Robert Bollinger on Day One of Bollinger Motors, in empty garage, Hobart, New York, late 2015Enlarge Photo
Finally, he went online and—often through LinkedIn, to his surprise—located a young team of engineers and designers, many within the upstate area.
The team of half a dozen brings together a mix of experience in electric powertrains, vehicle structure, and the systems integration needed to produce a full running prototype of what is to become the Bollinger B1 utility truck.
Most are engineers, all of them frequently get their hands dirty in building and testing the components and prototype, and getting the concept to the point where it moves under its own power and can be shown off in front of a skeptical audience in one of the world's media capitals.
As at any startup, the team fills in wherever they're needed to get any specific jobs done.
The day we visited, all were wearing black t-shirts in preparation for uncredited work on the photo shoot: they would be the unnamed helpers in the background who showed off various features of the new truck.
Cardboard model of Bollinger electric off-road utility truckEnlarge Photo
We closed the visit by asking about the most surprising part of the design, engineering, and prototyping process for each team member we interviewed.
For chief engineer Karl Hacken—previously with a vehicle-suspension vendor—it was the lack of interest from established parts vendors in even talking to a startup.
To engineer CJ Winegar (whose battered K-Car daily transport belies his skills), it was the need to figure out whether to fabricate a part in-house in the company's machine shop or job it out to the network of upstate New York machining and fabrication shops.
And for the newest team member, Dan Aliberti, who arrived only in January, it was simply the time required to to design a vehicle. "A car is hard," he mused.
We'll have more on the fruits of their labors, from Robert Bollinger's design to the team's engineering, one week from today.
The unveiling of the truck will be live-streamed on the company's website and on its Facebook page.