New Zealand Defense Force starts testing UBCO 2x2 electric Utility Bike
According to a company news release, the New Zealand Defense Force is operational tests using the UBCO 2×2 electric bikes for use in reconnaissance, surveillance, and other applications.
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UBCO 2x2 Utility Bike (Picture source: NZDF/UBCO Ltd)
Branches of the NZ Defense Force will each trial the fleet under various simulations to assess the vehicles. The trial is part of the Defense 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 Defense Force 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”.
LtCol Brad Gallop talks about the program and how it fits into NZDF: “We are doing a detailed evaluation of EV Bikes. We’re looking for an alternate energy patrol bike, particularly for reconnaissance and surveillance but it has many other applications. I think this is about understanding emerging technologies and where it fits in the NZDF construct.
UBCO developed its Electric Utility Vehicle and Portable power platform originally for off-road use and has certified it for dual purpose (on-road) use globally in a wide range of high duty applications. “The collaboration with the NZDF allows UBCO to rapidly learn how the 2x2 can operate across Army, Air Force and Navy. Globally, defense is a very controlled industry, so this collaboration is hugely valuable to learn quickly for UBCO” says Timothy Allan, CEO of UBCO.
The aim of the evaluation is not only to look at the capability of the bike itself but also how it fits in the NZDF Operations. Both NZDF and UBCO are keen to understand the potential of the bikes, both on and off the battlefield.
Let's notice that the U.S. and Russian armies have also tested (are they going on?) electric motorbikes, thus heavier than "simple" electric bikes.
Kalashnikov electric motorbikes in front of a Soratnik UGV (Picture source: Army Recognition)