It’s tempting to assume that Bollinger Trucks are over-simplified, utilitarian vehicles, but you’re just not giving their lineup a close enough look. Sure, clean lines and a military aesthetic connote a certain simplicity, but, to this writer, clean is sophisticated. And Robert Bollinger knows a thing or two about those characteristics. Bollinger made his fortune selling an organic hair-care product business, and in doing so, is working on translating his talents and resources to a long-time passion: electric vehicles.
The Bollinger brand is among a laundry list of electric vehicle companies who are aspirational, motivated, and potentially just crazy enough to help the category find its footing. However, the company has come under fire recently for its somewhat scattershot approach to establishing a lineup. A closer look at what they are producing, or at least hoping to, will show you a company aiming for greatness, but can they deliver?
B1 & B2
In 2018, Bollinger Motors introduced their B1 and B2, an electrified lovechild of something like a Land Rover Defender and a Mercedes G-Class SUV. At the time, the then New York-based EV startup had but a few renderings of the concepts, but that was about it. A few prototypes have come and gone since that time, but no vehicles have rolled off the assembly line to date. However, this production challenge hasn’t stopped them from teasing their fans with updates and updated buying timelines.
Fortunately, both vehicles are rumored to finally be available to the consumer in early 2021. These Class 3 electric vehicles pack an impressive list of features. For starters, both vehicles have a 5,000-pound payload capacity. The B2 (Truck) can tow up to 7,500 pounds with its claimed 614 horsepower and 668 ft-lb of torque. How you’ll fit 5,000 pounds of payload into a 72-inch bed, we aren’t sure, but we know we’d like to try it!
Both vehicles come outfitted with unique cross-linking suspension systems, which keep the chassis rigid and effectively eliminate the need for something like a sway bar. With the flick of a switch, this system can be disabled, and as the hydraulic link between the kitty-corner wheels turns off, each tire becomes independent. This setup allows for greater maneuverability off-road, which is a major focus for Bollinger.
A large, low-slung battery box shrouded in carbon fiber sits below the cab’s four bucket seats. You won’t see it, though, as the floor of both vehicles runs flat from bed to bonnet. A two-speed gearbox connects the watts to the ground via two motors that are said to be capable of piloting the vehicle to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Even with a lead foot, Bollinger’s projections place the range on both vehicles at around 200 miles or about 10 hours of off-roading fun.
Bollinger has also recently announced a CHASSIS-CAB version of the B2, which effectively serves the conversion market. The vehicle’s renderings show a paired down B2 with nothing atop the bed space; what to stick on the back is left up to the consumer. Maybe this is your chance to launch that new super-stealth tow truck business? Thank us later for that idea.
CHASS-E & DELIVER-E
CHASS-E is an interesting concept Bollinger brought to the market earlier this year. As the name implies, this is a bare-bones chassis with Bollinger’s motor technology, suspension systems, and software built-in. All that is left is a body to install atop the half-finished vehicle. While the corporate lingo encourages the potential buyer to think about commercial applications, it’s not hard to imagine pairing this chassis roller with a truck body from the middle of the 20th century. A juxtaposition of the timeless style of something like a 1949 Dodge Power Wagon with Bollinger’s chassis’ modern benefits could be cool.
Lastly, the DELIVER-E is Bollinger’s attempt at producing something unique and value-driven for a segment in need: delivery vehicles. Though this is just a rendering, it appears that they are trying to address: total cost of ownership, noise and gas pollution, and a more useful and accessible interior. There is more info on this vehicle expected within the year.
Though some automotive pundits propose snarky guesses about potential new delays in Bollinger’s long-awaited release, we are hopeful. The internet has been abuzz about this scrappy startup’s potential lately, and we think that 2021 could be Bollinger’s year to bring their concepts to market. We’ve gotta figure out what super cool legacy truck body we’ll strap to the top of the CHASS-E before they do.