It is unclear whether the strategy of using mostly off-the-shelf parts in Bollinger Motors’ first commercial Class 4 electric truck for its fleet will prove to be a long-term financial success.
But at least one thing is certain: After flushing with $148 million in cash from the sale of a controlling stake in California to Mullen Automotive last fall, the Detroit suburban automaker is much faster than ever. We are moving forward at a pace.
Company founder Robert Bollinger remains in charge of the emerging automaker, recruiting experienced automotive veterans from Ford and elsewhere to complete development and testing of the B4, and then Roush for production. We have made it possible to hand over to Industries.
Last week, I stopped by Bollinger’s Technical Center in Oak Park, just north of Detroit, and did a few laps around the parking lot in my B4 development mule. Bollinger drove an eerily quiet track that performed admirably at low speeds. About a year ago Bollinger only had a frame and a few other components. Robert Bollinger spent a lot of time attracting potential investors and resisting the urge to spin off his company in a SPAC deal.
“Half of my brain was always worried about money,” says Bollinger. “This frees me up. I am the CEO and I am in charge of all day-to-day operations.”
According to Bollinger, the Mullen deal created a board of directors to help manage the company and brought in other resources such as Mullen’s sales and engineering teams. Mullen also acquired the corpse of Electric Last Mile Solutions, a commercial EV startup that filed for bankruptcy last year.
As for the B4, it will feature an electric drive unit manufactured by Dana, mounted on a Bollinger-designed frame, and powered by a battery pack supplied by former Ford-owned OurNext Energy in Novi, Michigan. and Apple executives. The cab is a fully assembled unit made in China and mounted on a Bollinger frame.
If the truck passes ongoing road and endurance tests, production could begin in about a year.
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