Ubco Portable Power
Stop. Collaborate and… Power your purpose.
Riding the wave of a successful product release, Locus was able to develop a uniquely UBCO product – without the wheels!
UBCO’s vision is to ‘power your purpose’. The first generation 2×2 captured this by offering power outlets as a critical part of the bike’s design. And now, in Generation 5, it is time to take this to the next level and offer a fully standalone portable power supply.
The standalone unit not only powers your bike, but it can also be taken out and used as a power bank anywhere you like. UBCO gave us the challenge to develop the exoskeleton and refine the overall design for this critical product amongst a packed release of new generation products.
INSIGHTS AND CONCEPTS
We live in an age where you can’t go far without interacting with something that has a battery. However, the type of use changes profoundly between contexts and environments.
It is essential to appreciate the different needs when you are out and about on an UBCO. The latest generation bikes reflect this by offering the 2×2 Work and 2×2 Adventure, which by extension required a new approach to the battery solution. The KxH battery series provides just that, allowing for different configurations and power.
Robustness and accessibility were our key drivers to cater to those that know what we mean when we say ‘van life’ as well as adventurists and professionals powering their equipment. We’re talking powering anything from a drone to a mobile phone – not just once, but over and over again.
The brief was broken up into three key deliverables to be developed in parallel:
- Upgrading the manufacturing of the battery pack. How could we make the battery pack even safer, and improve the overall manufacturability of the battery.
- Modularity and battery versions. The creation of a modular system that allows for easy assembly of the different battery versions for the Generation 5 bikes. It led to an overhaul of the battery from a structural and aesthetic point of view (including branding), keeping with the UBCO values.
- Exo-frame. The creation of a light, easy to use, carry and stow, frame to house the battery for use outside the bike.
CONSIDERED AESTHETICS AND REFINED UTILITY
UBCO has a strong brand identity that is integral to its success. The new portable power pack needed to embody this. Within the tight design envelope, the team managed to create a design that works both inside and outside the bike. This was a key breakthrough. A truly portable power unit that can be easily carried with one or two hands, and used where ever and when ever.
The full standalone battery features multiple power outlets with a voltage meter, a battery health bar, as well as pocket connectivity with UBCO’s new smart battery management system for full operation analytics. It is a universal fit for all current 2×2 models.
The outer frame is designed to be robust, multi-orientated and easily carried by you or your 2×2. The top of the frame is a cheeky nudge to the iconic x in the 2×2 frame.
MORE POWER ON THE GO
The new Kx Battery series was successfully launched at UBCON 2019 and will go into production for mid-2020. By successfully delivering the three key areas, Locus created a new UBCO product with a smooth path to production.
“Loved the way the Locus team picked up this project and took it to the next level.”
– TOM HAYWARD, CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER, UBCO.