An on- and off-road utility electric vehicle is just one New Zealand agritech export which meets agricultural business needs while also delivering environmental benefits.
The award-winning dual-purpose bike from UBCO offers reduced costs and emissions and makes moving around remote areas much easier. It is already in demand in New Zealand and is now available for sale in the UK from Scottish business ATV Services.
Launched in 2014, the concept is the brainchild of Daryl Neal and Anthony Clyde who spent more than 10 years in the electric bike industry. Their original plan was to develop an off-road lightweight utility vehicle to replace the two-wheeler farm bike. However, it soon became clear there was a huge opportunity for a dual-use, road registerable version.
This meant the addition of a host of new technology to make the transition from off-road to on-road seamless. It also meant the need for supply chain changes to satisfy regulatory and quality requirements for use on-road.
One of the key features of the UBCO bike is its engine control unit which allows users to communicate directly with the 2x2, controlling lighting, motor controllers, display and rider controls. A user app, connecting to the bike via Bluetooth, lets users add updates to the bike, diagnose faults and choose between on- and off-road faults.
Additional features include:
New Zealand farmers father and son, David and Cor Verway, bought an UBCO 2x2 in 2016 seeing it as the ideal way to get around their 494-acre farm at Te Puke.
The have 296 acres for their dairy cows, as well as 10 acres of kiwi fruit and 197 acres for dry stock. They use the bike every day to get cows in and to do work around the farm.
David says: “It’s nice to sit behind the cows without the noise and smoke of a petrol bike. The bike is good in the mud too, the two-wheel drive provides good traction and it doesn’t spin out like our other petrol bikes do.
“If it will last five to six years, then it is a good investment in my eyes, because most of our farm bikes only last two to three years. For our petrol bikes, we normally spend around $750 a year on petrol, and $250 on parts, but with the UBCO we are looking at around 360 charges a year at approximately 88 cents a charge in terms of electricity, so the difference is significant.”
Timothy Allan, CEO and Managing Director of UBCO, spoke at our free-to-attend webinar ‘Preserving the future of farming’, at 8pm on August 19. Farmers Guardian editor Ben Briggs spoke with New Zealand agritech businesses about the tech development work they are doing to address climate change and looking at the lessons UK farmers can learn from them.
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