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World first virtual test ride from Kiwi-based global leader in EUVs

UBCO the global leader in electric utility vehicles, based in Tauranga, is proud to launch a world first ‘virtual test ride’ experience complete with branded VR headsets. The initiative allows people to experience what it’s like to ride the best electric utility vehicles in the world, from the comfort of just about anywhere.

The VTR launch comes off the back of a huge first half to the year for the UBCO team, who have just closed $14 million in funding for international growth.

In FY22 UBCO will become the global EUV leader for test ride completions, with the objective of 100k virtual test rides.

Chief Marketing Officer at UBCO, Neil Tierney, says the VTR offers a great interaction with UBCO and electric motorbikes in general.

“It’s a good way to see what the bike can do. How quiet is it? Can it handle the hills? What’s it like in the mud? How fast does it go?

“We’re hoping this first taste will encourage people to want to take a physical test ride as the next step or explore our website or share the experience with friends. It’s about raising awareness and opening eyes to the possibility of what an UBCO 2X2 can do.”

UBCO’s VTR experience can be viewed on desktop or mobile devices as an interactive 360 degree video, or via a VR headset for a more immersive experience. The modular design of the video means UBCO can switch ride segments in from all around the world, or people doing all sorts of riding. This means fresh content can be advertised over time and an increasing number of applications and locations can be featured.

The company has also designed a customer UBCO VR cardboard headset so customers can enjoy the full VR experience.

“We want everyone who is curious to be able to experience the magic of an UBCO 2X2, so to mark the launch of the world first VTR experience we are giving away 100 free cardboard VR headsets across New Zealand via social media during August, and based on demand we might release more in September,” says Tierney.

Given how immersive the virtual test ride experience is, the concept is perfectly suited for social media, making it easy to be shared far and wide. UBCO will continue to keep the test ride fresh by adding new locations into the mix from around the world.

“There’s something for everyone as we’ll be relying on user generated content too – there’s no telling what a virtual test rider can’t experience, whether it’s zooming through a back track in New Zealand or through a busy New York street! 

“We’re confident that once someone tries the virtual test ride for themselves, it’ll be hard not to tell friends and family about it – so word of mouth is also key here.”

Tierney says the biggest challenge while creating the VTR was finessing the transitions between scenes and making the viewing aspect as realistic as possible.

“The city streets also presented some interesting challenges, but we soon learned to expect the unexpected when filming. Beyond this, of course when capturing the highest of video quality, large file sizes can cause you a bit of grief when you’re on the home stretch with production.”

Tierney says electric vehicles like UBCO’s are inherently more sustainable than petrol equivalents during their in-use life, which is great for New Zealand and the rest of the world.

Beyond no gas, emissions, or noise, there are many other reasons to switch to electric.

  • 80 percent less CO2 though adoption of the EV’s vs petrol
  • 60 percent less CO2 over the whole vehicle lifestyle
  • 50 percent less photochemical oxidation (smog)
  • 40 percent less cumulative energy demand

“Our 2X2s are reducing emissions daily, and the more widespread the adoption, the more savings that can be made,” says Tierney.

“And while it’s awesome that our bikes don’t use petrol or produce emissions, we’ve also made a commitment to do more. As a largely electronic product with a high capacity lithium-ion battery, we’ve defined end of life and product stewardship as the big sustainability issues we need to tackle head on.”

To try out the virtual test ride click here

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