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EXCLUSIVE: Bollinger Motors CEO Carves Niche In Electric Vehicles

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EXCLUSIVE: Bollinger Motors CEO Carves Niche In Electric Vehicles

Remote work and an awareness of emissions reduction are ushering in cleaner solutions in the delivery space.

Michigan-based electric vehicle startup Bollinger Motors recently unveiled its play to secure market share in the electric delivery space.

The Deliver-E platform features all-electric powered front-wheel drive and is designed to fit up to four vehicle classes. Workers can maneuver through their vehicles with ease thanks to the company’s special attention to chassis and interior design.

Benzinga caught up with CEO Robert Bollinger to discuss how Bollinger Motors plans to stand out against major EV players.

Benzinga: Can you tell me about the decision to relocate to Oak Park, Michigan? What new opportunities will this afford the company?

Bollinger: We were very lucky because we were bursting at the seams at our old location. Oak Park is about four-and-a-half times bigger, which allows us to double our team this year, which is our goal. We are doing our next round of prototype build as well as working on our delivery van, so the bigger shop allows us to build all of our prototypes concurrently.

BZ: Bollinger Motors is offering two commercial electric solutions in sport utility and pickup forms. Companies like Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Lordstown Motors and Ford (NYSE: F) are also venturing into building cleaner solutions for such vehicle classes. What makes people want to drive a Bollinger Motors vehicle?

Bollinger: From the very beginning, the question was "how do we make something that we can own and be the best at making?”

We have the only all-electric Class 3 truck in development at all. We also have hydropneumatic suspension, 15-inch ground clearance and the patented pass-through, which allows storage of long items.

We really reinvented the truck from the ground up and created a unique solution to trucks that no one else is doing. Our vehicles have a very unique positioning, so people who know what our trucks can do will buy them.

BZ: How will the newly unveiled Deliver-E van compete against companies such as Workhorse (NASDAQ: WKHS) and Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG) that are also working on fleet-based delivery solutions?

Bollinger: We developed a whole new platform for our delivery van that incorporates our same batteries, motors, girders and high-voltage components.

What we are doing with our approach is making the vehicles with a manufacturing partner who is already making delivery vehicles to lower risk and get to market quicker.

The delivery van only needs front-wheel drive, so once we redesigned the frame from delivery, we realized that we can bring it down to 18 inches off the ground.

An 8-inch ground clearance, an 8-inch rail and a 1-inch flooring structure is an 18-inch step-up, which I believe is the lowest in the business.

That works out well because drivers are doing over 100 stops a day, so including just one step instead of two or three reduces their motion redundancy.

BZ: What does your workspace look like in the COVID-19 climate?

Bollinger: We closed down our old shop and had everyone work from home about two weeks before the mandate in March.

When restrictions eased, we came into the office until the second wave hit. We then went back home and hadn’t gotten back together as a team until we moved to Oak Park.

We have massive rooms where everyone is 10-12 feet apart. Now that we have enough space where people feel comfortable working, everyone wants to come back.

Photo courtesy of Bollinger Motors. 

 

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