Updated: Apr 16, 2021
Boost Auto Breaking News
My sources say a well-known Kiwi EV motorcycle start-up is about to take on the legacy automotive and motorcycle brands by bringing large scale automotive manufacturing back to New Zealand.
The company in question is known for their street legal and off-road electric motorcycles also known as Utility Electric Vehicle (UEV). Uniquely these vehicles are two wheel drive for added traction, and this feature gives the vehicles an unrivalled off-road ability. The business was founded eight years ago to produce lightweight electric utility vehicles, a market which was untapped.
The company is also said to be working on extracting energy from cow and sheep urine that can be then used in batteries and stored locally to trickle charge the vehicle's battery packs.
With a strong focus on commercial end users, the business has again focussed on the rural sector to do for the farm utility market what it has done in the farm bike market. The new vehicle will go head to head with ATV (all terrain vehicles) and Side By Sides for farm, agriculture, forestry and local authority use which altogether across New Zealand and Australia alone is worth over 130,000 unit sales per year, and globally is 13.7 million units.
A company spokesperson who has asked not to be named, said the high acidic content in urine and urea are ideal catalysts for electrolytic cells which can generate a low voltage electrical charge. With farms generating large volumes of urine, a larger amounts of energy can be created. "We've developed, as part of this project, a storage system that can store the subsequent charged solution and we can use this in series to trickle charge the vehicle's battery packs.
"We are literally taking the p**s," he added. "Our only challenge is that the electricity creation unit is quite large, and not portable, however it is modular and this allows farmers to power up their vehicles off the grid and set up a charging station in remote areas".
The vehicle will again be pure Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and feature their trademark lattice work frame, four seats and a decent load area. Although full specifications are being kept under wraps, it is likely to offer all-wheel drive, with an electric motor for each wheel, and swappable batteries.
We understand that the vehicle has undergone end user development and early testing at an undisclosed location in the Waikato, and has an unwieldy working name of the All-terrain Performance and Recreation Four Occupant Load Lugger - APRFOLL. Boost Auto is hopeful that they don’t stick with that name.
A site has been acquired in Wiri, Auckland with a planned 20,000 m2 factory, with the ability to export CKD to overseas developing markets. Production is planned to commence in April 2022.
The full and formal announcement is coming later this month. You can find extra details here.