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.


Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.

2020 GMC Acadia toughens up on the outside, gets smarter on the inside

The 2020 GMC Acadia crossover gets styling updates and a more rugged AT4 trim level. Under the skin, the Acadia sports a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a wider array of tech features.

2019 RAM 1500 Classic Warlock special edition: Badass style without the whoop

If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks without the cost of a desert racer, FCA announced the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, a special edition pickup that focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…

Aston Martin’s next hypercar, due in 2021, will pack a hybrid powertrain punch

Aston Martin will follow up the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro with a new hypercar, code-named Project 003. The car will debut in 2021, with production limited to 500 units worldwide.

Apple opens up about its self-driving car program in letter to NHTSA

Apple has traditionally kept details about its self-driving car technology under wraps, but it has revealed details about the program in a rare instance of openness. The company takes safety seriously.

Tesla will release fully self-driving cars in 2019 — with a big asterisk

Tesla reaffirmed its goal of releasing a fully self-driving car by the end of 2019, but it warned the system won't work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Convincing regulators that it's safe to use will require some effort, too.

Consumer Reports bumps the Tesla Model 3 off of its list of recommended models

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the six new cars that have lost their coveted Recommended rating from Consumer Reports over reliability concerns. In 2018, Model 3 owners reported body trim falling off and problems with the car's glass.

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.

Has Apple rebooted its self-driving car program to develop autonomous vans?

The on-again, off-again Apple car is back on track, but it's not a sedan or a hatchback. It will arrive as an electric, autonomous passenger-carrying van, according to a recent report.

Waymo’s self-driving prototype obeys a traffic cop’s hand signals

One of Waymo's self-driving prototypes successfully navigated a situation that leaves even some human drivers confused: An intersection whose traffic lights are down. It waited for the traffic cop to wave it on.