Production of the all-electric BrightDrop Zevo 600 light commercial EV van has resumed at the GM CAMI Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada after it was halted by an EV battery shortage, GM Authority has learned.
Units of the well-received BrightDrop Zevo 600, which has approximately four years of orders currently on the books, started rolling off the assembly line again on July 31st.
The production halt started approximately two weeks previously on the week of July 18th, with EV batteries in short supply across GM’s factory network. Lack of raw materials for the automaker’s Ultium battery packs led to the dearth of production at the currently operational Ultium Cells plant in Lordstown, Ohio and other battery sources.
Production of the BrightDrop Zevo 600 was slowed by insufficient battery supply even before GM called a complete halt to work on the 18th. The plant operated for some time with only one shift of employees working out of three and the other two laid off, under a rotation system whereby each shift worked two weeks before four weeks of layoff.
As a result of the rolling layoffs and the complete production halt for two weeks, some CAMI Assembly workers were forced to use food banks or rely on donations from other workers. Most had exhausted their government Employment Insurance (EI) during the seven-month retooling of the CAMI plant that reconfigured it from Chevy Equinox crossover production to building the BrightDrop Zevo 600.
GM has started an expansion to the CAMI Assembly plant that will enable on-site assembly of Ultium batteries by the second quarter (Q2) of 2024. The battery cells will be manufactured elsewhere at GM Ultium Cells plants, assembled into vehicle packs at CAMI, and either used in BrightDrop vans or sent to other EV production facilities.
The BrightDrop Zevo 600 EV van is joining the fleets of FedEx Canada and other delivery and logistics companies across North America as part of their push for zero-emissions operations. As a reminder, the light commercial van features 600 cubic feet of cargo capacity and offers 250 miles of range per charge.
The van’s maximum cargo payload is estimated by GM at 2,200 pounds. The BrightDrop Zevo 600 EV’s GVWR is 9,990 pounds, avoiding the need for the special license often required for operating a vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more. Safety technology includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front and Rear Park Assist, and standard IntelliBeam LED headlamps.
The BrightDrop Zevo 600 is motivated by twin 255 kW Ultium Drive motors, one powering the front wheels and a second at the rear, creating an all-wheel drivetrain. BrightDrop has tuned the Ultium motors for a reduced output of 225 kW or 302 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque per unit to increase durability.
Power for the BrightDrop Zevo comes from Ultium battery technology. The electric van is compatible with 120 kW DC fast charging or AC Level 2 11.5 kW charging and offers a peak recharging rate of 160 miles per hour.