By on June 2, 2020

The automotive industry’s sudden interest in all-electric pickups may have been surprising initially, but they’ve since offered a few perks that have helped us understand why companies are suddenly so smitten with the concept. When Rivian first showed its pickup in 2018, it came with some interesting storage solutions that were only possible because it doesn’t need to worry about things like a driveshaft tunnel or a crowded engine bay. We wouldn’t call them game changers but they certainly opened the door (literally) for new storage options and we’re beginning to see this take ever-more impressive forms.

Bollinger Motors has recently patented a passthrough gate that allows one to slot exceptionally long cargo all the way through the vehicle. Officially, they’re two separate patents that work in tandem to allow pickup owners a spot to stash up to 16 feet of lumber — or more if one doesn’t mind it hanging out the front and/or back of the vehicle. Just be sure to tie things down so you don’t accidentally create a brake-launched tarmac torpedo. 

“Passthrough” and “Frunkgate” are two items Bollinger is obviously proud of and they’re supposed to be coming as options for the B1 and B2 once they’ve entered into production. As an EV startup, there’s little reason to assume the brand will adhere to any timetables — especially with the world coming to an end. But the plan is to start building the world’s only heavy-duty pickups that are entirely dependent upon electricity by the end of 2021.

Bollinger has said that the frunk (the empty void where an engine would normally be) provides 8.6 cubic feet of space by itself. However, it’s also capable of accepting items sent through the cabin, just as Passthrough does for the back half of the truck. While this doesn’t end our suspicions that modern EVs lack the kind of energy density that would make towing long-range towing a repeat endeavor, it shows they may be able to make up for it in other ways until the engineers can even the score. The manufacturer also seems to have considered this. CEO Robert Bollinger recently told Car & Driver that he set out to make a pickup that agreed with his farm — and that’s where we think it will excel most.

The Bollinger EVs are priced and designed to give the Mercedes-Benz G-Class (and eventually Cybertruck) some company on L.A.’s Rodeo Drive. But they’ll probably be more at home among the oddly high number of off-roaders modified with ICON parts found in trendy New York neighborhoods. Still, it seems ideal for doing jobs around your country estate — which those buying a $125,000 electric pickup can easily afford.

Nothing about Bollinger’s aerodynamics shout “put me on a highway.” Instead, they seem to be asking you to run the truck up a grassy hill — fully loaded at modest speeds. Following its hard day of work, the Bollinger can then be charged overnight at home and made ready for the morning jaunt to the great breakfast spot the spouse keeps talking about.

“We started with a clean sheet of paper and [the question] how can we make trucks better? And what if we were just to land on Planet Earth and come up with our own idea of what a truck should do? What would be in it? So we threw all that kind of stuff into this truck. And a whole new layout. So this patent reflects that,” Bollinger explained to Car & Driver.

Structurally similar, both the B2 and B1 carry the same six-figure price tag and use the brand’s “e-chassis” skateboard platform. The B1 just happens to use an enclosed SUV-style body while the B2 serves as a slightly longer pickup. Bollinger said their shared dual-motor system puts out 614 horsepower and 668 pound-feet of instantaneous torque and claimed their approach, departure and break-over angles will all surpass that of the Jeep Wrangler. Payload is estimated to be roughly 5,200 pounds, with a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.

That’s not quite what one would expect from an HD pickup but at least makes it useful enough to get some jobs done that the Chevrolet Colorado cannot. We’re just wondering how the range is impacted when working with a full load.

[Images: Bollinger Motors]

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18 Comments on “Bollinger Patents Passthrough Cargo Gate for Pickup/SUV...”

  • avatar

    This isn’t new. This has been part of the design since it was first conceived.

  • avatar

    Looks perfect for some sort of an autocannon to me.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s option package M61.
      You get a General Dynamics badge on the side too.
      Nothing clears a street like a few squirts of 20mm @ 6000 rounds/min.

  • avatar

    So basically when you get into an accident you can shoot 4×4 posts out the front like a submarine

  • avatar

    When I buy steel stock it comes in 20′ lengths (sometimes 24′). I usually have it cut to 12’+8′ and flag it out the back of my pickup on the passenger side [strapped together tightly and secured well to the truck]. This works except:
    • You gotta stand around waiting for the guy to make the cuts (and you may or may not get the grumpy one) [my newest workaround for this is to take my cordless recip saw along].
    • You generally end up with some waste because 12’+8′ might not have been ideal vs. what you would have cut at home out of a full stick.

    So I would appreciate the ability to load full sticks and go. And I’d have the flexibility of flagging it out the front or out the back or some combination (out the front, I can control how close I get to the vehicles in front of me; flagged out the back the guy on his phone might not notice the flag).

    The frunk is super-appealing for tool storage – and no one has a clue whether it’s fully stocked or completely empty.

  • avatar

    Does Land Rover have any defense against people building cars that look remarkably like one they sold for sixty years?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “We’re just wondering how the range is impacted when working with a full load.”

    With a full load, the range is almost certainly cut by 1/2 to 2/3 – just as it is with a Model X. I’d like to see EV mfrs be honest about this, or have the EPA add such a test so buyers can bracket their expectations.

  • avatar

    Is it the new Lamborghini model? It looks exciting and elegant at the same time. I love Italian styling.

  • avatar

    More stupid cars that will never be built.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This takes sitting in the middle seat to another level.

  • avatar

    You do realize they make roof racks, right? Far more useful than this gimmick.

    • 0 avatar

      1. How is having to stand on a ladder and try not to dent your sheet metal or break your glass while you thread your pipe, lumber, etc. along its length “more useful”?

      2. What about this big metal box makes you think you couldn’t ALSO put a roof rack on it?

    • 0 avatar

      But why waste the usable length? Roof rack is fine for ladders, boats, etc. but when you can lay your lumber flat, why not do so? Or maybe you have some bar steel or other metal for a diy–a roof rack is a permanent thing on a pickup truck and unless you’re a professional that needs it to carry said ladder, etc. every day, it’s an ugly and effectively useless attachment the rest of the time. I’ve now owned four different pickup trucks in my career and never once NEEDED a roof rack for more than two trips over the ownership of any one of them. In fact, I can recall only four times carrying something so long that I couldn’t let it hang over the tailgate in over 45 years of driving.

      This pass-through on the Bollinger is a convenience factor for those few times that you need to carry something longer than the bed itself and there are many ways to secure it so it doesn’t go sliding back and forth while driving. Cargo management today is far more advanced over when you had to literally tie everything down with ropes

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t own a lumber rack, but often have to scramble to fetch 20′ material, so it wouldn’t be feasible to go home and put on the rack if I did.

        I’ll go though the rear slider, on the dash and hang 6 or 7′ past my rear bumper or 4 or 5′ with the tailgate down.

  • avatar

    My senior project had more utility.

  • avatar

    Dear Team Bollinger,
    Planet Earth says no to your fugly contraption. Your patent won’t survive the first reexamination challenge.

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