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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This isn't a production vehicle yet - and I'm pretty sure it never will be - but it's an interesting EV proposal and prototype:
Bollinger B1

Lots of press coverage is easy to find, most of it not providing any useful analysis... just search for something like "Bollinger electric truck".

Some forum members may know the company founder - Dave Bollinger - since I see that name as a Tesla owner in a couple of posts.

This is a 4WD utility vehicle, which they are very deliberately calling a "truck" rather than an "SUV". It follows the battery-as-floor-platform design pattern (although with a backbone frame), with a now-conventional drivetrain of a transverse motor at each end, with 2-stage spur gear reduction boxes and differentials. Motors are within the wheelbase (ahead of the rear axle and behind the front). Suspension is double-A-arm, with hydropneumatic suspension. Axles are portal type (geared drop boxes at the hubs) with inboard disc brakes. The structure is an unworkably expensive but cool welded fabrication of aluminum, much of it milled from billet; a production design would need to use suitable extrusions, castings, and bent sheet components; I can only guess that's their intention. The upper body can be configured (with significant effort by two people, handling it in six pieces) as a four-seat SUV or 2-seat pickup, although there is no indication of how the "mid-gate" (in GM terms) might be handled or if one even exists - none is shown in the material which I've seen.

The novel feature is the first functional use of the flat-platform pattern that I've seen. The GM Hy-wire concept had an open space end to end, but there was no safe way to use the forward space, and it relied on an entirely drive-by-wire design which is not production-worthy yet. This one has an access tunnel between the front trunk and main interior, with a level floor through them. There should be a door for the tunnel, but I didn't see one... that's just one of at many issues to be addressed to make it production-worthy, but at least this is an operating prototype (not just a computer model).

The weight ratings looked bizarre at first, until I realized that they used three-ton capacity axles to give a 10,001 pound GVWR, to put it (barely) into the Class 3 truck category (US Federal class HDV3), exempting it from various passenger-car regulations. That's like a "one ton" pickup truck, such as a GM 3500, Ram 3500, or Ford F-350. They would not want it to tow much of a trailer (since range would be terrible), so the trailer weight rating equals the payload rating: you could carry the trailer if you could crush it into a small enough block. ;)

An interesting spec is the economy number: at "67.4 est. MPGe" it looks quite precise, but that is just the result of guessing that it might use a nice round number of 500 watt-hours per mile, and dividing that into the nominal gasoline energy content of 33.7 kWh/gallon. My guess is that two tons of vehicle with the aerodynamics of a barn door and LT285/70R17 open-tread tires will use far more energy than that.

It does look cool - like an old Land Rover.
 

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The fact that we are starting to see prototype trucks of various sizes built around and BEV platform is testament that battery improvements are just around the corner.

Once the range issue is firmly in the past, truck enthusiasts are going to love the performance.
 

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Brian, thank you for your well-phrased and informative writeup.

I won't say the vehicle is ugly, but truly, flat sheet metal adds more weight than strength.
 

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Brian,
Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Interesting to compare this to my own truck, which is a GMC 2500HD, having a 10,000 Lb towing capacity and a 16,000 pound GCWR (gross cargo weight).
I have my truck specifically for towing heavy loads long distances. A typical trip is with a 3-horse trailer traveling about 300 km (200 miles) round-trip. I don't think the Bollinger could match it for either mass or distance on this purpose. A fill-up at a gas station may be needed, but a 30-minute coffee break is not the same as a 7-hour overnight recharge!
I do also use my truck for an awful lot of short-haul trips with the box full of stuff, sometimes off road in 4X4, and I can see the Bollinger specs showing it capable of those trips. In fact, that would account for 3/4 of the trips I take in the truck; less than 50km/30miles and only partly on highway.
Unfortunately for Bollinger, the reason I have my big Chev is for the long-haul trips. I wouldn't have this truck if it couldn't do trip A. The ability to do trip B is just a tag-along.

I can see this truck fulfilling the need that most Hummer's and Navigator's fill, rather than actually doing any real work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting to compare this to my own truck, which is a GMC 2500HD, having a 10,000 Lb towing capacity and a 16,000 pound GCWR (gross cargo weight).
The "C" in GCWR is "combination", rather than"cargo", but it appears that the 2500's 16,000 pound value is its Gross Combination Weight Rating, corresponding to a 6,000 pound truck with 10,000 pound towing capacity. I assume that this is not a recent GMC 2500, as that is a very low GCWR for a current truck of this class; they are typically closer to 25,000 pounds (and the trucks themselves have a curb weight of about 7,000 pounds with the diesel, and higher than 6,000 even with the gas engine).

