UBCO Tests its Performance in the Urban Jungle.
The UBCO 2×2 Electric Utility Vehicle was originally developed to be a surefooted EV replacement for the 2-stroke farm bike, but thanks to Domino’s Pizza in New Zealand, it is being put through its paces in a very different environment.
Domino’s has purchased three UBCO 2×2 vehicles for a trial to see if they meet the performance requirements to be part of their delivery bike fleet, navigating the congested and sometimes chaotic terrain of the Auckland, Taupo and Queenstown CBDs.
“Ontime delivery is critical to the Domino’s brand and we’re excited to see if UBCO can deliver,” says Domino’s NZ General Manager Cameron Toomey – “so far our delivery team are loving the bikes and they’ve exceeded our expectations,” he said.
Toomey says that he was attracted to the UBCO 2×2 after seeing an article about them in an inflight magazine and thought they ticked the boxes for Domino’s.
“We liked that it was a created by a New Zealand company and the bike was quiet, environmentally friendly and offered increased safety for our drivers.
“Safety is the number one factor for us at Domino’s – being more of a motorbike than a scooter, with two-wheel drive plus a low centre of gravity, the UBCO 2×2 has more power and greatly increased stability for our drivers.
“Plus, many of our deliveries are made at night and we need to be respectful of our neighbours, so the UBCO being ‘whisper quiet’ is a definite plus for us,” he said.
In terms of reliability Toomey says that the UBCO 2x2s has proven themselves to be very reliable as well as cheap to run in the first two months of the trial. He plans to buy more to expand the trial in the short term.
”“I think that UBCO definitely has a place in our fleet and we’re just assessing how big a place that will be.”
Meanwhile UBCO is also currently in trials with two large national delivery fleets in New Zealand.
“We’re very excited to get the feedback from these trials and are more than confident they’ll pass with flying colours,” UBCO CEO Timothy Allan says.
“Our product range supports a wide range of applications and we are passionate about providing a complete solution to all our customers, from individual users to Fleet Managers,” he said.
The UBCO 2×2 brings a number of distinct advantages to the delivery sector: coming pre-built with accessory lugs for panniers and storage boxes; they’re incredibly sure-footed with a motor in both wheels, no clutch, drivetrain, emissions, or noise; and they’re digitally connected to monitor progress and route, with services delivered through the UBCO API interface.
They also have an impressive 120km max range on a single charge, and with an easy battery swap can cope with the multiple destinations required. Domino’s are also keeping an additional battery at each site, extending the range in case of high workload.
And the 2×2’s designation as a moped, means that it can be driven on a standard car license, with no requirement for a special motorcycle license.
“The UBCO 2×2 is uniquely capable for use as a delivery vehicle. It’s incredibly efficient to run, strong and reliable,” says Allan.
“They were designed to give the kiwi number-8-wire warrior the perfect platform to perform any job around the farm, but those same attributes are giving this bike an advantage in the CBD as well,” he said.
UBCO has also partnered with Snowball Effect to raise capital for the next stage of company development, focused on existing shareholders and a small group of potential new wholesale investors. The offer is now open and continues until the end of February.
Since their last capital raise in early 2017, UBCO has established an Oregon (US) based office, launched their road legal 2×2, and grown revenue to $3m (last 12 months).
The company will use the fresh equity capital being raised to fund new market expansion, launching in Europe in 2019, as well as supporting sales growth and product development.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for UBCO,” Allan said.
“And we’re hoping that we can add the domino effect to the snowball effect in the very near future,” he said.