Kroger, one of the largest grocers in the U.S., will be the first customers for General Motors BrightDrop’s new e-commerce temperature controlled electric vehicles (EVs).
Kroger will introduce the Trace Grocery eCarts into its operations beginning this year. The adoption of the technology follows a pilot program from both companies in Lexington and Versailles, Kentucky.
Trace Grocery is the latest all-electric hardware and software solution for industrial use from BrightDrop. BrightDrop has already secured more than 25,000 EV production reservations and letters of intent and has delivered more than 100 EVs, one of the largest deployments of commercial electric delivery vans to date.
At CES this year, BrightDrop signed two agreements with Walmart and FedEx with Walmart reserving 5,000 EV500 and the smaller EV410 electric delivery vans. FedEx reserved 2,000 electric delivery vans with an initial delivery of 500 EVs. FedEx said it might add up to 20,000 more vehicles in the coming years depending on the success of the electrified container trucks.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expanding e-commerce platforms, online grocery shopping is rapidly growing and is expected to reach $240 billion by 2025.
GM said the full-scale availability of the Trace Grocery is expected to be available in 2024 with customized capabilities for future releases, making it timely for online grocery expansion.
“As online shopping continues to grow, BrightDrop is committed to developing innovative solutions to help our customers keep pace,” said Travis Katz, president and CEO of BrightDrop. “The Trace Grocery is a perfect example of this.”