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  • Bollinger Motors B1 SUV and B2 Pickup

Bollinger Motors B1 SUV and B2 Pickup

Bad Ass, Batteries Included

Nick Kurczewski
Feb 18, 2020
Photo 2/53   |   Bollinger B1 And B2 Electric Suv
Bollinger Motors isn't taking a page from Henry Ford's stubborn proclamation about the palette of the Model T, or Steve Jobs' favorite color of turtleneck. But there's no doubt about it, the Detroit-based electric truck company's penchant for black helps accentuate one of the wildest, weirdest, and most polarizing shapes you'll see in the automotive world.
We recently got a sneak peek behind the scenes at Bollinger's headquarters in Ferndale, Michigan, just ahead of a media event showcasing near-production versions of the B1 sport-utility and B2 pickup truck. If you think these two electric-powered trucks look otherworldly in photos, you've got to see them up close and personal.
Photo 3/53   |   Bollinger B1 And B2 Electric Truck Front 3q
Photo 4/53   |   Bollinger B1 And B2 Electric Truck Rear 3q
During our morning walk-around and photo shoot, we joked with the Bollinger team that they don't even need to bother selling trucks to customers. Simply teaming up with a major movie studio would help create the perfect ride for any scheming Bond villain, various spies chasing Jason Bourne across Europe, or countless comic-book-based creatures that are intent on saving, or destroying, the entire planet.
Okay, paint it yellow, and you also have the perfect ride for Bob the Builder. But let's get back to why we're here in Detroit, visiting a company that plans on building only 1,000 electric trucks when production officially comes online in 2021.
Photo 5/53   |   Bollinger B1 And B2 Electric Suv Front 3q
Photo 6/53   |   Bollinger B1 And B2 Electric Suv Rear 3q
Having moved to Detroit in June 2018, Bollinger Motors' total headcount now numbers about 30 people. Robert Bollinger, the company's founder and CEO, first thought of building an electric pickup while working and driving around a property he owned in upstate New York, approximately 80 miles west of Albany. Bollinger explained to us that his background in industrial design at Carnegie Mellon ended up dovetailing into a career in marketing in New York City.
After more than two decades of wheeling and dealing, Bollinger said his time on a farm in the Catskills got his long-dormant industrial design gears turning again. He wanted to truck with instant torque, a lower center of gravity, better traction, and a simple build. Being electric would keep mechanical complexities down, in theory, and provide his creation with better eco-credentials than a gas or diesel-swilling alternative.
Photo 7/53   |   Bollinger B1 And B2 Electric Truck And Suv Interior
Photo 8/53   |   Bollinger B1 And B2 Electric Truck And Suv Interior Seat
Hey, what good is enjoying the outdoors if the vehicle you're driving is punching holes in the ozone, right? And yes, Bollinger himself is the first to admit that his vision hinged upon creating a vehicle with sharp edges, exposed rivets and, well, lots of exposed hinges.
Like a Jeep Wrangler, the Bollinger B1 and B2 have removable doors, a removable windshield, and removable roof panels. Mesh screens around the circular headlamps and on top of each fender help cool the batteries and other techie hardware. It doesn't hurt that the design flourish also simply looks cool, too.
With a total of 614 horsepower and 668 pound-feet of torque, Bollinger Motors estimates the B1 and B2 take only 4.5 seconds to accelerate from zero to 60 mph. That's impressive considering the B1 and B2 tip the scales around 5,000 pounds apiece. Overall top speed is set at 100 mph.
One of the most important things for any EV, even a rugged truck, is driving range. Right now, the B1 and B2 are estimated at slightly more than 200 miles-per-charge. Robert Bollinger told us this equates to about 10 hours of serious off-road driving. And yes, he's aware of concerns that "there aren't any rechargers at the top of a mountain." From the weary tone he used, we could tell he's heard that annoying bit of advice more than a few times.
Photo 9/53   |   012 Bollinger B1 And B2 Electric Truck And Suv
Using a Level 2 recharger, Bollinger says the battery pack needs 10 hours for a complete recharge. Regenerative braking is also fitted to each of the trucks.
All-wheel drive is standard and the two-speed transmission offers a high and low ranges. Even when rolling along in low gear, the B1 and B2 are still able to reach 60 mph. Based on the Lego-like design and huge wheels, you know the off-road credentials are impressive. Portal axles are fitted to provide extra ground clearance and to cope with the stress of prolonged all-terrain driving. The B1 and B2 also have 15 inches of ground clearance, 10 inches of wheel travel, and can ford through 36 inches of water.
In the B1 sport-utility, you have a 52-degree front approach angle, and a 43-degree departure angle. In the B2 pickup, the departure angle is notable less, at 28 degrees. Each truck has a front/rear weight balance of 45/55, thanks partly to the skateboard-like platform where the 120-kWh battery pack is stored. This is structural and completely sealed from the elements. We crawled underneath both trucks to get a better look. For the moment, there is no additional underbody skid-plates, though fitting them would be easy to do.
Photo 10/53   |   005 Bollinger B1 And B2 Electric Truck And Suv
Towing capacity is 7,500 pounds, though the B1 claims a higher payload rating at 5,201 pounds, versus 5,001 in the B2. There is seating for four people, partly because there is a wide empty space between both the front and rear bucket seats.
That's done on purpose, because the 14-cubic-foot front trunk - or "frunk," if you prefer - opens and extends the length of the entire vehicle. In the B2 pickup, you can drop the tailgate and remove the partition separating the cabin from the truck bed. Basically, the result is a 'see-through' electric truck, one with enough storage space to tote along a full-size palm tree to your next tail-gating adventure.
If you want Range Rover-like levels of luxury, however, then you might be in for a shock. The B1 and B2 have don't have power windows, interior carpeting, and only come with the most basic display for the radio. You do get heating and a/c, however, and apparently heated front seats are in the works. Not sure how that'll work the Bollinger's promise that the entire cabin can be hosed out after a mud-splattered day of driving. But hey, maybe it'll dry them faster!
A lot of speculation has been made about the price of the B1 and B2. For comparison, the upcoming electric Rivian RS1 and RS2 have a starting price of approximately $70,000. Higher trims and models with extra power and range are expected to approach, or crest, $100,000 per copy. That higher number seems about right when it comes to making an educated guess about the Bollinger duo's entry fee.

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