GM plans to build EV600 electric van in Canada

GM announced late Friday that it plans to produce the EV600 electric van at its Ingersoll, Ontario plant, starting in late 2021.

The EV600 was revealed earlier this week, as part of a new BrightDrop commercial vehicle unit, and the production announcement channels US$800 million toward the plant, under a tentative agreement with the Unifor labor union and including government support not yet detailed.

BrightDrop EV600

BrightDrop EV600

With a 250-mile range, 120-kw DC fast charging for up to 170 miles of added range per hour, weight ratings under 10,000 pounds, and active-safety features that closely mimic what’s offered on the latest passenger cars, it’s aimed as a delivery device for metro-area fleets. 

GM showed a motorized delivery pallet/cabinet designed to be used with the EV600, and said that there are two other vehicles in development as part of the new brand, which will include asset management and fleet management software for businesses. FedEx will take delivery of the van and pallet by the end of the year.

BrightDrop EP1

BrightDrop EP1

The EV600 announcement will make the plant one of the first volume-production EV facilities in Canada for passenger or light commercial vehicles, but it won’t be the only one. Ford has confirmed plans to build multiple electric vehicles

at its Oakville, Ontario factory starting around the middle of the decade. 

The union has also said that an agreement last year with Fiat Chrysler included both plug-in hybrids and fully electric models.

CAMI formerly made the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, and various earlier products included the Suzuki Sidekick and what was for a stretch the most fuel-efficient car offered in the U.S. market, the Geo Metro. It was originally a plant jointly owned between Suzuki and GM, but Suzuki withdrew from the operation with the discontinuation of its XL7 SUV in 2009. Since a restructuring announced in 2018 that included the discontinuation of a number of passenger-car models including the Volt

, the plant has been underutilized