The Heavy-Duty Electric Trucks We Really Need Are Here

Bollinger Motors hires Roush Industries to assemble its all-electric commercial platforms and chassis cabs, while Xos unveiled its new Class 6/7 trucks and Class 8 tractor unit.

Maximum payloads with minimal emissions and smart fleet management. This is the combination the trucking industry is looking for right now. While electric pickups and SUVs are part of the bigger picture, no passenger EV can solve the fact that medium- and heavy-duty trucks contribute nearly a quarter of transport-related emissions (per the US EPA).

At first, Michigan-based startup Bollinger Motors was supposed to give us a few very boxy, utilitarian and rather expensive electric SUVs and pickups. That didn’t work. The company decided to shift its focus to its equally smart commercial vehicle platforms in order to reach series production and profitability as quickly as possible.

Bollinger’s platforms
Possible configurations

Bollinger has now teamed up with Roush Industries to turn such plans into reality. What’s more, the experienced supplier of both startups and OEMs will assemble Bollinger’s all-electric vehicle platforms and chassis cabs in its facility in Livonia, Michigan, just 20 miles of Bollinger’s Oak Park HQ.

If you wish to check out Bollinger’s commercial technology in the metal, the team will be happy to see you at Detroit’s Government Fleet Expo this month:

Bollinger’s largest vehicle platform is a Class 6 at 19,501 – 26,000 pounds GCWR, and they are certainly not alone in that segment. The Los Angeles, Atwater Village-based fleet services provider Xos has an alternative offer called the MDXT.

As a Class 6 or 7 medium-duty electric vehicle, the MDXT can travel up to 270 miles on a single charge, all while offering 16,000 ft-lbs of peak torque and a gross vehicle weight range of 23,000 pounds to 33,000 pounds. Needless to say, the MDXT is available in a variety of body configurations, including a box truck, refrigerated unit, and flatbed.

Go higher up the scales, and the platform becomes a Class 8 heavy-duty electric tractor unit, which Xos recommends for regional-haul fleets. This semi can travel up to 230 miles on a single charge. Torque jumps up to 36,583 ft-lbs, which is the highest on the commercial truck market today. The Xos electric powertrain also produces 798 horsepower, while its payload rating stands at 56,000 pounds. That means that with a trailer attached, gross combined vehicle weight (GCWR) of the MDXT Class 8 is at 82,000 pounds.

As a fleet services expert that made its move into vehicle production by converting step vans into EVs, Xos continues to use contract truck builder partners such as Fitzgerald in Tennessee and Metalsa in Mexico. To sweeten this new package, the company also came up with a management software called Xosphere, which is designed to help anybody make the most of a scalable electric fleet.

Xos vehicles already on the road

Ford F-150 Lightnings, Rivian R1Ts and non-existent Tesla trucks aside, these heavy haulers are the backbones of the Biden Administration’s green transportation policies, and the affordable delivery vehicles that can truly improve air quality all over the most densely populated areas of the United States.

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