Michigan-based electric truck start-up Bollinger Motors hasn’t started production of its rugged electric trucks, the Jeep B1 and B2 pickup, but it is already rolling out a new type of vehicle. This week, the company unveiled the Deliver-E, its fully electric delivery van concept slated for production in 2022.
Many companies, from legacy automakers to tech startups, are currently developing their own electric delivery vans. But what sets Bollinger apart is the variability of its platform. The EV startup promises a variety of battery pack sizes, including 70 kWh, 105 kWH, 140 kWh, 175 kWh, and 210 kWh. This means that customers will have a variety of range, price and wheelbase size options to choose from. The front-wheel drive platform will be designed to fit Class 2B, 3, 4 and 5, Bollinger said.
When it finally goes from concept to production, the Deliver-E will have a lot of competition. General Motors is working on an electric delivery van, dubbed “BV1”, which will go into production at the end of 2021. Mercedes-Benz already has several models on the road, and Ford has several versions in the works, including an electric version of its supremely popular Transit van.
Amazon, which has a fleet of tens of thousands of combustion-engine vans constituting its massive delivery operation, has ordered 100,000 electric vans from start-up EV Rivian (in which it is also heavily invested). Startups like Arrival (which received investments from UPS and Hyundai) and Chanje (which names FedEx as a customer) are also working on electric vans. And Waymo, one of the world’s leading autonomous vehicle companies, is working with Fiat Chrysler on the design of an autonomous commercial delivery van based on FCA’s Ram ProMaster.
It’s been three years since Bollinger first launched its B1 SUV and B2 pickup truck, which were due to go into production this year. The company now claims production has been delayed until the fourth quarter of 2021, with deliveries starting that same quarter and through 2022. The company aims to produce between 2,000 and 2,500 units in this first production run, has said a spokesperson. Both vehicles will start at $ 125,000 – nowhere near the $ 100,000 mark the startup was aiming for when it revealed the B1 in 2017. Bollinger did not disclose the price of the Deliver-E van.
Bollinger still has a lot of hurdles to overcome before it can deliver on its production promises. The company, which was founded in 2015, still has to raise more money and find a manufacturing partner to be able to put either vehicle into production next year. It may consider going public through a “reverse merger” with a special acquisition company – or SPAC – as many other EV startups have done so far this year.
Bollinger CEO Robert Bollinger admitted talking to some PSPCs over the summer. The company felt that once it announced the Deliver-E van, given the higher read volume, the next step would be to announce a production partner and then funding information.
“A number of PSPCs reached out to us to do something and it just wasn’t a good time for us,” Bollinger told Reuters.