American EV startup Bollinger Motors has revealed beta prototypes of its hotly-anticipated B1 SUV and B2 dual-cab pickup truck, which the company describes as “a major milestone in the company’s next steps towards production.”

Built on a shared in-house Class 3 electric vehicle platform, the pair – which appear to have been named after the main characters from Bananas in Pyjamas – have been designed with minimalistic simplicity in mind, with the models’ lightweight aluminium construction for both the body and chassis designed to make production as straightforward as possible.

Given the off-roading focus of the duo, making the aluminium body panels easily replaced is another benefit of the design – one which reminds of what Mercedes-Benz was trying to do with the Smart car lineup.

Both packing a huge 120kWh battery pack, Bollinger estimates the B1 and B2 should be able to cover around 320km on a single charge – impressive, given both weigh in excess of two tonnes.

Power in both models comes from a pair of electric motors that, together, deliver an impressive 458kW and 906Nm – good enough to haul these big beasts from 0-96km/h in 4.5 seconds while top speed is limited by gearing to 160km/h.

Asserting the off-road credentials of the two is the electric all-wheel drive system being backed up by a two-speed gearbox with both high and low-range ratios to help it cover the same sort of ground as the toughest ICE-powered 4x4s out there.

Ground clearance on both the B1 and B2 is claimed to be a ridiculously impressive 381mm – the lack of differentials and prop shaft protruding from its flat underbelly likely contribute to this – along with 254mm of wheel travel.

The shorter B1 will have a slight edge off-road with its 30-degree break-over and 43-degree departure angles versus the B2’s 25 and 28-degrees respectively. The approach angle on both is a very impressive 52-degrees.

Further backing up the workhorse capabilities of both is the claims of both models is claims of a 3400kg braked towing capacity and payload of at least 2268kg.

Visually, the influences of classic off-roaders like the Land Rover Defender, Jeep Wrangler and new Gladiator pickup, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and the Humvee and Hummer models of the 1990s are clearly seen in the duo’s tough squared-off styling.

The interiors of both are set to offer no more than you’d need, either – clearly, Bollinger isn’t trying to rival the Tesla Model X – with only the essential gauges required and… well, that’s about it. Given the Class 3 classification and specialist applications for the pair, neither are even being developed with airbags.

Worth noting, too, is that only four-seat configurations are set to be offered to allow for a full-length pass through of the entire vehicle, which would no doubt be a plumber’s dream for fitting long pipes and sections of gutter through. This is complemented on the B2 by a fully expandable tray as the entire rear section of the cabin folds up and out of the way.

This pair might not be luxurious in any way, but the sheer function-over-form mantra that has created them means these are looking like they could be seriously handy vehicles when they finally hit the market. There’s something about a big, boxy vehicle that gives it a certain rugged handsomeness, too.

Although Bollinger is prioritising its home market in the US first, right-hand drive versions of its models are also being developed, so you should eventually be able to get your hands on one here in Australia. There’s no word yet on pricing or finalised specifications, but this is a very good indicator of what you can eventually expect to see in production form.

Patrick Jackson
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