Bollinger puts rugged B1 and B2 on ice to focus on commercial EVs

Bollinger puts rugged B1 and B2 on ice to focus on commercial EVs

Michigan-based EV start up Bollinger, which has garnered interest worldwide in recent years with its plans to launch a range of rugged, hardcore electric 4x4s, is postponing passenger car development to focus on commercial vehicles.

The firm showed its straight-edged B1 SUV and B2 pick-up truck at the 2019 Los Angeles motor show in near-production-ready form, even going so far as to announce pricing details and confirm plans to ship them to the UK and Europe.

But now founder and CEO Robert Bollinger has announced that development of the two vehicles will be indefinitely postponed as the company shifts its focus to developing electric goods vehicles.

In an email to media and customers, Bollinger said: “We started out making the B1 and B2 in 2015 with a dream to make the best trucks on the planet.

“The off-road capable, all-wheel-drive B1 and B2 are powerful, innovative and distinct. We’ve put countless hours of hard work and passion into making something we are all very proud of.

“However, today we’re postponing their development and shifting our focus to commercial trucks and fleets.

“This is a vitally important move for us, because it enables us to continue the development of our technology and to make a real impact in the green future of automotive.”

The company hasn’t made any concrete announcements regarding the launch of the £100,000 off-roaders since their debut, and although the cars appeared in LA for a second time in 2021, it was reported that several early deposits had been refunded.

Any remaining deposits will now also be refunded until Bollinger is in a position to “resume the B1 and B2 programme”. 

When Autocar spoke to sales director Chet Parsons in 2019, he told us that more than half of the first year’s production run of 1000-1250 units – then scheduled to get under way in 2021 – had been accounted for. 

The manufacturer’s vehicles were envisioned as low-volume alternatives to the Rivian R1S and R1T, the Tesla Cybertruck and the new GMC Hummer EV, but Bollinger hadn’t identified a production partner to build the customer cars, nor had it obtained investment from an established manufacturer, as Rivian had.

Bollinger’s commercial vehicle range will comprise trucks ranging in size from Class 3 to Class 6, which essentially means it will offer extra-large pick ups and small lorries, using a variation of the architecture that underpins the B1 and B2. 

The B1 and B2 are already Class 3 size, but Bollinger’s commercial vehicles are targeted at a different section of the market and so will take a different form entirely, as reported by Forbes, which reports the first example could be shown in March.