Bollinger Motors postponed efforts to bring an electric SUV and pickup truck to market after seven years of effort and will instead pivot to developing electric commercial vehicles.
“We started Bollinger Motors in 2015 with a dream and a desire to make the best trucks possible,” Robert Bollinger, chief executive of Bollinger Motors, said Friday. “We’ve put countless hours of hard work and passion into making something that makes us proud. However, today, we’re postponing the consumer trucks’ development and shifting our focus to commercial trucks and fleets.”
The company was founded by Robert Bollinger. He is a former advertising executive and organic hair products company co-owner who mostly self-funded the business.
Bollinger Motors B1 And B2
Bollinger’s originally planned to bring out Bollinger the battery-electric B1 SUV and B2 pickup that would have started at $125,000. They had a boxy body styling that slightly resembled old Land Rover Defenders.
“We set out to make B1 and B2 unique. They could work hard and play hard under extreme conditions and I still believe that left our trucks without competition,” Bollinger said.
He said bringing the B1 and B2 to production would have required a large amount of time and investment.
“When we’d shared news of our EV platforms in 2019, we received a great deal of interest from prospective fleet partners. In early 2020, we increased our focus on the commercial side of the business, and ultimately that’s what dictated this shift,” Bollinger
Previously he said that production of the two vehicles would start in 2020. But the company consistently failed to meet its targets. Bollinger said it will refund deposits for those who’d previously reserved its consumer vehicles.
The four-door, four-seat vehicles, which share most components, were intended to be all-wheel-drive work and sport vehicles. The prototypes featured up to 20 inches of ground clearance and 200 miles of range, according to the company’s specifications.
Commercial Vehicle Pivot
The pivot to commercial vehicles will enable Detroit-based Bollinger Motors to continue to grow and develop green automotive technology, Bollinger said.
The total market for Class 3-6 commercial vehicles is about 500,000 vehicles annually and growing with e-commerce.
“The whole commercial side is looking to go green, so there’s plenty of room for many players,” Bollinger said.
The company has worked to develop a Class 3 electric vehicle since its start.
“Now that we’ve applied our years of development to Classes 3-6, we can realize efficiencies across platforms, and hit more of the market. We’ve been working with prospective fleet customers interested in upfitting our platforms for delivery trucks, utility trucks, municipal buses, chassis cabs, among other types of vehicles,” Bollinger told Trucks.com.
“Most of the expertise we’ve been building over the last few years applies to commercial Classes 3-6. We handle battery development in-house, have our own modular-battery technology, thermal management, battery management, and handle simulation work. This experience is vital to large fleets,” he said.
Electric Truck Competition Grows
At the same time competition is growing rapidly in the electric pickup and SUV market Bollinger originally approached.
Rivian, with its R1T, and GMC with its Hummer, both started delivery of electric adventure vehicles late last year. Ford will launch the electric version of its F-150 this year and already has 200,000 orders. GM also is developing an electric version of its Chevrolet Silverado. Although pricey, all will sell for less than Bollinger’s target price.