Electric vehicle buyers are spoiled for choice these days – there’s electric sports cars, sedans, SUVs, minivans, and motorcycles. So where’s the electric truck? New York-based Bollinger Motors just answered that question with the B1 – the world’s first all-electric, all-wheel drive sport utility truck. It’s remarkably refined with a strong, stealthy profile – and it’s rough and rugged enough to haul heavy loads and tackle challenging terrain. The B1 has better horsepower, torque, and ground clearance than any gas-powered truck in its class – plus a few features you simply won’t find in internal combustion engine vehicles. Read on for a first look – straight from Bollinger’s unveil tonight in New York City.
Electric trucks make a lot of sense on paper, as EVs produce plenty of torque – which trucks need to cart heavy loads. However this power comes at a price – lithium ion cells are heavy, and automakers must carefully balance battery weight vs performance and cost when creating a new EV. Bollinger Motors found a winning formula by nesting the B1’s batteries in a remarkably strong aluminum chassis that weighs just 295 pounds.
Two battery setups are available – a 60 kWh system with 120 miles of range, and a 100 kWh system with 200 miles of range. The longer range beats most electric cars on the road today – which is even more impressive given the B1’s powertrain specs.
The Bollinger B1’s full-time, all-wheel drive powertrain features front and rear-mounted synchronous electric motors that produce 360 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. That’s a lot of power – and it gives the B1 a 0-60 speed of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 127 miles per hour. The vehicle’s curb weight is 3,900 pounds, which translates to a 10.8 power to weight ratio – and it has a payload capacity of 6,100 pounds.
The sport utility truck measures 150 inches long, 76.5 inches wide, and 73.5 inches tall. It has a 105-inch wheelbase and 15.5 inches of ground clearance, which can be adjusted by the vehicle’s hydro-pneumatic suspension within 10 inches of wheel travel. Since the batteries are sunk into the chassis, the B1 has an exceptionally low center of gravity, and the engineering team dialed in a perfect 50/50 weight balance. This all adds up to an extremely capable off-road vehicle that gets an estimated 67.4 MPGe.
The B1’s design is sleek and spartan inside and out. Aluminum interior panels help keep the truck’s weight down, and the dash features an old school mechanical speedometer and tachometer in addition to gauges for battery level, range updates, charging status, and FMVSS warning signals. The vehicle seats four within a steel passenger safety cage, and the interior can be fully hosed down thanks to polyurethane floor pans and rubber seals and gaskets that protect the instruments.
The B1’s electric powertrain frees up cargo space for a “frunk” that is accessible through the center console. This is a clever design decision, as a stack of 12-foot boards will fit handily within the enclosed vehicle. It also has another trick up its sleeve: “Since the B1 is an all-electric truck, it’s really a portable energy source,” says Bollinger Motors’ founder and CEO, Robert Bollinger. “So we put 100 volt plugs throughout the truck so you can use it to power any equipment and tools you might need out in the field. USB and 12 volt plugs are also integrated into the dash to cover all power needs.”
The inspiration for the B1 is easy to trace – it looks a bit like the iconic Land Rover Defender, stripped of its curves and fitted with a powerful all-electric powertrain. It’s not designed to be a mainstream truck, but as a boutique vehicle it’s stunning with performance to match.
“We are so thrilled to be able to finally take the wraps off of our Bollinger B1 SUT,” said Robert Bollinger. “This is the culmination of what has been a 40-year-long boyhood dream of mine and I couldn’t be more pleased with the vehicle and the incredible team who worked so hard to create it.”
The B1 prototype was designed, engineered and manufactured in Hobart, New York – and Bollinger is planning to keep all operations within the US as production begins. They’re currently talking to independent vehicle manufacturers with the goal of launching a production run of 10,000-15,000 vehicles later this year and delivering the first vehicles within 19 months.
Bollinger has yet to announce pricing, however they’re targeting “ranchers, builders, do-it-yourselfers” with a direct to consumer model and a price point comparable to a “nicely equipped sport utility vehicle.” Interested buyers can reserve a spot on Bollinger Motors’ website, which will enable them to place an order in early 2018 with a $1000 down payment.