An electric dual purpose on and off-road vehicle that can reduce costs and emissions and make moving around remote areas much easier, is proving a success in New Zealand - and now in the UK thanks to pioneering Scottish business, ATV Services, which is selling the bike here.

The UBCO dual-purpose 2x2 is the result of powerful partnerships down under where the technology is winning awards and in big demand from farmers, commuters, hunters, conservationists and government departments.

The concept was developed when a gap in the market, and an opportunity for a new product, was spotted by partners Daryl Neal and Anthony Clyde who had spent more than 10 years in the electric bike industry. Their plan was to develop an off-road, lightweight utility electric vehicle to replace the 2-wheeler farm bike, and the first prototype weighed in at just 40kgs.

“Once we had formed some powerful partnerships the development of UBCO was fast,” says Timothy. “It was clear there was a huge opportunity for a dual use, road registerable version with a host of new technology. This required a massive change in supply chain with the regulatory and quality requirements for use on road.

“Components such as brake lights, indicators, reflectors, a motor cut off switch, steering lock, speedometer, odometer and a combined high and low beam LED headlight have all been added to make the transition from off-to on-road seamless," he added.

The engine control unit allows users to directly communicate with the 2x2 and control lighting, motor controllers, display and rider controls. A user app, connecting to the bike via Bluetooth, allows users to update the bike, diagnose faults and choose between on and off-road riding modes, a learner mode or a hunting mode with a stealthier approach. The app is currently available for Apple and Android devices.

The 2x2 was built on the concept of a vehicle as a tool and there are now a wide range of accessories such as pannier backpacks and bags, pannier frames, front and rear cargo decks and an adapter pack which contains all the fittings needed to attach anything from a hunting rifle to power tools. There’s also a tow ball mount bike rack which allows the rider to transport the 2x2 on the tow bar of their car, caravan or farm vehicle.”

Additional key benefits of the 2x2 include:

• It’s dual electric drive with a motor in both wheels

• There’s no clutch, no drivetrain, no emissions and no noise

• The all-terrain suspension system provides a smooth ride regardless of terrain

• The Lithium-Ion battery offers a max range of 120km, and provides power through a 12V charging point and two USB points to charge tools and devices on the go

• Charge time of just six hours (from 0% to 90%);

• A total weight of just 65kg

• A top speed of 50 kph.

Father and son, David and Cor Verwey, bought an UBCO 2x2 at the 2016 Fieldays in New Zealand, seeing it as the ideal way to get around their 494-acre farm in Te Puke.

They have 296 acres for their dairy cows, as well as 10 acres of kiwi fruit and 197 acres for dry stock and use the bike every day to get the cows in and to do work around the farm.

“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 2-wheel drive provides good traction, and it doesn’t spin like our other petrol bikes.

“We’re hoping it will last five to six years, then it will be a great investment as most of our petrol bikes last two to three years tops. We spend around NZ$540 a year on petrol and NZ$180 on parts, but with the UBCO we are looking at 360 charges a year at about NZ$1 a charge in terms of electricity, so the difference is significant.”

The UBCO dual-purpose 2x2 is already in stock and available for demonstration in Scotland via ATV Services Scotland but there is still work ongoing to licence it for on-road use.