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28 July 2017

Bollinger’s badass all-electric truck is ready for work ahead of Tesla

If you want to join the electric vehicle revolution but you’re not willing to downsize from your rugged SUV or pickup truck, your dream ride may have just arrived. 

Bollinger Motors, an independent EV startup based in upstate New York, just unveiled its first (and only) vehicle: the B1. The company claims the B1 is the world’s first all-electric, all-wheel drive sport utility truck, finally adding some grit and muscle to the EV scene.  

The truck looks like a cross between a Jeep and an OG Hummer, stripped down of any frills for a life of hard labor. The B1 has a sparse interior style and convertible setup, so you can remove the cab and doors for any job or off-road joyride imaginable.

The truck’s heavy-duty design catches the eye, but Bollinger’s claims about its battery might be its most remarkable feature. The company says the B1’s large 100 kWh battery will have the potential for a 200 mile range, just under Tesla’s 215 mile-per-charge estimate for the much smaller Model 3. A smaller 60 kWh battery could give future B1 owners 120 miles per charge, which is still well beyond the Workhorse hybrid truck’s 80 mile all-electric range. That’s a ton of juice for a big, badass work truck.  

The B1 will offer drivers a stripped-down experience.

The B1 will offer drivers a stripped-down experience.

The B1 is also slated to generate 360 horsepower and 472 lb-foot of torque, which Bollinger claims will push its 0 to 60 acceleration time to an impressive 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 127 mph. The truck has a 6,100-pound payload capacity for heavy-duty hauling jobs. It’s also outfitted with twin 110 volt power outlets for remote charging on the job.

The B1 could become a mobile work station.

The B1 could become a mobile work station.

There are some very important details Bollinger isn’t quite ready to reveal, however: production partners and pricing. The small company doesn’t have the means to manufacture the B1 on a large scale, so it will have to team up with an established third-party partner with the appropriate facilities.

Bollinger will be able to set a price once the manufacturer issue is ironed out, as it aims to land on a number appropriate for a “nicely equipped sport utility vehicle” according to the press release. Pre-orders, which are slated to open early next year, will cost $1,000 per reservation.  

The company plans to begin delivering B1s to customers within 19 months of signing on with a manufacturer using a direct-to-consumer sales approach with plans for expansion to standalone store locations across the country, à la Tesla. 

Bollinger unveiled the B1 the night before Tesla is slated to roll out its first Model 3 sedans to customers in a livestream event, but that wasn’t an intentional move to undercut Elon Musk’s triumphant moment. Bollinger doesn’t think of Tesla as competition — even though Musk has teased a Tesla pickup as recently as April — it’s just another company making progress in the EV space. 

Bollinger spokesman Jeff Holland said as much in an email to Mashable. “We certainly applaud the efforts of forward-thinking companies like Tesla, however we believe there is a need and a desire in the marketplace right now for a multi-purpose all-electric sport utility truck like our Bollinger B1. In fact, we think the B1 would fit nicely in the garage next to the new Tesla Model 3 sedan.”

The company has a ton of work to do before it can give drivers the rugged EV driving experience it promises, so it’s a little early to imagine the B1 posting up next door to Tesla’s latest. If it can fulfill it’s potential, though, we could be looking at a whole new segment of electric vehicles.  

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