With their inexpensive motors and on-line sales, which lower the barriers to entry, electric vehicles have become a magnet for start-up companies.
Bollinger Motors, a U.S.-based company headquartered in New York, unveiled what it describes as the world’s first all-electric, on-and-off-road sport utility truck or SUT. The squared off utility vehicle is reminiscent of an early model Ford Bronco.
“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.”
The Bollinger B1 incorporates a rugged, heavy-duty truck design with a classic, 3-box look that is expected to attract traditional off-road vehicle enthusiasts. It is 150 inches wide, 76.5 inches wide 73.5 inches tall and come 50/50 weight distribution front to back and side to side. The dual-motor power train also full-time all-wheel drive.
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The vehicle features removable body panels, windows and seats that allow it to be converted from a four-seat sport-ute to a two-seat short-bed truck. The Bollinger B1 starts with 15.5 inches of ground clearance its motors can produce 360 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque.
The production B1 will offer two lithium ion battery pack options: 60 kWh or 100 kWh, producing either 120 miles or 200 miles in range. The B1 has a 0-60 time of just 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 127 miles per hour and weighs 3,900 pounds giving it a 10.8 power-to-weight ratio.
The B1 employs an advanced chassis structure to underpin the vehicle and house its battery system and provide support for its off-roading components.
The all-aluminum chassis with a high-strength, low-alloy steel rollover structure is designed for optimal off road vehicle proportions. It sports a wheelbase of 105 inches, front and rear track of 68 inches, an approach angle of 56 degrees, departure angle of 53 degrees, and break over angle of 33 degrees.
The chassis by itself weighs just 295 pounds while not sacrificing structural or torsional rigidity. The base ride height provides for 15.5 inches of ground clearance, but will be adjustable using a self-leveling, 4-wheel independent, hydro-pneumatic suspension within the 10 inches of wheel travel.
Disconnectable anti-roll bars allow traction enhancing, full suspension articulation making off-roading much easier.
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“At either a 120- or 200-mile estimated range, the Bollinger B1 will have more range than most electric vehicles on the road today,” said John Hutchison, Bollinger Motors engineer.
“The average U.S. driver travels less than 36 miles per day, so the B1 has plenty of charge for anything you throw at it. I think we found the right combination of utility, off-road capability and range options.”
Bollinger Motors has a design, engineering and development center in Hobart, New York, and the company is in talks with third-party independent vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. that are conducting feasibility studies and financial estimates. Using an established manufacturer brings with it an inherent knowledge of the build process and also helps to control and mitigate costs.
Bollinger said the company will announce 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. “When you factor in this vehicle’s superiority over the other choices on today’s market, we think we have a winning combination.”
Once manufacturing is finalized, B1 deliveries are targeted to start within 19 months. Initially a direct-to-consumer sales model will be employed for the B1 and, in the future, Bollinger will also look to open company and retail stores in major cities across the U.S., hoping to utilize the same sales model as another EV maker, Tesla.
(Toyota’s long-range EV could bring battery breakthrough to market. Click Here for the story.)
For now, the B1 will be available through bollingermotors.com and interested individuals can reserve a spot simply by signing up online with no money down. In early 2018 reservation holders will be able to order their B1 with a $1,000 down payment.