Michigan-based EV start-up incorporates Europe as part of its launch plans for the rugged off-roader range
Mark Tisshaw
21 November 2019

US off-road start-up Bollinger Motors has confirmed the UK and Europe are among its launch plans for its first models, the B1 and B2.

On display at the Los Angeles motor show, the B1 and B2 share a common ‘skateboard’ electric platform that’s modular in its design to allow for the differing SUV (B1) and pick-up (B2) bodystyles.

Bollinger announced pricing last month - from $125,000 (around £97,000) each - and started taking deposits. To date it has orders for more than half the first year’s production, which runs from 1000-1500 units annually, according to sales director Chet Parsons.

Production is due to start late next year at a yet-undisclosed area, likely to be in Michigan, ahead of the first customer deliveries in 2021. Parsons said that there were deposit holders from the UK in the first wave, and the firm was working on EU and ECC type approval as part of the ramp-up to launch, to allow the B1 and B2 to be sold in the UK and Europe early in the pairs’ launch phase.

The B1 and B2 are built to Class 3 US truck certification, which classes it as a medium truck like the Chevrolet Silverado, rather than the light truck category (built to Class 1 and Class 2 regulations) that the likes of the Ford F-150 and F-250 fall into.

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Being built to those regulations has opened up Bollinger to potential customers in the mining, scientific, and fire and rescue industries, where expressions of interest have all come from. Bollinger will even just provide a basic chassis and running gear to allow for conversions to safari vehicles, for example.

Parsons confirmed that the B1 and B2 in LA were beta prototypes, and are the first four-door vehicles after the firm created a two-door prototype as a proof-of-concept. The pair are identical from the rear doors forward, and can be produced side-by-side. Parsons said that further vehicles were planned to share the architecture, including a two-door and shorter wheelbase versions.

Both draw power from a vast 120kWh battery pack, and have an electric motor on each axle to provide four-wheel drive, though no range is quoted yet. Combined output is 614bhp and 668lb ft with a 0-60mph time of 4.5sec and a top speed of 100mph.

The pair are designed as heavy duty, off-road trucks rather than as car-derived SUVs or crossovers. Drive is through a two-speed automatic gearbox with high and low ranges, and there are front and rear electronically locking differentials.

Designed for extreme off-road use, the B1 and B2 have 50/50 weight distribution, 10-20in of variable ground clearance, 10in of wheel travel, all-round ventilated 11.75in disc brakes and geared axle hubs.

Payload is a hefty 2359kg, while towing capacity is 3402kg. For context, the Toyota Hilux pick-up manages up to 3500kg. The Bollinger models also have a unique 'pass through hatch' running their entire length.

Rivals will include the electric R1T and R1S from well-funded compatriot firm Rivian, as well as the best-selling (and fossil-fuelled) Ford F-150. Bollinger says it has received more than 30,000 expressions of interest in its vehicles and plans to begin production in 2021. 

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Comments
20

27 September 2019

I just cannot recall where i have seen that before.... i wonder what JLR will have to say about it. Suddenly makes the new Defender look a whole lot better. 

25 October 2019
Spendy, but awesome.

27 September 2019

Does show the potential use of space that the packaging of electric vehicles open up!

Not a great looking defender rip off, but the is defintely potential!

27 September 2019

JLR would probably sue them. I wonder what they'll do here.

27 September 2019
Hughbl wrote:

JLR would probably sue them. I wonder what they'll do here.

One issue with describing your design as functional and utilitarian is that you can't really sue people who adopt the same features for functionality and utilitarian reasons.

I doubt that this will come to the EU in any great numbers (1000 max allowed by small series type approval) as it is highly unlikely to pass EU pedestrian impact regulations.

27 September 2019

They will issue a cease and disorder warrent first, then they will issue proceedings for IP Infringement, this is a blatent rip off.

27 September 2019
jonboy4969 wrote:

They will issue a cease and disorder warrent first, then they will issue proceedings for IP Infringement, this is a blatent rip off.

Which will go in the bin, the law doesn't have a "looks vaguely similar" provision.

Look at the two together, the similarities are:

1: Wheel arch extensions - functional and seen on other vehicles.

2: Chamfered edge running from front of bonnet to rear of vehicle, the chamfer on a Landrover is smooth, the one on this vehicle is angular.

3: Vaguely similar proportions of headlight to "grill" - See G-Wagon for similarities.

4: External hinges - On lots of vehicles, always looks tough and allows easy removal

The whole design has somewhat different proportions, it is much wide and far more angular. It also doesn't have the raised bonnet.

In short both this and a Landrover look like boxy off roaders arguably devoid of styling features, which is kind of my point. They also both look like plenty of military utility vehicles.

Best example of this sort of thing is how many scooters look like Vespas, they can do so because most of the features also have a functional purpose. 

28 September 2019
jonboy4969 wrote:

They will issue a cease and disorder warrent first, then they will issue proceedings for IP Infringement, this is a blatent rip off.

Cease and desist

27 September 2019

This makes the new Defender look like the girly siss that it is. Go Bollinger! 

27 September 2019
FRI2 wrote:

This makes the new Defender look like the girly siss that it is. Go Bollinger! 

I’ll be interested to see what the charging network is like in Africa and what the wading depth of this car is

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