When most people think about the reasons why someone might invent an electric truck, words like environmental impact and government regulations are likely likely front of mind. While it is undeniable that this is what has driven the large majority of EV development here in the United States, Bollinger Motors was born out of a different frame of mind.
“Before we started the company, we had a cattle farm in upstate New York,” founder Robert Bollinger told MC&T during an interview. “That meant tons of snow, and I was always having trouble plowing because we had to put a big round bale of hay in the back for weight distribution, and you’d put the truck in 4×4 and you’d always be locking up trying to get it to turn and stuff like that. I asked can’t someone do this better, and that stuck in my head.”
It was this nagging thought that inspired Robert Bollinger to start Bollinger Motors in 2015, specifically with the plan to “reinvent trucks, not just electrify them.” After doing research into batteries and other electric powertrain components, Bollinger told MC&T that he knew that they had to design a truck that people would want, not just some of electric version of a pickup truck.
In Bollinger’s mind, that meant a vehicle that can handle snowy weather conditions thanks to a full-time all-wheel drive, one that has great traction thanks to battery placement, and unique features like pass-through midgate storage that allows owners to place materials through the middle of the truck. Remember this fan-favorite feature in the bygone Chevrolet Avalanche? It’s like that.
Add to that the fact that the trucks are packed with off-roading hardware and market leading ground clearance figures, and we can see where his head was at in creating the Bollinger B1 SUV and B2 pickup truck. Bollinger Motors knows capability is important to truck owners, which is why the Bollinger products are the only all-electric Class 3 trucks on the market or in development today. The founder’s own time on the farm had the company thinking about the potential of commercial applications for these vehicles, which helped inform the body-on frame construction.
Bollinger Motors doesn’t appear to be having many problems in drawing interest in their products. “We’ve passed 32,000 reservations online, and that is with no money down but there are still definitely people that are very interested,” said Bollinger. “We answer every social media comments, we answer every email, and a lot of it is about the off-road [performance]. People also love the green side of it too, former Land Rover owners who maybe had the diesel want this because its electric, but the off-roaders are definitely the most vocal.”
Now that Bollinger Motors has confirmed the MSRP for the Bollinger B1 SUV and B2 pickup truck starts at $125,000, the company has begun accepting refundable $1,000 deposits for build slots, with the first deliveries are expected to land in 2021.
The Bollinger B1 electric truck and B2 electric SUV will be present at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, along with other electric models including the Mustang Mach-E, while the Tesla Cybertruck is scheduled to be revealed November 21.