Bollinger thinks outside the (cargo) box with patented “frunkgate” and “passthrough”
Bollinger Motors, the automotive startup based in Ferndale, Michigan, recently earned two patents for its “frunkgate” front-mounted tailgate and full-vehicle “passthrough” cargo space. Both of these features are found on Bollinger’s B1 SUV and B2 truck, street-legal electric vehicles designed with serious outdoor work in mind.
Using both features simultaneously makes either Bollinger model a see-through vehicle, but these cargo-hauling features are more than a couple of catchily-named party tricks; they reveal the possibilities of an electric platform over a traditional combustion one. A Bollinger can swallow so much cargo thanks to the packaging of its modern electric powertrain: motors mounted lower than a conventional gas engine, no driveshafts, and a bespoke chassis tucking everything neatly out of the way. Bollinger’s clientele can carry lumber, plumbing, electrical/HVAC conduit, or one wicked slip and slide (just kidding).
Here are the details:
The frunkgate is a portmanteau of “tailgate” and “frunk,” itself a synthesis of “front” and “trunk.” Open it like a normal tailgate to reveal 8.6 cubic feet of cargo space, and open the hood (the frunk’s tonneau cover) for bulkier items. Bollinger also states the frunkgate has four electrical outlets—perfect for a hard day’s work outdoors. Or whenever a day at the beach turns into a quest to out-party the crew of a Hummer H1.
The passthrough is, logically, revealed when you open both a Bollinger’s frunkgate and conventional rear tailgate. Owners of the B1 SUV get 13 feet of unencumbered cargo space; the longer-wheelbase B2 truck gets a full 16 feet. Leave both ’gates open and you could tote a fallen tree off your property with minimal effort. In theory.
All this design excellence comes at a price, and a steep one to boot: Both the B1 (SUV) and B2 (truck) start at $125,000. Not cheap, but the inflation-adjusted price of a 1995 Hummer H1 is only $725 more than a new Bollinger. We all know how well the Hummer brand took off from there, how beloved the trucks are to this day, and how the brand still has a future somewhere in the halls of the GM Renaissance Center.
Even if you don’t plan to spring for a Bollinger, it’s fun to see Bollinger boldly going where no cargo box has gone before.