New York-based outfit is on track to launch battery-powered Defender-alike in two years’ time
You’d think that someone with the surname Bollinger might be tempted to get into the champagne business, but Robert Bollinger had a different idea: to create what is claimed to be the most extreme and durable battery-powered off-roader.
Five years after founding his company Bollinger Motors in upstate New York, Industrial designer Bollinger is aiming to launch the boxy B1 SUV Defender lookalike in mid-2019.
3810mm long and 1943mm wide with a wheelbase of 2667mm, the B1 has an all-aluminium chassis and bodywork for lightness, ease of manufacture and simple panel replacement, plus a steel roll cage. It has 15.5 inches of ground clearance and 10 inches of wheel travel.
The first model will have a 60kWh battery promising a 120-mile range, with an option of a 100kWh/200-mile battery. Electric motors on both axles deliver a total of 355bhp and 472lb ft of torque, running through front and rear electronic locking differentials and two double-speed-range gearboxes.
The absence of a conventional engine in the front has allowed Bollinger to incorporate a ‘pass-through’ area for long loads. Taking the rear seats out endows the B1 with an impressive 2690-litre cargo space.
“There’s no other electric SUV like this,” says Bollinger engineer John Hutchinson. “Electric drivetrains are great for off-road use, because they offer plenty of torque at low rpm.
“The B1 is designed for fun off-roading, or for use as a farm vehicle. Those vehicles don’t travel great distances, so range is less of an issue.”
After kicking off in the US market, Bollinger plans to be exporting by 2020, especially to the Middle East, with a claimed 10,000 expressions of interest already received.