Electric Vehicles

Bollinger unveils its patent-pending E-Chassis, world’s first Class 3 electric platform

The new E-Chassicsraises the bar for the company, which has yet to produce a production model of its promised SUV and truck.

Photo courtesy of Bollinger Motors

There's been a lot of talk about electrified and all-electric light-duty trucks. Bollinger is furthering that discussion with the announcement of its patent-pending E-Chassis. It's the world's first Class 3 electric platform, designed. primarily for commercial use. Bollinger Motors filed the provisional patent application on November 18, 2019.

The U.S. Department of Transportation rates trucks based on their Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). A truck's GVWR is determined by calculating the maximum operating weight a truck can carry while driving and adding it to the weight of the truck itself. GVWRs are determined by automakers in partnership with the DOT and not by owners themselves.

Bollinger Motors E-ChassisBollingner's E-Chassis is said to be able to be customized to the buyer's needs.Photo courtesy of Bollinger Motors

The DOT assigns ranges of ratings a value from one to eight. Vehicles with smaller digit values have a lower rating. Class 3 vehicles have a 10,001-14,000-pound GVWR. These traditionally include box, city delivery, walk-in, and heavy-duty trucks.

"When we first built our Class 3 B1, we knew there was a commercial aspect to the platform," says CEO Robert Bollinger. "Not only cab-on-chassis, but entirely new truck bodies can fit on our E-Chassis, and help propel the world to all-electric that much faster."

The E-Chassis is the same platform shared with the B1 Sport Utility Truck and the B2 Pickup, and it will accommodate future models and other trucks developed by Bollinger Motors. The company is still perfecting its B1 SUV and B2 pickup truck.

Features of the patent-pending Bollinger Motors E-Chassis include:

  • 120 kWh battery pack
  • All-wheel drive
  • All-terrain capabilities
  • Dual motor
  • Portal gear hubs
  • 5000-lb. payload
  • Ultra-low center of gravity
  • Easily adjustable to fit various wheelbases
  • Hydraulic anti-lock power brakes
  • Electronic traction control
  • Electronic stability control
  • Hydraulic power steering
  • Hydro-pneumatic self-leveling suspension
  • Independent front and rear suspension
  • 5-15 kw on-board charger/inverter
  • Complete power system controls, configurable to given vehicle application
  • Integrated thermal-management system

Bollinger says that the chassis is fully customizable and can be configured in front- or rear-wheel drive configurations in addition to all-wheel drive as well as up to a 180 kWh battery pack.

The E-Chassis will be manufactured alongside the B1 and B2 trucks and made available for commercial use in 2021. An electric-powered Ford Transit will be coming for the 2022 model year. The Transit currently has GVWR of Class 2 or 3 depending on configuration. It is not yet known which class the Transit EV will slot into.

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Volvo will install 60 ChargePoint chargers at Starbucks locations in the west and Northwest.

Volvo

Volvo plans to be an electric-only automaker by 2030, and along the way to that goal, the automaker is investing in services and infrastructure to support its vehicles. Today, Volvo announced a partnership with coffee giant Starbucks that will provide dozens of chargers at coffee shops in the west and northwest U.S.

As part of the deal, Volvo will install up to 60 company-branded chargers at up to 15 Starbucks stores on the route between Denver and Seattle. Volvo says it aims to install charging locations every 100 miles along the 1,350-mile route between the Mile-High City and Starbucks hometown of Seattle.

Volvo-Starbucks PartnershipVolvo's goal is to install a charger every 100 miles. Volvo

Though they'll have Volvo's name on the front, the chargers are from ChargePoint, and drivers will use a built-in ChargePoint app to access services. The function is available in the vehicle's infotainment system, and will help locate and use the chargers. Volvo says all EV drivers will be able to access the chargers for a fee, but notes that its owners will get free or discounted charging.

A Volvo-Starbucks partnership isn't as crazy as it sounds at first. Beyond the fact that there's likely quite a bit of overlap in both brands' customers, the move furthers Starbucks' sustainability goals and provides Volvo owners with a free or low-cost charging solution. The project should be done by the end of this year, so keep your eyes open if you're getting coffee in a Volvo EV in the area.

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Ford will split into two separate businesses by 2023

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is splitting up, though not in the negative way you might be thinking. Today, the automaker announced that it is creating separate and distinct businesses, one to house its electric vehicles and the other for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Ford says the move will help it accelerate innovation and streamline its operations.

The newly created divisions get fancy names, too. Ford's EV business will be called Ford Model e, and will focus on delivery of "breakthrough electric vehicles at scale." The unit will also be heavily involved with software and connected vehicle technologies. Ford Blue will handle ICE vehicles, and will focus on cost reductions, quality improvements, and operational efficiencies. The two new businesses join Ford Pro, the automaker's commercial vehicle division, and Ford says all three should have separate finances by 2023.

Accelerating Transformation | Ford+youtu.be

The moves come in the middle of Ford's shift to electric vehicles. The automaker says it plans to produce two million EVs annually by 2026, and notes that it wants EVs to represent half of its global volume by 2030. Ford's current electric offerings include the Mustang Mach-E, which has earned good reviews and offers strong range and performance. There's also the E-Transit, a commercial van available in several configurations.

Ford is gearing up for the release of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck. The hotly anticipated pickup promises incredible capability and a load of advanced tech. Ford has taken tens of thousands of reservations for the new truck, so it's likely to be in high demand for quite some time.

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