The Ubco 2X2 is not exactly a speed demon, but as an electric workhorse with a 200kg capacity, it’s well-suited to farm, rural, and offroad use.
Electric bikes have gone from meh to wow over the last few years, and that’s been a great enabler toward getting more people on bikes, which is a key element in the future of clean transportation. However, most of the buzz about electric bikes these days is focused on consumer electric bicycles for daily riding and commuting, but there’s a whole other market out there for fully electric vehicles, and one in which speed and comfort aren’t necessarily the largest concerns.
In the agricultural and rural sectors, getting around the place, from home to the milking house, from field to field, from woodlot to garden, or from pasture to barn, is usually done with a gas or diesel vehicle, and ATVs (all terrain vehicles) or dirt bikes are often the vehicle of choice. But a recent entry into the electric vehicle category,the Ubco 2X2, could be an excellent alternative, as it offers great carrying capacity, excellent traction, and low maintenance and operation costs, all in a lightweight package.
The Ubco 2X2 has a lot to offer when compared to a gas-powered motorbike, as it’s fully electric, so it’s quiet and clean to run, it has no complex drivetrain to learn how to use or to maintain (clutch, multiple gears, a chain, etc.), and its low center of gravity and dual-wheel drive are designed to keep it stable and moving on muddy, snowy, or uneven ground. It also happens to weigh just 50 kg (110 lb), so it’s light enough to maneuver easily whether the rider is on or off of the bike.
Where the rubber meets the road ruts on the Ubco 2X2 are two knobby tires designed for all terrain traction, driven by a pair of 1 kW electric hub motors, with the handling managed with adjustable shocks and braking handled by front and rear disc brakes. The power comes from a 40 Ah battery, which is mounted low in the frame for stability, and according to Ubco, has a four-hour charge time and a range of anywhere from 62 to 93 miles per charge. As an added plus, the 2X2 has onboard 12V and USB outlets, which can be used as a remote power source for tools or equipment, or to recharge mobile gizmos while in the field.
The 2X2 has two cargo racks and multiple attachment points, can haul up to 200 kg (441 lb), and its weldable aluminum alloy frame allows for field repairs or modification, both of which are often needed for a farm/utility vehicle. The top speed on this electric utility bike is just 45 kmh (28 mph), but that’s not too shabby, considering that it’s an offroad working vehicle, not a dirt bike or street bike.
“Ubco aims to smash your farming limitations and integrate seamlessly into your daily work and leisure life. The 2×2 is environmentally friendly and cost efficient without losing power or grunt, as well as being lightweight and versatile. It’s a disruptive piece of technology that opens doors in the agricultural sector – redefining the way you work outdoors.”
The bike is the brainchild of two veterans of the ebike industry, Anthony Clyde and Daryl Neal, and Ubco introduced its first prototype at New Zealand’s Fieldays, a huge ag trade show, to much acclaim in 2014. The company is currently taking pre-orders for 100 of the 2X2, which doesn’t yet have a price listed on the website, but which Autoevolution claims will be about $7000.