The New Zealand Army is now testing two-wheel-drive UBCO electric motorcycles with 120km of range and a top speed of 50km/h. What could possibly go wrong!
Electric motorcycles are certainly coming, not just for commuters, but also for police forces, security services and even the military.
We can see some advantages for the army in being able to sneak up on the enemy, but there are also disadvantages such as finding a power outlet on a battlefield!
The (NZDF) are running “battle-lab” experiments with the UBCO 2×2 electric utility bike, portable power and accessories for use in reconnaissance, surveillance, and other applications.
Branches of the NZ Defence Force will each trial the fleet under various simulations to assess the vehicles.
The trial is part of the Defence Force’s wider programme towards a more sustainable operation, which also fits with the Government’s goal of having 64,000 EVs on New Zealand roads by the end of next year.
LtCol Brad Gallop, Land Combat Group Lead, Capability Branch, New Zealand Defence Force says they “need to look at alternative sources”.
“EV is an emerging technology that we need to look at and to see how applicable it is on the battlefield,” he says.
“There have been dramatic changes in technology over the last few years with electric vehicles a key emerging technology that the NZDF has been monitoring. After investigating a range of options, the NZDF selected UBCO for a trial in 2020”.
UBCO launched in 2015 and was developed by a Kiwi company as a two-wheel-drive bike with special capabilities on slippery and muddy hills.
Since its launch, UBCO 2X2s have been used for food delivery by Dominos, tourism, farm bikes, recreation and commuting.
The 2×2 model costs $NZ7995 (about $A7450), has range of about 120km, a top speed of 50km/h and weighs just 65kg.
It has a motor in both wheels with no clutch, drivetrain, emissions, or noise.
They come with a “Portage Battery System” to charge on the run.