Bollinger, a Michigan-based startup, announced today that it is postponing its plans to produce electric trucks to focus on commercial vans.
Bollinger came on the scene a few years ago with a pair of rugged, box-like electric truck prototypes: the four-door B1 (which is shaped like a Jeep Wrangler) and the B2 (which is longer and has a cargo bed). It’s the latest EV startup hitting speed bumps as it tries to build a complex car manufacturing company from scratch.
Bollinger has already delayed both vehicles, so their delay may not come as a huge shock to viewers. The trucks were originally scheduled to go into production in 2020, but that date has been moved to the end of 2021, with several thousand expected to be produced by early 2022.
Now the vehicles will be “delayed indefinitely” as the company shifts its focus to an electric van, Bollinger CEO Robert Bollinger said in a statement. The company will refund the deposits for customers who have previously deposited money to reserve the B1 and B2 trucks.
“The B1 and B2 are being postponed indefinitely to focus on commercial development,” he said. “Because these trucks are close to my heart, I would never say never. If our continued development in advertising allows us to one day return, there would be no one happier than me. But there is no timeline for that.”
Announced in 2020, the Deliver-E electric van will be built on a variable vehicle platform that allows for multiple battery sizes such as 70 kWh, 105 kWh, 140 kWh, 175 kWh and 210 kWh. This means customers have a variety of range options, prices and wheelbase sizes to choose from. The front-wheel drive platform is being designed to fit Classes 2B, 3, 4 and 5.
Bollinger declined to confirm a start date for production of the van, noting that the company is still looking for a manufacturing partner. “The Deliver-E bus was our interpretation of the kind of bodywork that could be put on our electric platforms,” he said. “It was never our intention to build that bodywork ourselves, but we are now in talks with assembly partners who make bodies for trucks and vans.”
When it eventually moves from concept to production, the Deliver-E will face a lot of competition. General Motors already supplies electric vans under the BrightDrop brand to customers such as FedEx and Walmart. Mercedes-Benz has several models on the road and Ford plans to enter production this year with its electrified E-Transit bus.
Amazon, which has a fleet of tens of thousands of combustion-engined vans that make up its massive delivery operation, has ordered 100,000 electric vans from EV startup Rivian (which it also invests heavily in) and plans to buy EVs from Stellantis as well.