Bollinger Motors took the covers off its new B4 electric truck, showing the world its new chassis cabs that offer supreme flexibility, in terms of usage, and a reminder the commercial vehicle space is now getting crowded — and competitive.
As part of the debut, Bollinger claims it’s the “only company offering chassis cabs and platforms in classes 4-6.” It notes the vehicles come “upfit-ready” and in different wheelbase lengths to accommodate a variety uses: box truck, bucket truck or even a “walk-in van.”
In April, Con Edison asked Bollinger Motors to develop a Class 3 prototype of a walk-in van for testing. Con Edison is tentatively planning to integrate Class 3 – 6 vehicles into its fleet by 2024.
“The cab-forward design also increases both overall cargo space behind the cab and critical downward visibility in front,” said Kent Harrison, chief product officer of Bollinger Motors. “The B4’s 41-foot turning circle will be better than any comparable wheelbase truck — which will improve driving dynamics in both rural and urban settings.”
The company declined to offer pricing details, saying that information would come at a later day. It also noted it will be rolling out Class 5 and Class 6 trucks as well.
However, it did note buyers of the new B4 should qualify for tax credits made available from the Inflation Reduction Act. The B4 is expected to be eligible for a 30% tax credit, up to $40,000, under provisions made for commercial electric vehicles.
Making a move
The B4, the company’s first release since formally announcing its temporary shift away from mainstream and medium-duty vehicles, is driven by a solid rear-axle e-drive to meet demand for higher payloads. It uses an 800-volt platform, with lithium iron phosphate batteries chemistry, to ensure safety and cut costs.
Customers may outfit their B4s with either one or two battery packs to accommodate cost and range requirements. Range estimates exceed current customer need, according to Bollinger, and offer roughly 100 miles per battery pack.
The company announced in May that Roush Industries will be assembling the battery-electric Class 3 through 6 platforms and chassis cab commercial vehicles. Bollinger said it would provide the parts for assembly at Roush’s facility in Livonia, Michigan. Bollinger is headquartered near Roush in Oak Park, Michigan.
Filling a need
“The cab-forward design is a radical change from our previous concepts,” said Robert Bollinger, founder and CEO of Bollinger Motors, in a statement. “And that’s on purpose. We listened to our commercial customers and developed what they need for ultimate efficiency.”
At first glance, it may appear that Bollinger is attempting to carve out a spot in the commercial vehicle space currently occupied most notably by Rivian with its delivery vans, General Motors and its BrightDrop subsidiary and a few others. However, CEO Bollinger is thinking a bit more specifically about the B4 and other vehicles.
His company does not plan to target the lighter commercial vehicle market — technically known as Class 2 and Class B trucks, which are essentially the offerings mentioned previously.
He told TheDetroitBureau.com earlier this year he expects to provide its chassis and powertrain to upfitterswho would then add the body chosen by individual customers. This covers a broad gamut of Class 3 through 6 vehicles, such as heavy-duty tow trucks, cement mixers or long-haul vehicles for delivery services such as a UPS or FedEx, said Bollinger.
In fact, the company upgraded the platform used for its initial B1 and B2 vehicles, which debuted in 2020, to better accommodate the Class 3-6 vehicles the new B4 chassis cab or cab-over chassis is aimed at.