On yer bike: Ubco raises capital to takes its e-bike global

A New Zealand-made e-bike that was created as eco-friendly alternative to motorbikes is seeking investors to get it road-ready and take its invention worldwide.

A campaign on online investment marketplace Snowball Effect is seeking over $620,000 (9.66 percent equity) in one week’s time.

Having already previously raised more than $2 million from investors, the injection of capital is to finalise a road-legal version of the Ubco 2x2 bike and certify it in markets around the world.

Founder Timothy Allan said the company wants to eventually have two variations of the bike: an on-road version and an off-road version.

“The road legal version of the bike, which is heading into certification shortly, will be largely the same aesthetically as the existing bike, with the addition of a wide range of performance improvements and the new components (Speedo, indicators etc) for road legal compliance,” he said.

“Our goal is to end up with a design difference between on and off road. They will both share the design DNA, but are developing different requirements for the difference domains of use. A separation similar to Range Rover and Land Rover is an example of the type of division we are aiming for.”

The Ubco 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.

It also meant there were no petrol, smoke or emissions in an industry that’s often under fire for its effects on the environment.

However, the demand for a recreational, on-road version from users since then has meant another version of the bike is in the works.

Ubco says outside of recreational use, the bike has applications in various industries, including tourism, deliveries and police and paramedics.

Fleets 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.

A six-hour charge allows the bike to roam for over 100km at a cost of 88 cents. The bike also boasts being digitally connected, with the ability to charge a phone or tablet, as well as the ability to record where it is and track its performance.​

Ubco’s goal is to have more than 25,000 users on their bikes by the end of 2020.

Over 100 bikes have been sold to date across New Zealand and Australia, with the company saying it’s on track to hit this year’s forecasts.

There are two days left of the Snowball campaign, with over $473,000 still available. Check out its fundraiser here.

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