EV startup Bollinger unveils electric delivery van

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Michigan-based electric truck startup Bollinger Motors hasn’t started production on its rugged electric trucks, the Jeep-like B1 and the B2 pickup, but it’s already rolling out a new vehicle type. This week, the company unveiled the Deliver-E, its all-electric delivery van concept that is slated for production in 2022.

A lot of companies, from legacy automakers to tech startups, are developing their own electric delivery vans right now. But what sets Bollinger apart is the variability of its platform. The EV startup is promising a variety of battery pack sizes, including 70 kWh, 105 kWH, 140 kWh, 175 kWh, and 210 kWh. This will mean customers will have a variety of range-options, prices, and wheelbase sizes to chose from. The front-wheel-drive platform will be engineered to fit Classes 2B, 3, 4, and 5, Bollinger said.

When it eventually graduates from concept to production version, the Deliver-E will have a lot of competition. General Motors is working on an electric delivery van, codenamed “BV1,” that will enter production in late 2021. Mercedes-Benz already has multiple 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 making up its massive delivery operation, has ordered 100,000 electric vans from EV startup Rivian (which it is also heavily invested in). Startups like UK-based Arrival (which received investments from UPS and Hyundai) and Chanje (which names FedEx as a customer) are working on electric vans as well. And Waymo, one of the leading autonomous vehicle companies in the world, is working with Fiat Chrysler on the design of a self-driving commercial delivery van based on FCA’s Ram ProMaster.

It’s been three years since Bollinger first introduced its B1 SUV and B2 pickup truck, which were slated to go into production this year. The company now says production has been delayed until the fourth quarter of 2021, with deliveries starting that same quarter and into 2022. The company is aiming to produce between 2,000-2,500 units during this first round of production, a spokesperson said. Both vehicles will start at an eye-popping $125,000 — far off the sub-$100,000 mark that the startup was aiming for when it revealed the B1 back in 2017. Bollinger hasn’t disclosed a 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 needs to raise more money and find a manufacturing partner to be able to get either vehicle into production next year. It may consider going public via a “reverse merge” with a special acquisition company — or SPAC — like many, many other EV startups have so far this year.

Bollinger CEO Robert Bollinger has acknowledged having spoken with some SPACs over the summer. The company figured that once it announced the Deliver-E van, given the higher volume play, the next step will be to announce a production partner, followed then by funding news.

“We did have a number of SPACs contact us looking to do something and it just wasn’t the right time for us,” Bollinger told Reuters.

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