ENVO is Building Micro Electric Mobility From eBikes to The 4wd UPT

ENVO is Building Micro Electric Mobility From eBikes to The 4wd UPT


Vancouver, B.C.’s ENVO is already an established ebike brand, but this ambitious company also produces a whole range of different electric vehicles. In addition to their commuter, cargo and three-wheeled ebikes, ENVO’s showroom also features electric snow carts, scooters, snow bikes, ATVs, and as of November 17th their all-new UPT (Utility Personal Transport).

ENVO follows a clever business model that allows them to serve niche markets, and sell limited numbers of specialized e-vehicles. In short, by using common components wherever possible they can keep production costs low enough to produce short run, niche products that don’t have to sell thousands of units to turn a profit.

Being the most bike-focused journalist in attendance, I am no expert on e-vehicles that aren’t bicycles. However, it was fun to see what ENVO envisions for the future of micro e-mobility.

ENVO’s Story:

ENVO Flex ebikes

Many years ago, Ali Kazemkhani, now the CEO of ENVO, attempted to sell ebikes in his home country of Iran but the venture was not successful. Once he came to Canada, the hub motors and electronics he had were sold successfully as ebike conversion kits. He started his business under the name EBike BC, but later created the ENVO brand for the kits and complete ebikes.

Even looking at their ebike lineup we can see ENVO is all about multi-use, modular designs. Their FLEX ebike, for example, can be set up as an urban or off-road ebike, a snow bike, or a cargo trike. All these options are possible using the same frame mounted with different accessories. Their D50 ebike is an all-purpose hardtail that can work as a commuter, can accommodate cargo racks or bags, or can be converted to handle MTB trails with some component upgrades.

Fulfilling Niche Markets:

ENVO snowcart and snowbike

ENVO feels the best approach to survive in the micro electric mobility world is to fulfill the needs of many niche markets. As this market expands, many different uses and applications are arising for small electric vehicles. By sharing electronic components and making their vehicles from common materials (eg. all the vehicles are built on aluminum frames), ENVO can afford to test the marketplace with short runs of different products. They believe this approach will keep them relevant and profitable in the constantly changing e-mobility realm.

The new UPT platform takes their modularity concept to a new level, as ENVO has an endless list of possible uses and accessories planned for this machine. Just a few examples are recreation, farming or general utility, not to mention municipal uses like garbage collection, search and rescue, or police patrolling. In fact, Vancouver police are already using one of ENVO’s electric ATVs to patrol a beachfront park. 

The New ENVO UPT:

ENVO UPT, side

The unveiling of the UPT was the main reason ENVO held this media event. The new ‘Utility Personal Transport’ UPT is an evolution of ENVO’s existing electric ATV, but with its own ground-up design to address feedback from ATV owners and to massively increase its modularity.

The most obvious and significant change is the move to an open platform for the UPT. This platform, combined with the offset steering column, allows for a huge range of uses and potential accessories. Anything from seats, standing platforms, cargo carriers, plowing or towing attachments, micro-car bodies, etc. could be produced as UPT add-ons. ENVO has one design in mind that could be ideal for search and rescue teams.

ENVO UPT, platform

The UPT’s lowered ‘pass-through’ middle section and offset handlebar leave room for cargo items much longer than the platform itself. The handlebar itself can be positioned in the center of the steering column, or off to one side. The steering column can also be tilted, or even reversed to use the UPT’s entire deck as a cargo area (with a standing platform added for the driver). There are multiple attachment points around the platform to host various accessories.

Based on feedback from their electric ATV, ENVO wanted to keep the UPT’s deck low for stable handling. Using a hub motor in each wheel keeps the deck open for cargo space, but also allows ENVO to offer 4wd, traction control, and regenerative braking.

The UPT features dual wishbone suspension with 120mm travel. Its horizontal shock layout saves space so the thin platform can offer its pass-through shape for hauling long items.

UPT Specs:

ENVO UPT, front

As for specs, the UPT’s maximum power output is 12,000W, and it provides 640Nm of torque.  The UPT’s payload capacity is 550lbs, and it can tow up to 770lbs. Maximum speed is listed at 31mph.

Up to 8 batteries can hide in the UPT’s platform. Fitting ENVO’s production strategy, they are the same batteries found in ENVO’s ebikes. The UPT’s range is 62-124 miles (depending largely on how many batteries you’re running). The whole UPT will be IP67 water resistant.

Folding down or positioning the steering column is an easy task, with just a few allen bolts to tighten. Sliding the handlebar to the center or side of the column is done the same way. Finished UPTs will include integrated headlights, taillights and turn signals (if required).

A UPT weighs at least 160kg without attachments, so ENVO has included a crawl mode to help with storage. The crawl mode will move the front wheels very slowly, so you can creep the UPT up a wall and park it vertically to save space in a garage, etc. While that takes care of the UPT, any attachments will take up some storage space themselves. It’s too early to know if accessories will be quick and easy to remove from the platform.

ENVO is aiming to take pre-orders for the UPT by early 2024, with expected delivery closer to 2025. Pricing should be around $14,000 USD. Keep an eye on ENVO’s website for updates.

envodrive.com



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