Bollinger B1 electric sport utility truck sets high bar for eco-friendly trucks

Ford Bronco and Land Rover Defender fans will take second looks at the Bollinger B1 electric sport utility truck. At first glance, the square cut, multifunction, transformer-style SUT revealed in New York on Thursday resembles those fabled earlier vehicles.

The B1 is a rugged, three-box design truck with four passenger seats — the back two seats are easily removable. The wheelbase is 105 inches, overall length is 150 inches, and width is 76.5 inches. Compared to a 2017 two-door Jeep Wrangler, the B1 is about 3 inches wider, 14 inches shorter lengthwise, and has a 10-inch longer wheelbase. With a 265-pound aluminum chassis and a steel rollover structure, the B1 weighs 3,900 pounds — about 140 pounds heavier than a Wrangler.

The B1’s battery storage area and drive train are located between the chassis rails below the vehicle floor, allowing storage in front (called a “frunk“), the rear, and in between. A unique center pass-through door in the dash makes it possible to store 12-foot boards entirely inside the truck. Maximum storage capacity is 95 cubic feet with the two back seats removed. By comparison, the two-door Wrangler has 56.5 feet of cargo capacity behind the front seats.

With lightweight aluminum construction, dual electric motors with full-time four-wheel drive, and a combined 360 horsepower with 462-foot pounds of torque, the B1 blasts from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds with 127 miles per hour top speed.

Bollinger’s engineers set out to build a unique vehicle. “The B1 combines Bollinger Motors’ advanced all-wheel-drive system with our all-electric powertrain to produce best-in-class horsepower, torque and ground clearance,” said CJ Winegar, Bollinger Motors engineer. “This vehicle signifies a huge leap above what is currently on the market. There’s nothing like it out there.”

Buyers will have a choice of  60kWh and 100kWh lithium ion battery packs, with 120- and 200-mile ranges, respectively — well within the range of most daily drives, but you’ll need to stop to recharge on longer trips. The B1 has a J1772 universal connector for 110V or 220V charging and a Level 3 CHAdeMO DC Fast charge port on the fender.

You can plug in your tools, equipment, and electronics to run on the four-wheeled power source with 100V plugs in several locations on the B1 and USB and 12-volt plugs in the dash.

A labor of love

“We are so thrilled to be able to finally take the wraps off of our Bollinger B1 SUT,” said Bollinger Motors’ founder and CEO 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.”

Firm prices and delivery dates for the B1 aren’t yet solid. Bollinger Motors is in talks with independent U.S. vehicle manufacturers and also exploring building the B1 itself in New York state.

“While we’ll be announcing pricing and manufacturing targets later this year, the business case for the B1 makes sense at a very realistic and modest production number and at a price point of a nicely equipped sport utility vehicle,” said Bollinger. From Bollinger’s statement, Digital Trends estimates a price point between $45,000 and $75,000.

The company predicts deliveries will start within 19 months after manufacturing decisions are final.

Potential customers can reserve a B1 without a deposit on Bollinger’s website. The company expects to start taking orders with a $1,000 down payment from reservation holders in early 2018.