Best of the Best Designers Speak® - Video - UBCO

The Best Design Awards are a major feature of the local design calendar and some of last year's winners have toured the country to offer first-hand insights into their projects. 

The 2021 series was recorded on video. Here is one from the series of twenty recorded.

Generation X5
Timothy Allan, FDINZ

CEO and Managing Director of UBCO Timothy Allan spoke about the model and accomplishments of UBCO, the world’s first production two-wheel-drive electric motorcycle. Their Generation X5 took a Golden Pin in 2020 for non-consumer product.

Timothy’s presentation had a focus on the history of the business, a glimpse at current market conditions and their ethos of circular design which has led them to significant success at a global level. He also outlined some of the innovations that make UBCO so unique: from vehicle/battery design and engineering, scalable manufacturing, software engineering, distribution/online servicing through to monitoring and performance analytics.

He discussed the environmental extremes his company has had to design for (from freezing temperatures of North America through to desert conditions) and how rigorous and instant product monitoring has allowed them to refine and adapt the bikes quickly and according to live data. He explained how climate change and urbanisation as well as digitalisation of the world has allowed them to be accepted in the United States and the EU.

Timothy Allan, FDINZ, UBCO

Timothy then went on to talk about the intelligent platform and subscription model (recurring revenue) on which they built their business. UBCO outfits each bike with significant multi-platform apps, data artificial intelligence and others which allow for safety monitoring, servicing and driver remote training. 

Timothy quoted from Clayton Christensen’s book The Innovator’s Dilemma, chatted about unit economics of his business and emphasised that UBCO remains ‘agnostic to application’, meaning their bikes can be adaptable and have been used in ways they never imagined (such as postal services, food delivery and by forestry services).

The post-consumer, end of life cycle was also a focus of his presentation, showing how they control the recovery of the bikes and, through reverse logistics, can turn some of the components into other products.

Thanks Designworks for the pre-drinks venue

Supported by

DINZ Interviews

When the opportunity arises, DINZ interviews leading designers from here and overseas. These interviews seek to dig beneath the surface to address the common and uncommon challenges, problems and opportunities the design community faces.