Ryder Rolling Out 4,000 BrightDrop EV Vans by 2025

Ryder BrightDrop van feature

Ryder System Inc. plans to purchase 4,000 light-duty electric vans for its rental, leasing and dedicated fleets from General Motors-owned BrightDrop by 2025, with its first order of 200 vehicles going into service this year, as it looks to meet customer EV demand and keep up with various state mandates.

BrightDrop’s Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 EVs have a range of up to 250 miles on a full charge, with payloads of 2,000 to 3,400 lbs., and cargo capacity of 400 cubic feet and 600 cubic feet, respectively. The majority of the initial deployment of 2023 vehicles will be in California, based on regulatory mandates, demand and charging infrastructure, as well as the Dallas-Fort Worth and New York metro areas.

New 2024 BrightDrop vehicles will available for Ryder as early as this summer and into the first quarter of next year. The manufacturer said it plans to produce 50,00 vehicles annually by 2025, and to hit $1 billion in revenue this year, with this year’s batch sold out.

Other BrightDrop customers include FedEx, Walmart, Hertz, DHL Express and Purolator. Competitor Rivian has delivered 3,000 EVs to Amazon, which plans to have a last-mile delivery fleet of 100,000 by 2030.

[Breaking: Walmart to add EV charging stations to thousands of U.S. stores by 2030, reports CNBC.]

Last month, the U.S. Postal Service awarded Ford a contract to deliver 9,250 EVs, and ordered an equal number of diesel-powered Dodge Ram vans to fill its immediate needs, plus 14,000 charging stations from three separate firms.

Carlo Rodriguez, Group Director of Advanced Vehicle Technology, said other states Ryder is looking at include North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and other parts of Texas. With 800 Ryder facilities in North America, the company will be strategic in researching and picking optimal locations, he said.

Another determining factor is weather, as the cold reduces EV’s battery and mileage range. “Every 10 to 20 miles of range counts, so that’s a factor in our analysis,” Rodriguez said, adding it’s expected to improve as the technology advances. “It’ not a deal breaker.”

As on the consumer side of EVs, Rodriguez said Ryder is looking for savings on the total cost of ownership (TCO) over time, as fuel and maintenance savings offset the premium price tag.

Ryder is also hoping the lure of a growing EV fleet will prove more attractive to prospective drivers and technicians, as there is an ongoing shortage of both in logistics and transportation.

“Whether it’s preventative maintenance and inspection or high-voltage work, it’s a technical badge for someone looking for something ambitious and challenging,” he said of the latter.