With a name such as BrightDrop, GM's new subsidiary sounds like it's at the forefront of the enlightened automakers going all-electric. Not only is the company projected to set records for being one of the fastest to reach $1 billion in revenue, but it promises to maximize productivity while reducing the carbon footprint of those in the commercial sector. With a focus on delivery vehicles and related products, BrightDrop has debuted the Zevo 600 electric delivery van already, with the smaller, nimbler Zevo 400 waiting in the wings. There isn't much on the market to compete with, however, although there is the Ford E-Transit if you prefer a more familiar brand.
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There is no official release date for the Zevo 400 in the USA, but production is scheduled to kick off in late 2023 at the CAMI Assembly Plant in Canada. As the Zevo 600 was launched to large-scale fleet orders from corporations only, the 400 is expected to follow suit. BrightDrop says that some models might be available to customers who qualify as either fleet or commercial customers. Telecommunications company Verizon is said to have ordered a fleet of Zevo 400 vans for delivery towards the end of 2023, however.
Pricing hasn't been released for either of the Zevo vans, but the Zevo 600 is thought to cost in the same ballpark as rivals like the Ford E-Transit, which retails for around $55k MSRP. As the 2024 BrightDrop Zevo 400 is smaller, a lower price is a safe assumption.
Commercial vans aren't generally offered in the widest array of exterior colors, but BrightDrop offers the bare minimum at this point. The Zevo 400 can be had in Black or Oyster White, with companies likely to add their own branding and designs after purchase.
Like its bigger sibling, the exterior of the Zevo 400 is best described as a futuristic box on wheels. The front end is dominated by a large windscreen and mesh-like bumper. The headlights are slim LEDs, and there are Smoked Amber roof marker lights, LED taillights, power-adjustable side mirrors, and 17-inch wheels on the Zevo 400. Considering these vans are built for productivity and ease of access, low step-in heights and easy access to cargo via roll-up doors are welcome.
While the Zevo 600 is a full-size van, the new BrightDrop Zevo 400 cargo van will be smaller, slotting into the mid-size segment. Dimensions provided by the automaker show that brief has been adhered to as the aim was to fit the Zevo 400 into a standard-size parking space and keep it under 20 feet in length. The new 400 has a 153-inch wheelbase and an overall length of just under 239 inches. Width, including mirrors, comes in at 106.2 inches, while overall height is around 109.2 inches.
Curb weights for the Zevo 400 range from 7,506 pounds for the FWD configuration to around 7,775 lbs with AWD. Modifications to the cargo bay will see these numbers increase, while an available 20-module battery pack can increase the curb weight to as much as 8,322 lbs.
The Zevo shows off the electric architecture we know from GM's Ultium platform. In the Zevo lineup, the dual-motor and 165-kWh battery setup makes 300 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque for all four wheels. The automaker has now introduced a single motor setup with front-wheel drive, with specs of 240 hp and 300 lb-ft.
At the time of writing, not much more is known about the Zevo 400, and since performance in this segment pertains more to productivity than it does to 0-60 times, we can expect the Zevo 400 to manage payloads of up to 2,200 lbs without too much of a problem. However, when properly equipped, the FWD model's payload goes up to as much as 3,390 lbs.
The main point of an EV is to avoid using fossil fuels and decrease money spent at the pumps. The automaker claims up to 250 miles of range with the larger 20-module Ultium battery pack, but this is an upgrade option on the AWD-only 400. A new 14-module battery will be standard on the Zevo 400, and there aren't figures available yet for its range.
With the Zevo lineup being compatible with DC fast-charging, the Zevo vans can add up to 160 miles of range per hour of charge. No MPGe ratings are available yet, although as this is a commercial vehicle, these may not be published.
As futuristic and different as the Zevo looks from the outside is as familiar and straightforward as it looks on the inside. Borrowing parts from the GM bin, the Zevo's steering wheel, instrument cluster, and infotainment system can be found in passenger vehicles like the Chevrolet Silverado and Bolt, or the GMC Yukon. Regardless, the setup is practical, ergonomic, and rather basic - a workhorse like this isn't there to wow you but instead to make doing your job as easy as possible.
To this end, there is seating for two, with the rest of the interior left for cargo. The driver's seat is six-way manually adjustable, and there's a jump seat for one passenger. Both seats in the BrightDrop Zevo 400 have oodles of space in terms of legroom and headroom, meaning even the tallest occupants will fit. While there isn't much in the way of comfort or opulence, you can opt for driver's seat hating. We expect hard-wearing cloth to dominate the upholstery choices.
Just because the Zevo 400's interior is slightly blander than the exterior doesn't mean it's short on tech, though. You can expect the following features: standard air conditioning, a two-speaker audio system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and driver assists such as forward collision alert with auto braking, pedestrian detection, blind-zone steering assist, lane-keep assist, and more. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also included and live on an 11.3-inch advanced color LCD display with Google Built-In. An 11-inch driver information center is standard.
Cargo space is critical for the BrightDrop Zevo 400, and also where the main difference between the 400 and 600 will be evident. Whereas the Zevo 600 has a total of 619 cubic feet of space behind the seating row, the smaller version is tipped to provide volume for over 412 cubes of cargo. But, while the 400 offers less space, it can be just as widely customized to suit your needs; a network of upfitters is provided to help you kit out the van just the way you want. Two cupholders and an overhead console are available for the occupants in the front.
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