Tesla,” (as they did in consumer passenger cars.)

The GM van – code-named BV1 – is reported to start production in late 2021. BV1 van will share some components with GM’s future electric pickups and SUVs, including the automaker’s new Ultium advanced battery system. It is expected to be assembled alongside the electric trucks at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

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