UBCO - Utility Electric Vehicle Investment offer preview

UBCO was founded on the idea that a Utility Electric Vehicle (UEV) could transform the way people ride, work and play. Founded in New Zealand, UBCO can now be found in international markets including the United States, Australia and Europe.

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UBCO was founded on the idea of a Utility Electric Vehicle (UEV) that would transform the way people ride, work and play.

Since it was established in 2015, UBCO has evolved into a digitally connected Utility Electric Vehicle (UEV) platform including on and off road transport, two and four wheeled portable power, accessories, and cloud-based software.

Founded in New Zealand, UBCO can now be found in international markets including the United States, Australia and Europe.

2019 Update

During 2019, UBCO raised $2.25m through Snowball Effect and a further $3.26m from GD1, a NZ VC fund, bringing the total capital raised to over $5.6m.

UBCO has accelerated its growth plans for the US market, brought forward its planned release of a 4x4, and added a new product to their range - the FRX1 Freeride Bike. To ensure that the company is well funded to execute on these accelerated plans the UBCO board has decided to raise a further $2m.

Highlights since raising through Snowball Effect in early 2019:

  • Exceeded F19 budget revenue of $2.7m by $300k
  • Is acquiring its UBCO USA distribution business in exchange for shares in UBCO NZ
  • Pre-sold most of its production so far this year
  • Launched the new FRX1 Freeride Trailbike at the USA AIMExpo
  • Launched its 5th Generation 2x2 Platform including:
    • The 2x2WK Work Bike, a purely off-road work bike stripped down for Agricultural and Recreational use
    • The 2x2ADV Adventure Bike for use on and off road
    • The introduction of telematics for all incoming vehicles

  • Launched the KXH Portable Power Supply for use in and outside of the vehicle
  • Is taking pre-orders for these products with first production targeted for May 2020
  • Completed Heads of Agreement and seed funding in the US for the creation of UBCO Journeys, a new business targeting the adventure tourism sector

See UBCO's 2020 Product Range


UBCO launched its first UEV in its home market of New Zealand in 2016. The bike was named the 2x2 for the two hub motors in its front and rear wheels which enabled better traction and more torque in off road conditions. Initial production runs sold out quickly and UBCO established good credentials and a global following. Along with the sale of UEVs, UBCO has also developed an eco-system of products and services that provide additional lifetime customer value. These include Portable Power, Accessories, and Software as a Service (SaaS) products.

By 2017, customers had indicated the desire 
for a road legal version of the 2x2. UBCO responded to this demand by launching the Dual-Purpose 2x2, built on the same chassis, but designed for road legal compliance within the United States and Europe.

UBCO has driven a contract manufacturing model, with all components (i.e. batteries, drives, frames) manufactured by specialised companies due to the different plant equipment, skills, and experience involved. UBCO has a global supply chain, with key parts coming from the United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Taiwan and China.

UBCO currently sells products through distributors in two geographies: Australasia and the United States. Each distributor sells to a network of UBCO-approved dealers. To date there are over 120 dealers selling UBCO 2x2s and products. Within 5 years UBCO plans to grow its global presence, resulting in three geographical territories - North America (United States and Canada), Europe (EU, UK, Norway and Switzerland) and Australasia (Australia and New Zealand). A European Distributor will be appointed in 2020 once the 5th generation 2x2 is available for EU certification.

A cornerstone of UBCO's after sales support is their Dealer Training Program and the UBCO Distributor & Dealer Portal. Dealer training in the form of workshops and online content capped with accreditation ensures all dealers are equipped to both sell and service UBCO products.

There are two clear types of customers, end users (individuals) and business customers (fleet) who are drawn from varied application areas. In New Zealand, the UBCO bike is used by the likes of Real Journeys, The Department of Conservation, Domino Pizza, and in the US, The Catalina Island Conservancy (California).


  • Timothy Allan (CEO): Tim Allan has over 20 years of experience as an innovation and R&D Leader. Prior to leading UBCO, Timothy established his own product development company Locus Research and led it for 15 years.
  • Katherine Sandford (Chair): Katherine is a professional Director, serving on several Boards as well as chairing the UBCO Board of Directors. Katherine developed her career at Trimble Inc and held leadership roles in Customer Service, Sales & Distribution, and served as General Manager across several vertically focused businesses.
  • Daryl Neal (Co-Founder/Director): Daryl has over 20 years of experience as an Industrial Designer, 10 of which have been in the field of electric transportation. Daryl has been responsible for the introduction of numerous products to the international market.
  • Ethan Ralston (UBCO US): Ethan is the CEO and President of UBCO US and an experienced Technology Entrepreneur and sales leader in the US Market.


UBCO is focused on developing the North American off road adventure and utility markets which incorporates both 2 and 4 wheel vehicles ($12.7b USD / $19.2b NZD) alongside naturally competing in the on road market ($6.21b USD / $9.4b NZD).

Recreational usage includes hunting, camping, RV touring and recreational riding. Recreation is expected to be a key sector for UBCO especially in the United States where 40% of the market is off road recreational. Commercial usage includes UBCO’s initial market of agriculture but has quickly grown to include commercial fleets for postal services, bike rental and sharing services, tourism, conservation, government use and delivery operations.

UBCO's main competitors are grouped into
 on and off road electric vehicle manufacturers (e.g. Zero, Alta), incumbent combustion engine manufacturers (e.g. Honda, Yamaha, Polaris Industries etc) and manufacturers of sub-10kW portable power supplies (e.g. Goal Zero).

The UBCO 2x2 is the only vehicle of its type in production in NZ, AU, US and EU. The primary competitors are the mainstream brands which manufacture combustion engine vehicles (2 and 4 wheel). Consumers buy the UBCO product because of the design, quietness, safety, utility and simplicity, and also increasingly for sustainability reasons. The UBCO brand has positioned the product as an attractive option within the outdoor and adventure market in the US.

Next Steps

Please register your investment interest below if you would like to receive further information and gain early access to the offer when it launches.

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with Simeon Burnett at [email protected]

New Zealand globe, with Snowball logo

About Snowball Effect

Snowball Effect is a New Zealand-based online investing marketplace, that enables New Zealand companies to offer shares to members of the public. Snowball Effect was founded in 2012 and launched in August 2014, after being one of the first to acquire an equity crowdfunding license from the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (FMA). As of December 2019, over NZ$63 million has been raised on the platform.