Two approaches to the EV pickup truck—here's how they differ
Whether or not the world was ready for the ultra-utilitarian looks of the Bollinger B1 and B2 electric SUV and pickup, Elon Musk just hit the reset button on truck styling with the Tesla Cybertruck. The Bollinger may look unconventional for a road-going vehicle, but the Cybertruck looks straight up otherworldly by comparison. Opinions will be split on which EV truck looks better, but aesthetics will be among the least important factors for those in the market for an electric pickup. Instead, the most important thing about a truck boils down to how useful it is—and both trucks promise to be exceptionally capable. Let’s look at the key differences—apart from styling—between the Bollinger B2 and Cybertruck to get an idea of just what to expect from the two newest players in the EV pickup truck space.
Size and speed
The B2 and the Cybertruck are both big pickups, but the Cybertruck is the bigger of the two. It’s more than 2 feet longer than the B2. The bed in the B2 is 6 feet long, while the bed in the Cybertruck is 6.5 feet long (though the back of the Bollinger’s cab can be opened to allow items up to 16 feet into the cab, similar to the old Chevrolet Avalanche). They both come with handy frunks, too, but the Cybertruck also has a trunk. The Bollinger can seat four, while the Cybertruck can fit up to six.
As for performance, the Bollinger’s claimed top speed is 100 mph (160 km/h) and it can get to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.5 seconds, according to the Michigan-based electric startup. The Cybertruck’s top speed ranges from 110 to 130 mph (177 to 209 km/h), and its 0-60 time ranges from 6.5 seconds to 2.9 seconds, depending on battery and motor configuration.
Breadth of capability
If you’re going to build a pickup truck you have to build something capable, and when it comes to towing, the Tesla wins out. Its claimed towing numbers are 7,500, 10,000, and 14,000 pounds (3,402, 4,536 and 6,350 kg) for the single motor, dual-motor, and tri-motor models, respectively. Despite its legal classification as a heavy-duty truck, Bollinger’s B2 can only tow up to 7,500 pounds (3,402 kg), says the manufacturer. As for payload, Tesla claims the Cybertruck will be able to haul 3,500 pounds (1,587 kg) in the bed, while Bollinger says its B2’s max payload is 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg).
Robert Bollinger, the company’s founder, said he built the B2 and its SUV stablemate, the B1, partly because he wanted something he could use as a farm vehicle. As such, off-road capability was a high priority. To that end the B2 (and B1) have all-wheel drive, with one motor on each axle. Bollinger claimed 15 inches of ground clearance for the B2, in addition to 52- and 28-degree approach and departure angles, respectively. The Tesla, with its adjustable air suspension has up to 16 inches ground clearance, and has the same departure angle as the Bollinger, but it’s approach angle is significantly lower at 35 degrees.
The Cybertruck will be available in three different configurations, with ranges… well… ranging from 250 miles (402 km) all the way up to 500 miles (805 km) with the biggest battery and the tri-motor setup. The Bollinger B2, on the other hand, has only one estimated range figure: 200 miles (322 km). Both will have support for fast charging. The Tesla will, of course, be ready for the V3 Supercharger network, which brought big improvements to charge times (as we found out in our testing). The B2 will support Level 3 CCS DC fast charging, and Bollinger says when using a fast charger it will only take 75 minutes to get the B2 from dead to a full charge.
This is where things start to get a little hairy for the Bollinger. At a base price of $125,000 USD, it’s more than three times the $39,900 USD base price of the Cybertruck. Sure, the Cybertruck can cost upwards of $69,000 USD, but even at that price point the Tesla has the value advantage over the B2. Then again, Tesla has been known to advertise outrageous prices to capture headlines, raise prices without notice, and take years to deliver its products. Will the Cybertruck buck that trend? Time will tell. The Tesla Cybertruck is slated to begin production in 2021, with the top-trim tri-motor variant due in 2022. Meanwhile, the first Bollinger B2 pickups are set to begin production in 2020, with deliveries to follow in 2021.