Bollinger Motors adds Passthrough/Frunkgate patent to growing collection

John Beltz Snyder

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Bollinger Motors’ B1 and B2 electric off-roaders stand apart from other vehicles in a lot of ways, thanks to their styling, capabilities and a number of unique features. Among their distinguishing details are their storage solutions. Sure, we’ve seen passthroughs from cabin to bed in other trucks, and a lot of electric cars have a bit of extra storage up front made possible by the lack of an engine under the hood. Bollinger’s passthroughs and frunk, though, are designed to make these trucks capable of carrying items up to 13 feet long (in the B1 SUV) or 16 feet (in the B2 pickup) with the tailgate closed, with easy access from either end. This “Frunkgate” and the “Passthrough” to it from the cabin are novel enough to have earned Bollinger its own patent.

As a refresher, the Frunkgate is essentially a tailgate on the front of the vehicle, which folds down completely flat, while the hood lifts up above it. As you can see in the video below, filmed at the reveal of the updated prototypes of the Bollinger B1 and B2, the Frunkgate opens with a twist of the badge on the nose of the truck:

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Just behind the frunk (which provides 8.6 cubic feet of space itself), a passthrough allows access to the frunk from the interior just below the dash. That cargo space continues uninterrupted between the front and rear seats. In the B1, it extends all the way to the tailgate, which can then fold down to accommodate even longer items. In the B2 pickup, there’s yet another passthrough giving access to the bed, and, again, the tailgate folds down.

The patent (number US20190351950A1) covers the fold-down Frunkgate, as well as the Passthrough, a term that applies to “the opening that spans the length of the vehicle, from the front-cargo space (frunk), through the interior of the cab, to the rear of the vehicle,” according to Bollinger.

Bollinger envisions its electric trucks not just as enthusiast or lifestyle vehicles for off-roaders, greenies and folks attracted to their size and retro styling, but as work trucks capable of traversing difficult terrain to reach their destinations. That means they have to be able to carry a lot of supplies and large equipment, be that lumber, ladders or oars accommodated by the unique cargo layout. The B1 and B2 can also supply power to tools and other electronics with plugs (including an optional 240-volt outlet) in the bed taking advantage of the battery's 120 kilowatt-hours of capacity. The vehicles have a payload of over 5,000 pounds, and a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.

The Bollinger B1 and B2 are slated to begin production next year, along with their underlying E-Chassis and the B2 Chassis Cab, which can be used as the foundation for custom Class 3 electric work vehicles. The MSRP for the B1 and B2 starts at $125,000.

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