General Motors and BrightDrop were joined Dec. 5 by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford in Ingersoll, Ontario for the opening of Canada's first full-scale electric-vehicle manufacturing plant.
With investment support from both governments, GM has completely retooled the CAMI Assembly plant in record time to become the new global manufacturing home of BrightDrop’s fully electric delivery vans. BrightDrop also announced the commencement of commercial operations in Canada, with DHL slated to be the company’s first Canadian customer.
The first BrightDrop Zevo 600 rolled off the CAMI production line, marking a new chapter in EV production in Canada and a significant step in the fight against climate change. Following a record-setting launch for GM, BrightDrop completed delivery of the first Zevo 600s to FedEx last year.
“This milestone represents GM at our best — fast, flexible and first in the industry,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “The BrightDrop Zevo is a prime example of GM's flexible Ultium EV architecture, which is allowing us to quickly launch a full range of electric vehicles for our customers."
Marissa West, president and managing director of GM Canada, said, "BrightDrop and CAMI teams worked together to take the Zevo 600 from concept to commercialization in less than two years, making this the fastest launch in GM’s history. Electric vehicle manufacturing in Canada is no longer something that’s happening in the future."
GM began retooling CAMI for electric vehicle production on May 1, 2022. In just seven months, the team installed entirely new production equipment covering 2 million square feet.
As full-scale manufacturing of the BrightDrop Zevo electric delivery vans begins and BrightDrop’s customers replace their gasoline and diesel vans, their fleet greenhouse-gas tailpipe emissions will decrease exponentially. Meanwhile, BrightDrop customer productivity will increase with the use of BrightDrop's Trace eCarts, which were developed and tested mostly by the GM Canadian Technical Centre in Oshawa.
“This is a very exciting moment — a revolution in the way we transport people and goods," said Travis Katz, BrightDrop president and CEO. "Today marks a huge day for BrightDrop, as we expand our footprint and begin producing the Zevo electric vans at scale, and a huge milestone for Canada on the road to a brighter future. Opening the CAMI plant is a major step in providing EVs at scale and delivering real results to the world’s biggest brands, like DHL Express, who will be our first Canadian customer.”
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