Electric dreams Ubco hits the road with new on-road electric bike

  • Technology
  • February 15, 2018
  • Elly Strang
Electric dreams Ubco hits the road with new on-road electric bike

Ubco raised $620,000 on online investment platform Snowball Effect last year to finalise an on-road legal version of its 2x2 bike on top of more than $2 million raised from investors.

After a year’s development, the 2.0 version of the 2x2 is now being taken to market globally.

The bike looks similar to the design of that of its off-roading predecessor, but a whole lot has changed in terms of features.  

With the addition of brake lights, indicators, reflectors, a steering lock, speedometers, odometer and LED headlight, the bike is now ready for on-road use in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, removing the barrier the bike once faced between on and off-road travel.

The new model also features an LCD display that monitors its speed, power output, battery level and distance. This also links via Bluetooth to an app users can download for their phone, appealing to the tech fanatics out there.  

Ubco product manager Stuart Munro says the way the new 2x2 bike can transition between being used for off-roading activities, as well as get someone from A to B on the road, is a huge drawcard.

“There aren’t many 2-wheelers out there that are equally at home both on and off-road, especially ones that are as easy to use and quiet as the Ubco,” he says. “This ease of use and its LA/moped vehicle class means the 2018 2x2 is accessible and suitable to almost anyone, and opens the door to unconstrained adventure.”

Other key design features include brake regeneration, which slows the vehicle by converting its kinetic energy into a form that can be stored until later. Ubco technical manager Tom Hayward calls one of the highlights of its design.

“What this means is as you brake, it puts power back into the battery. For me, that’s an advantage, because the brake control you get is out of this world. When you get a brake going, the control you get going is superior to anything else on a motorbike.”

There are also a range of accessories that can be bought alongside the bike, including frames, decks and a backpack, with the idea that the user can store anything from a hunting rifle to a surfboard. 

UBCO CEO, Timothy Allan says the design of the 2x2 was built on the idea of a vehicle as a tool.

“With the launch of the accessories we can now really illustrate one of the core concepts behind the creation of the 2x2.” 

The top speed it can hit is 50km an hour, or 29.2 miles in the US. The speed has been capped to keep it within the LA/mo-ped license classing instead of users needing to require a motorbike license at higher speeds. It can also travel for a distance of up to 120km on a charge of six to eight hours.

Hayward said in terms of getting the bike road ready, one of the big challenges the Ubco team had to overcome was every feature on it needed to be certified.

“Going through that process to get each of these individual items certified was certainly a big challenge,” Hayward says. “These were an off-road item ­– then we had to test them and certify them, which is a huge process. The change from this bike to the last bike was probably a 12-month design and certification process. In the US, their compliance standards are pretty tough, so ticking the box in the US ticked the majority of boxes in New Zealand.”

Ubco has 31 dealers selling its bikes in New Zealand, 14 in Australia and 19 in the US, with this number growing as more jump on board with the idea.

Electric vehicles are also growing considerably in popularity in New Zealand. There were 3645 EV registrations in 2017, up from 1516 registrations in 2016.

But this popularity is spreading to other modes of transport, too. The Cycling Action Network’s Patrick Morgan estimated 20,000 bikes would be sold in New Zealand last year, while motorcycling giant Harley Davidson recently announced it will release an electric motorbike.

It seems as though everyone wants to jump on the electric bandwagon, but Hayward says Ubco’s bike is unique from its competition.

“Everyone’s definitely doing different things – electric pushbikes are everywhere and you’ve got about 50 manufacturers, but they’re in a class that is limited to 30km an hour and have to have pedals, we’re outside of that class. Our class is quite unique because it’s set up as a mo-ped, so if you’ve got any license whatsoever you can ride it. You don’t need a motorcycle license,” he says.

“These other ones that are starting to come in are electric motorcycles, so they’re heavy machines that are 60 to 180 kg, which is quite a different beast. Ubco is your light commuter that you can take farming, you can put on the back of a ute, you can take to the beach.”

The bike is selling for a cool NZ$8000. Its predecessor 2x2 electric bike was first launched at Fieldays in 2014, where it won an innovation award.

It was initially designed as a two-wheel utility vehicle that could replace farm motorbikes due to being quiet (it doesn’t disturb lifestock), light (easily transportable and lifted over fences) and doesn’t have clutches or chains that could cause maintenance problems.

However, the demand for a recreational, on-road version meant Ubco expanded its vision.

Outside of recreational use, fleets of its bikes are already currently being used by rangers in the Department of Conservation areas and by tourism company, Real Journeys, for their Walter Peak Electric Trail Bike Tours in Queenstown.

This story originally appeared on Idealog.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

  • News
  • March 20, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

In the wake of the attack on Christchurch’s Muslim community on March 15, strong calls for changes to New Zealand’s gun last have been made. Trade Me was the first retailer to act, halting the sale of all semi-automatic weapons on its platform, and it has now been joined by Hunting & Fishing New Zealand.

Read more

Superette to open new concept store showcasing international brands

  • News
  • March 20, 2019
  • The Register team
Superette to open new concept store showcasing international brands

Apparel boutique Superette has announced it will open an ‘international flagship’ in Newmarket on April 4. The store will feature handpicked products from both established and emerging international designers.

Read more

What businesses can do to help support Christchurch and the Muslim community this week

  • Opinion
  • March 19, 2019
  • Rosie Collins
What businesses can do to help support Christchurch and the Muslim community this week

As many New Zealanders go back to work for the first time today since Friday’s attacks, feelings of anger, sadness, numbness, apprehension, and confusion will be shared around the country. Rosie Collins is the managing director of Step Changers, a registered charity working to normalise corporate social responsibility in New Zealand. In the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, she shares three ways businesses can help both their staff and the wider Muslim and Christchurch community this week.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

China and New Zealand’s year of tourism

  • Opinion
  • March 19, 2019
  • Juanita Neville-Te Rito
China and New Zealand’s year of tourism

Think about how to best welcome Chinese tourists into your store this year.

Read more

Coca-Cola reveals how much plastic it uses

  • News
  • March 19, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Coca-Cola reveals how much plastic it uses

For the first time, Coca-Cola has revealed it used three million tonnes of plastic packaging in one year.

Read more

Profits for The Warehouse on the rise after restructure

  • News
  • March 19, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Profits for The Warehouse on the rise after restructure

The Warehouse has made a solid first half profit as it continues to restructure and invest in digital services.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit