There’s been a lot of noise on the electric pickup-truck front of late, and before the economy pressed the “pause” button, several new entries were set to launch later this year. Most are being pushed back, but amid the dour news of product launch delays, electric Class 3 truck startup Bollinger has decided to announce yet another product to be sold alongside its B1 SUV, B2 pickup, and E-Chassis products: The B2 Chassis Cab.
With the first year’s production of Bollinger’s hand-built civilian models essentially sold out (and expected to hit the market in early 2021, pending resumption of work at the automaker’s suppliers), the company is looking to expand its reach with commercial sales. Company CEO and founder Robert Bollinger sees an unmet need for a Class 3 truck with extreme off-road capability, zero-emissions, and high onboard energy storage capacity for job site work. “We’re already talking to some third party aftermarket providers to create emergency vehicles for rough terrain, we’re talking to companies that do mining, and folks running vehicles for game viewing in Africa.” Working emissions-free underground and sneaking up silently on big game does seem like a pretty legit and unique selling proposition, even if those use cases seem a bit specific.
The B2 Chassis Cab will be offered with a choice of two- or four-door cab, either open in back or closed off at the B- or C-pillar (the mid-gate/lift window setup of the pickup truck would also be an option, but it’s unlikely to find many takers). Two-door versions may end up with shorter front seat travel. The bare chassis rails in back provide mounting points the upfitter industry is familiar with.
To begin with, the B2 wheelbase will be used, but if someone really wanted a two-door cab on the shorter wheelbase of the B1, that could easily be offered as well. Looking toward the future, Bollinger can envision stretched versions as well, noting that given the modular nature of the battery pack, a 30-percent larger battery pack could easily fit within a two-foot wheelbase extension on a would-be “B5” version, for example.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but the bill of materials saved by deleting the bed and possibly the rear seat area and maybe downgrading the audio equipment is minimal in comparison with the costs of the electric and suspension hardware. On the other hand, it’s conceivable that strong demand could introduce economies of scale that lower the price of all Bollingers.
As for the effect the pandemic quarantine is having on the company’s development program, Robert Bollinger says the engineering team is beavering away at home, and that the next big round of prototype development builds and testing wasn’t expected until the fall anyway. When business opens back up he’ll have a better idea of whether the supply base is going to need to drastically push their parts delivery dates.
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