Busy New Zealand farmers are now using all-terrain all-electric, bicycles to get around.
And a new bike designed with their needs in mind is catching the attention of bicycle enthusiasts everywhere.
At the New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays, rated the Southern Hemisphere’s largest annual agribusiness expo, one of the more unusual product launches was the Ubco 2X2.
It has an air-cooled brushless electric hub motor one in each wheel, with a combined power of 2,000 watts, roughly 2.7 horse power.
While most electric bikes and motorbikes offer rear-wheel drive, the Ubco 2x2 has two-wheel drive, and wide tyres, for better performance on rough ground.
It weighs 50kg and is powered by a lithium battery, which keeps it going for 43-62 miles on rough ground, of about 63 miles on flat ground, reaching a top speed of 28 mph.
The battery can be hooked up to power tools, or used to recharge devices such as phones.
The bike has no clutch or drive chain, which minimises maintenance issues with regular farm bikes.
It has air-filled suspension in front, a rear wheel shock absorber, and hydraulic disc brakes.
Fitting an alloy frame allows the Ubco 2x2 to haul a 174 kg load.
Although developed for farmers, the Ubco 2x2 will have wide appeal, thanks to features such as zero emissions.
However, the quad bike is likely to remain the workhorse of New Zealand farming.
And another new product seen at the New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays goes some way to make quad bikes safer.
Farm Angel is a WiFi enabled GPS tracking device that connects to the phone network. Fitted to a vehicle, it monitors driver behaviour, including acceleration, speed and tilting.
Alerts are automatically activated to smartphones if pre-set limits are breached, such as an accident occurring.
Quad bikes with Farm Angel can only be started by those with a special fob or wristband.
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