If you’ve got your heart set on a Bollinger, maybe it’s time to start that delivery business you’ve always dreamed of. Bollinger, the Michigan-based developer of the boxy B1 electric SUV and B2 electric pickup, has announced a change in plans: Production of its consumer trucks will be suspended indefinitely as the company pivots to its commercial business.
“Even though I love our trucks, we were getting so much interest on the commercial front, it just became a smart business decision,” founder and CEO Robert Bollinger told MotorTrend. “We have a lot of fleets coming to us. We have agreements with them in place that we’ll talk about later. All of our hard work and all of the patents, all of the expertise we’ve learned, battery development, thermal management, the battery management system [for] which we wrote our own code, all of our controls, all that we’ve done up to this point leads us perfectly into commercial.”
Bollinger’s plan is to concentrate on Class 3 to 6 trucks (those with GVWRs ranging from 10,001 to 26,000 pounds—think heavy duty pickups up to two-axle box trucks and school buses), which makes sense given what Bollinger has shown us: Alongside its trucks, Bollinger has developed chassis-cab and dually versions of the B2 electric pickup, along with a bare Class 3 chassis for commercial use.
“We’ve been in Class 3 since day one,” Bollinger said. “When we started having more and more of the team work on the commercial front, we saw that there was a lot of similarity between [Classes 3 to 6]. There are a lot of components we can use that are the same. The fundamental engineering and manufacturing of those frames for commercial are all very similar. We can expand our expertise in Class 3 into higher classes. We’re doing this because, what else is out there?”
“Way back in 2015 when I started the company,” Bollinger told us, “I knew there was going to be an electric [Ford] F-150 in the future. Things would go all-electric, so [we wanted to] make a truck that’s really unique, very different, has all these capabilities that you won’t find in any other truck. We succeeded in that and it became a vehicle we knew would be hand-assembled, low-volume and niche. I will go to my grave saying the B1 and B2 have no competition.”
We’d be lying if we said we weren’t a little disappointed. There was a lot we were looking forward to seeing in the Bollinger trucks, not least of all that 12-foot cargo pass-through from the front to the rear of the truck, which is arguably even cooler than the Rivian R1T’s Gear Tunnel.
Bollinger plans to return deposits put down on B1 and B2 trucks, so does that mean the consumer vehicles are gone for good?
“Never say never,” Bollinger told us. “The B1 and B2 will always be in my heart. We’re keeping all of that intellectual property, obviously. [But] commercial is definitely 100 percent of the focus right now.”