Bollinger Motors stretches out with all-electric pickup truck
The market for all-electric trucks you might one day be able to buy – from Tesla or Bison, for instance – is really heating up. Last year, Bollinger was among the start-ups to flash a glimpse at an upcoming all-electric truck, the shape-shifting B1 "sport utility truck" capable of quickly transforming between 4x4 utility vehicle and small pickup. Since then, it must have felt the demand for a bigger pickup bed because, before it's even gotten production running on the B1, it's previewing the B2, a proper pickup with the same boxy styling and all-wheel electric drive as the B1.
When we looked at the B1 last year, Bollinger was still putting together a manufacturing plan with no estimated date to offer. So we suppose the fact it hasn't started rolling its first vehicle off assembly lines as it previews its second isn't cause for too much alarm – though it doesn't necessarily build confidence, either.
But Bollinger has been keeping busy since the B1's July 2017 debut, moving its headquarters from upstate New York to Michigan to better embed itself in the US automotive industry. It's also shifted its attention away from the two-door and toward a four-door B1, releasing some updated specifications along the way – including a bump up of 120 hp. It now says it'll start popping B1 and B2 trucks out of the oven by 2020. So things appear to be moving in the right direction, if we take Bollinger at its word.
Unlike the B1, which is a nimble off-road utility vehicle first, work truck occasionally, the B2 is a thoroughbred pickup designed for hauling cargo and getting work done. Just compare the B2's 207.5-in (5,271-mm) overall length and 139-in (3,531-mm) wheelbase to the B1 four-door's 171.5-in (4,356-mm) and 118.8-in (3,018-mm) figures.
The entirety of the B2's extra 3 feet (914 cm) of vehicle length can be put directly to use in oversized cargo-hauling, allowing the frunk-to-tailgate pass-through design to give the B2 pickup 16 feet (4.9 m) of storage length with the tailgate up, more than 19 feet (5.8 m) with it down. The 13 x 14-in (33 x 36-cm) central pass-through up front can accommodate two dozen 2 x 4s.
The B2's bed measures 5.75 x 4.1 feet (1.8 x 1.2 m), and bed storage can be expanded to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) in length by removing the rear seats and opening up the rear divider glass. To make that a more tangible figure, Bollinger estimates that the B2 can squeeze 72 sheets of 1/2-in-thick 4 x 8-foot (1.2 x 2.4-m) plywood inside the extended bed.
The B2 shares its power and technological DNA with the B1, starting with the front/rear dual-motor, all-wheel electric powertrain with 520 hp and 514 lb-ft of torque. The battery has grown, with the 60- and 100-kWh battery options appearing to have disappeared entirely in favor of a larger 120-kWh pack and estimated 200-mile (322-km) range.
Bollinger's plan is to keep the B2 within about 200 lb (91 kg) of the B1 with a 5,000-lb (2,268-kg) curb weight, leaving another 5,000 lb of payload on the 10,001-lb (4,536-kg) GVWR. The B2 will also benefit from the same geared portal hubs, putting 15 inches (38 cm) of ground clearance below, and the same hydro-pneumatic suspension providing up to 10 inches (25 cm) of wheel travel.
"The new B2 incorporates everything that we've learned in making the B1, and takes it in an exciting new direction," explains Bollinger Motors founder Robert Bollinger. "Now that we have so much data from testing our B1 prototype, we can put all of that engineering knowledge into our final four-door B1 and B2 vehicles."
Styling-wise, the B2 shows dimensions reworked around the extended bed – the four-door cabin sitting well forward, and the rear overhang pulled well out from the wheel. Beyond that, Bollinger has left things very much the same. The B2 and B1 wear the same sharp-edged vertical and horizontal lines throughout, the same style of flat glass roof, identical-twin facial features and the same fender look. Even the subtle rivet line between the fenders carries over. The only major difference we're picking up on is a new rear bumper on the B2.
Bollinger has released some CAD renderings of the B2 and will get to work from there, beginning prototyping in early 2019. During the course of 2019, it intends to reveal more details about B1 and B2 pricing, options and delivery, as well as info about additional vehicles in the works. In the meantime, it's offering no-money-down reservations for those eager to be among the first to get all-electric Bollingers onto the highway, trail and job site.
Source: Bollinger Motors