As the Tesla Semi discussion has brought out, the high weight of a long-range battery-electric powertrain is a challenge, because for given GCWR (limited by the powertrain) every bit of added vehicle weight cuts into what remains for cargo and/or trailer weight. Even if the GCWR is high enough to allow for a heavy trailer with a huge battery, the truck is stuck carrying that huge battery all of the time.

I can see this truck fulfilling the need that most Hummer's and Navigator's fill, rather than actually doing any real work.
I agree, since most Hummers (few of which are still on the road) and Lincoln Navigators are not used regularly for towing.
 

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...I assume that this is not a recent GMC 2500,
Definitely- It's a 2004 model.

...as that is a very low GCWR for a current truck of this class;
Yes and I feel it towing two horses up hills! New trucks have so much more capability. Old trucks also don't perform as well as they used to unless you get them tuned up every year. This is a farm truck so... :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Looking at the weight numbers again, it appears that the published specs (which I assume are rough targets rather than real values) imply a 4,001 pound curb weight (plus 6,000 pound payload for 10,001 pound GVWR). That seems improbably light, even given all of the aluminum used.

As for towing, no 6,000 pound trailer could ever be towed (if the 6000 lb trailer rating is GCWR-limited), because that would leave zero for the driver. Assume hundreds of pounds for driver, likely passenger, and probably some cargo, and you have perhaps a 5,000 pound trailer. That's common mid-sized SUV territory, laughably low for a Class 3 truck. They just really don't want anyone to tow much with it... it's for other purposes.

Even aside from range, a normal Class 2 (2500-class) pickup is a vastly more functional towing machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: An image of a 4-door has been released:
http://bollingermotors.com/Bollinger4Door.jpg

It's obviously just an artist's concept, not a real vehicle (not even a prototype). This would be even heavier (since it is longer and has additional body components), and there is no indication of additional chassis capacity so payload would be lower. With no powertrain change, towing capacity would also be lower. Although there would be room for more battery, there is no mention of increased battery capacity; if capacity is not increased, range would likely be shorter (although lower aero drag may compensate for higher rolling drag and energy to accelerate).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Road & Track feature

Road&Track has featured the Bollinger B1 again:
The Rad Bollinger B1 Electric 4x4 Gets Closer to Production
More than 19,000 people have put in a reservation for this Defender-style electric off-roader, and we can see why.
Keep in mind that "reservations" are not binding on either the manufacturer (so it may never be built) or the customer (so they may not turn into orders), and there is no associated firm price or delivery date. If it makes it, production is at least a couple of years out.

Durability Test: The sandbags, Karl & our TRC driver weighed 2360lbs. If you add the unladen weight of the truck front axle you get 5000lbs GAWR (Gross axle weight rating)...
So the unladen front axle load is roughly 2,640 pounds. Obviously, the earlier claimed curb weight of 4,001 pounds was fiction.

The B1 is a four-seater, capable of carrying a payload of 5000 lbs, with a 7500 lb towing capacity.
The numbers are shifting, as perhaps should be expected. This now implies a curb weight of 4,999 pounds (an increase of 998 pounds), and a GCWR of 12,499 pounds (an increase of 2,499 pounds).

The B1 will also be approved for flat-towing, with the motors charging the batteries along the way.
As a way to charge the vehicle for driving this is nonsensical; however, if it were to charge by regenerative braking and use that energy to assist the towing vehicle (presumably a motorhome) for acceleration and climbing, it would be useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
B2 pickup

Next product for the company that doesn't have anything in production yet: the B2 pickup
Electrek: Bollinger unveils all-electric B2 pickup truck
The Drive: Bollinger Unveils Electric B2 Pickup Truck, Claims Production Will Start in 2020

It's the B1, but with a longer cargo box left open, so it's a pickup. It also has a midgate, so the cargo can extend into the rear of the cab, like a Chevrolet Avalanche.

In proportions, it's a short bed double cab (a.k.a. Crew Cab) pickup with not quite enough wheelbase.
 
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