A New York-based start-up has laid claim to the world’s first all-electric SUV with the 2018 Bollinger B1 zero-emissions off-roader
You’ve probably never heard of Bollinger Motors before, the young company having only been founded three years ago in New York. Now the team’s Bollinger B1 is ready to go on sale with a “Made in America” tag, and the company’s self-proclaimed boast of the “first ever all-electric, on-and-off-road sport utility truck”.
Bollinger claims the B1 is second to none off-road, focussed on “builders, do-it-yourselfers, or anyone looking for an electric vehicle with unparalleled traction, torque, and ground clearance.”
The no-nonsense SUV is built on an aluminum frame with a steel roll-cage, and 50:50 weight distribution within Wrangler-like dimensions — in fact the B1 is slightly shorter than the Jeep, but with a longer wheelbase and even shorter overhangs affording the car superior off-roading geometry. Compared to the Wrangler’s 42.2-degree approach angle and 32.3-degree departure angle, the B1 claims unheard-of angles of 56-degrees and 53-degrees respectively, with a breakover angle of 33 degrees to boot.
The car’s base ride height already gives 15.5 inches of ground clearance, and the fully-independent hydro-pneumatic suspension provides 10 inches of wheel travel. Drivers can disconnect the anti-roll bars for full suspension articulation if you’re doing some particularly gnarly off-roading. The company adds that you safely can go ahead and ford a full metre of water since the batteries are encased in four-layer casings sealed to withstand submersion for 30 minutes.
Weighing under 1.8-tonnes, the Bollinger B1 moves along with a total of 360 horsepower and 640Nm of torque thanks to front and rear electric motors and the option of two battery packs offering a choice of 200km or 320km of range. With that grunt the B1 will reach 100km/h from zero in around four-and-a-half seconds and go on to a top speed of over 200km/h, which is likely limited by the thing’s classic three-box shape that looks as aerodynamic as a cinder block.
Bollinger hasn’t revealed prices yet but company founder and boss Robert Bollinger said: “The business case for the B1 makes sense at a very realistic and modest production number and at a price point of a nicely equipped sport utility vehicle.”