EV startup Bollinger wants to use Tesla’s Supercharger network

Bollinger Motors, a New York-based EV startup developing an all-electric utility truck, reached out to Tesla CEO Elon Musk to inquire about the possibility of them having access to Tesla’s Supercharger network.

For years now, Tesla officials have been talking about the possibility of opening up their Supercharger network to other automakers, but it hasn’t resulted in anything.

Last year, Tesla CTO JB Straubel said that they are “actively talking to other car makers” about using the network.

Those talks have yet to lead to anything and we haven’t found out what automakers are involved.

Now Bollinger Motors asked Musk to be one of those automakers in what could be an informal way, but it’s actually often Musk’s preferred channel of communication:

When talking about other automakers using its charging stations, Musk said that Tesla would still own and operate all of its Supercharger locations and would only ask of other manufacturers to contribute to maintenance and electricity costs based on the usage of their vehicles on the network.

For the longest time, Tesla owners were able to use Supercharger stations for free, and most of them still do, but now Tesla has implemented a system to charge drivers using Supercharger stations.

That should make it easier to incorporate vehicles from other manufacturers into the network and charge them.

Another requirement that Tesla asked is for vehicles to be able to receive the full capacity of the Supercharger so that they don’t spend more time at the stations.

It means that Bollinger’s B1 electric truck would need to accept a charge rate of up to 120 kW. Though Tesla is also reportedly about to launch its Supercharger V3, which could double the capacity.

As we previously reported, Bollinger recently updated its all-electric utility truck specs with a bigger battery pack for 200 miles of range.

Bollinger says that the B1 will have “a 120-kWh battery pack providing a minimum 200-mile range”:

The Bollinger Motors B1 features an all-aluminum chassis and body with a dual-motor electric powertrain married to a 120-kWh battery pack providing a minimum 200-mile range. The 5,000-pound truck has a payload capacity of 5,000 pounds, and an adjustable suspension can vary ground clearance from 10 to 20 inches.

They have yet to go into detail about their charging system.

Earlier this year, Bollinger partnered with Optimal, Inc. of Plymouth, MI to “help bring the Bollinger B1 all-electric, all-wheel-drive Sport Utility Truck to production.”

The two companies now plan on finalizing their work on the Bollinger B1 by the end of 2018, which will be on target for a late 2019 start of production.

Electrek’s Take

This is a great idea. Bollinger’s B1 is not a direct competitor to any of Tesla’s vehicles.

It’s a win-win situation. It would be a great incentive for Bollinger’s customers if they can use the Supercharger network and Bollinger’s contribution to the network could theoretically help Tesla finance its growth.

I’d really like to see this happen.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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