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Living Lightly column

Sun shines on electric transport

By Matthew Charles-Jones, Totally Renewable Yackandandah

Many people across the district are deeply engaged in efforts to use less energy and ‘switch-up’ to reliable, clean and affordable renewable energy. This exploration has led to the consideration of ways we can turn to efficient electric appliances and equipment.  One such opportunity is the rapid emergence of efficient electric transport.

Local farmer, Brendan Johnson who also works with Daviesway (supplier of equipment to the farming industry) has invited members of local community energy group Totally Renewable Yackandandah to trial the awesome UBCO two-wheel drive electric motorbike.  Whilst the machine will be out of place on a downtown Lygon street, or in the lycra-clad mountain bike line-up, it is an absolute ripper.

The ag style bike will be best compared with a postie motorbike without the weight, noise and smells.  It is light, comfortable, silent and cheap to run.  Range anxiety need not be a particular problem on the farm or around town. Travel range extends up to 130kms, which obviously drops down the faster you go and the hillier the country. The TRY test bike is about four years old and it did struggle with steeper country.  Fortunately, UBCO have recognised the limitation and have since added bigger motors and a heartier battery to provide more confidence on hills.  Nimble, predictable, future focused and road registerable.

Indeed, the UBCO demonstrates a theme dear to the hearts of those thinking about energy transition and travel.  The bike is an example of how fit-for-purpose travel can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels – and especially so if charged from the solar panels so intensively smeared across the north-east.

This bike, and a diverse range of other neat electric vehicles and bicycles will provide a very powerful tool in our effort to draw down dangerous carbon emissions. Fortunately, many agencies across Australia are working through the infrastructure needs for the inevitable and rapid transition to genuine low-carbon emissions transport.

With many analysts suggesting electric vehicles will be cost and performance competitive with petrol and diesel cars by 2022, the UBCO provides confidence that our travel future will be exciting. Indeed, some countries are setting dates for the future ban of the internal combustion vehicle.  Interesting times.

To learn more please visit: https://www.ubcobikes.com/au/ and the local dealer is at Arkon Powersports Wodonga.