While electric sedans and hatchbacks are proliferating, nobody has tried to build a serious electric SUV or pickup truck. Bollinger Motors, based in Michigan, intends to remedy that deficit in 2020. We already knew about the company's B1 SUV. Now, here comes the newly announced B2 pickup.
Last July, when Bollinger was still headquartered in upstate New York, I visited the company and took a ride in the B1 prototype. The B1 was the big news then, but founder Robert Bollinger was already thinking about pickups, too. “Heavy-duty trucks are useless off-road,” he said. “The suspension’s too stiff, and the weight distribution is horrible-pickups have no weight on the rear end.”
The B2 should remedy both of those problems. Like the B1, it has a floor-mounted battery pack and dual motors to provide a nearly even front-to-rear weight distribution. And the hydropneumatic suspension and portal gear hubs solve the suspension problem-these systems ride the same whether loaded or unloaded, which is how the B2 can carry 5,000 lbs. That payload capacity vaults the B2 over the 10,001-pound threshold for a Class 3 truck, meaning it’ll be exempt from passenger car safety standards (for instance: air bags).
With the dual motors providing 520 hp and 514 lb-ft of torque, the B2 will have plenty of power, although the claimed 0-60 time is a sedate 6.5 seconds. (When I checked out the early B1, which had 360 hp, Bollinger claimed 0-60 would be 4.5 seconds). Perhaps Bollinger is optimizing range over speed, since the 200-mile range seems generous for something shaped like a shipping container and rolling on knobby 285/70/17 off-road tires. Sure, the 120 kWh battery pack contains two Chevy Bolts’ worth of juice, but this thing is more than two Bolts’ worth of vehicle.
The B2’s ground clearance is between 10 and 20 inches, depending on the suspension’s height setting. Oh, and the B2 can carry 72 sheets of plywood with the internal tailgate down and rear window flipped up, which is especially impressive given its relatively compact dimensions. Its 207.5-inch length makes it a few inches shorter than a regular-cab short-bed Silverado. Like the B1, the B2 also has a front tailgate and pass-through to the cab.
Sound awesome? They’re taking orders. Pricing won’t be announced until next year, but we’d expect it’ll cost more than a Ram Tradesman. But hey, what other truck will carry a 16-foot piece of lumber inside the vehicle?
You won’t confuse the B2’s four-passenger interior with a King Ranch F-250, but that’s not the point. The point is to rethink what a pickup truck can accomplish, both on and off the road. Now all they’ve got to do is build it.
('You Might Also Like',)