Bollinger Postpones B1 and B2 EVs Indefinitely, Will Refund $1 Million in Deposits

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Image: Bollinger Motors

According to Automotive News, electric vehicle (EV) startup Bollinger Motors has announced it will be delaying its all-electric B1 SUV and B2 pickup truck indefinitely.

The company will instead shift focus from consumer vehicles to the commercial EV fleet business, developing the Chass-E — an electric chassis to serve as a foundation for fleet vehicles, for commercial customers.

“When we revealed the B1 and B2 in 2019, we showed the chassis underneath, and that’s when commercial interest started happening,” said Rober Bollinger, CEO of Bollinger Motors.

“Large companies were coming to us and asking if they could use it for their commercial fleets.” That didn’t make sense to the company, however, since the B1 and B2 chassis were equipped only with four-wheel drive.

As a result, the EV upstart began working on the Chass-E, which companies can outfit into their own vehicles, to better cater to the needs of its prospective business-to-business clients.

“We’ve been developing the commercial side for over a year and a half now. As that interest keeps growing and as regulations demand fleets go electric, there are so many companies coming to us that we were putting more and more of our people on the commercial side,” added Bollinger.

All-electric fleet vehicles are a burgeoning market that is rapidly growing. Industry giants like Amazon, Walmart, FedEx, and other large companies are on their way to phasing out internal combustion engine-powered vehicles while adding all-electric trucks, delivery vans, and even semis to their fleet.

The growing demand for electric commercial vehicles has elicited a strong response from the automotive industry, with everyone from veterans like General Motors (with its BrightDrop division) and EV giants like Tesla to startups like Rivian answering the call.

Bollinger did not have a projected timeline for when the Chass-E would be production ready. Once engineering and testing are complete, the Chass-E will be assembled in volume by a contract manufacturer.

Bollinger Motors began accepting $1,000 USD deposits for its two EVs in fall 2019. CEO Robert Bollinger has said that money — about $1 million USD — will be returned to reservation holders.

The CEO noted that the B1 and B1 still need a lot of development, but the project is frozen with no date to resume work.

Mr. Bollinger described the company’s move from consumer vehicles to commercial as “emotional.”

“We put so much work into the B1. We’ve been good as a company, pivoting when needed. This is a major pivot. I realize that. I have had months to think about it. And accept it. It will be a shock and hard to take,” he said of the customers who have already ordered vehicles from the startup and are patiently waiting.

“But it is really the right move for the company. In order for us to continue and continue strong, the commercial front is the reality. The turn to commercial is absolutely necessary.”

Bollinger Motors has already secured its next round of financing and plans to grow as it readies the Chass-E for production.

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