Kiwi technology company Ubco says its new two-wheel drive electric bike has the potential to redefine electric travel both on and off the road.
The award-winning company, which first tasted success at the 2014 National Agriculture Fieldays, has become a global leader in the development of 2-wheel drive utility electric vehicles (UEVs).
But where earlier models were for off-road use only, the 2018 UBCO 2×2 is street legal and equally suited to on and off-road use.
“It’s what we call a dual-use 2×2,” Ubco sales manager Russell Lake said.
“So for some people that will mean just getting to and from work in a quiet, easy-to-ride, sustainable manner, but for other people it’s going to be a farm vehicle or for tourism, conservation work, lifestyle block hunting or fishing.”
Lake said the bike’s moped classification meant drivers only needed a car licence to ride it and its road-worthy componentry as well as permanent two-wheel-drive meant it could handle steep goat tracks just as well as flat suburban roads.
“What we are trying to create is a sustainable utility vehicle that’s electric and simple to own and operate that removes those barriers that a traditional motorcycle might create.”
Lake said the bike had a range of between 70km and 120km and while a full battery recharge would take about seven hours, the fact it could be removed within seconds meant swapping batteries, or putting the bike on a standard bike rack, meant riders had other options if they did not want to wait.
Lake said the first shipment of the new $8000 2018 model had already sold out and the company was in the process of increasing its manufacturing and supply capabilities so it could meet unexpectedly high demand.