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Dee Zee selected to build components for BrightDrop Zevo electric delivery vehicles


Des Moines-based automotive accessory manufacturer Dee Zee Inc. announced today that it has been selected to manufacture structural and exterior components for Zevo electric delivery vans that will be built by BrightDrop, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors. The manufacturing partnership is expected to result in more than 150 new manufacturing jobs in Greater Des Moines within the next year, along with a new facility under construction by Dee Zee in Pleasant Hill.

Dee Zee, which currently has more than 900 employees, expects to add 52 skilled manufacturing positions as a result of the project in the first quarter of 2023, and an additional 105 jobs by the third quarter of next year. The company said in a news release that it is constructing a new 47,000-square-foot production facility in Pleasant Hill to make the components, and that it will dedicate another 80,000 square feet of its present manufacturing space for the initiative.

The Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 vans will be assembled in Canada by General Motors at its CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersol, Ontario. The Zevo 600 and Zevo 400 are 100% electric delivery vans that feature regenerative braking, fast charging and 25% more storage capacity. FedEx and Walmart will be among the first companies to implement the electric vehicle platform for their delivery services as the companies strive to become carbon-neutral.

In June, FedEx received its first 150 electric delivery vehicles from BrightDrop, a milestone in the company’s plans to transform its entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet to all-electric, zero-tailpipe emissions by 2040. FedEx in January signed an agreement with BrightDrop reserving priority production for 2,000 electric delivery vans over the next few years.

In January, BrightDrop announced that Walmart had signed an agreement to reserve 5,000 of BrightDrop’s EV600 and smaller EV410 electric delivery vans to support the retail giant’s growing last-mile delivery network and goal of operating a zero-emissions logistics fleet by 2040.

Dee Zee, a family business, markets itself as one of the largest privately held automotive accessory companies in the world. The company said it plans to provide further details about its manufacturing partnership with BrightDrop on Tuesday.

RELATED: To read more about this project, click on this Business Record article from Sept. 14.

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