Kiwi company's electric motorbikes being trialled for the battlefield

Source: 1News

A Kiwi company that makes electric motorbikes originally developed for the farm, is now taking things to the battlefield.

UBCO is based in Mount Maunganui. Its motorbikes are stylish, and sustainable, and now they’re being put through their paces at Waiouru Military Camp - a training ground for the New Zealand Defence Force.

The bikes aren’t fast, only travelling at 50 kilometres per hour, but that’s not a deal breaker.

Hayden Robinson NZDF Experimentation Manager says the most noticeable thing about the bikes is the lack of noise.

“From a military perspective that’s useful, that’s appealing,” he says.

"Their standard off the shelf bike didn't meet our needs, so we had a meeting and said what our requirements were.”

UBCO's bikes were originally designed for Kiwi farmers. Tim Allan, CEO, says they are designed, engineered and tested in New Zealand.

"There was always an idea the bike could do a lot more than just work on the farm, right from day one.

"When you see them moving through the scrub in Waiouru, I mean some of them very hard to actually see."

Now, they’re not only heading for the training grounds, they’re around the world too with some even being used by a UK medical team in Africa.

Mr Robinson says they would like to get the bikes into as many units across the defence force as they can - the airforce, navy and the army.

“They'll be used across all three services."

The bikes can be fuelled using solar, so being remote with no access to regular fuel is no issue, something Lieutenant Colonel Brad Gallop of the NZDF believes is key.

"This is about our ability to be able to operate far from home, over an extended period.”