One of the reasons Tesla’s stock is so damn volatile these days is because of well-documented delays in the new Model 3’s production schedule. The company promised 100,000 cars this year and will be lucky to deliver 5,000. But also underlying the stock’s bumpy ride is concern that Tesla is about to face an onslaught of competition from automakers that are finally catching up in the electric vehicle game. In particular, from companies like Bollinger Motors, a new electric vehicle startup out of upstate New York that unveiled its flagship prototype this week: an all-electric, all-terrain sport utility truck (SUT).
The Bollinger B1 looks like it belongs in a fleet of World War II Jeeps, or at least on the set of MASH. It’s boxy, minimalist, and unabashedly rugged. It has 33-inch tires, a front-bumper winch, and four-wheel independent hydropneumatic suspension, and it’s not a stretch to envision a machine gun mounted on the top. But it’s not for fighting. Or fighting traffic. Rather, the B1 is for driving off road and/or to places your Model X can’t go.
The B1’s lightweight aluminum frame/body converts between half and full cab, and the rear seats come out to turn the trunk into a pickup bed. Even cooler, since there’s nothing under the hood ⏤ the dual-motor drivetrain and batteries are under the floorboards instead ⏤ a small door connects it to the cabin. That way, you can slide up to 24 2x4s from tip to tail, according to the company. The payload capacity is actually around 6,100 lbs.
As for the dual all-wheel-drive system, it reportedly will be able to generate 360 horsepower (with 472 pound-feet of torque), go from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, and hit a top speed of 127 mph. There will be two batteries offered (a standard 60kWh and an extended 100kWh) that can reach 120 and 200 miles, respectively.
The interior is stark by design with mostly analog instruments, save for one small digital screen to tell you how many miles you have left on the battery, among other critical details. There are USB and 12v outlets in the dash and twin 110-volt power jacks in the back because you never know when you’ll need to plug in a table saw. The center console, by the way, is a metal toolbox.
An official price hasn’t been released but the B1 is expected to run around $60,000 ⏤ or about $20,000 less than the Model X. Bollinger hopes to sell around 15,000 B1s a year and, while still only in the prototype stage, has already begun taking pre-orders on its website. You can sign up now for free, but by early next year, they’ll require a $1,000 deposit to hold your spot. That said, don’t expect the B1 to roll off the line anytime soon. Bollinger is still trying to identify a manufacturer and doesn’t envision the first vehicle hitting the back country for another two years ⏤ or, enough time for Tesla’s stock to go to Mars and back.