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Founder

Timothy Allan, Co-founder and CEO at UBCO

An interest in pursuing a career in fine art or becoming a mountain climber didn't quite eventuate for Timothy Allan, Co-founder and CEO at UBCO, however he at least now has a sustainable mode of transport capable of taking him into the mountains.

We caught up with Timothy to learn more about his career journey leading up to co-founding UBCO, a utility electric vehicle company taking on the world from the Bay of Plenty. Tim shares where he hopes to see UBCO into the future as well as the characteristics of the vast number of people they need to help them get there. Thanks for sharing your story, Timothy.

“As CEO, my focus is to grow our success and build a high-performance team to help us achieve our goals.”

How would you explain to a five year old what it is that you do?

I'm the boss at a company that makes and sells electric motorbikes

And for the adults, what does that translate to in regards to your day-to-day?

UBCO is fast becoming a global leader in utility electric vehicles.  As CEO, my focus is to grow our success and build a high-performance team to help us achieve our goals.

We're all about accelerating the global transition to electric mobility. And we're doing that by designing the world’s toughest electric utility vehicles that are effortless, safe, intelligent, and affordable.

“ I was keen on pursuing a career in fine art or becoming a ranger or a mountain climber”

Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and what inspired you to start Ubco?

Prior to leading UBCO, I established and led product development company Locus Research for 15 years. We operated across diverse industries, developing products from sporting and equipment, to construction products, medical devices and aerospace.

This also gave me the opportunity to work with and advise some of New Zealand's leading companies on innovation and sustainability as well as being an active early stage investor.

The inspiration to start UBCO came when I met Daryl Neal and Anthony Clyde at the Fieldays in 2014. They had entered their concept for a 2 wheel drive electric, lightweight, utility vehicle into the Fieldays Innovation Award and I was the convenor.

I immediately saw the opportunity behind the idea and we began working together through Locus. In April 2015 we decided to form UBCO and move the project into a commercial mode. We formed the company with a long-term capital plan in mind. 

Fast forward to today, and we're into our fifth generation product and have stacked up over 15 million riding kilometres worldwide and counting.

“Don't be afraid to think big”

Where do you hope Ubco will be in five years from now?

We want to be the number one utility electric vehicle company globally. 

What kind of boss are you, if I was to ask one of your employees?

I think they would say that I have a good strategic head and am good at helping people connect the dots. They would probably also say that I talk a lot and have a quirky vocabulary!

What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

Don't be afraid to think big.

Lastly, as Ubco grows, what are the key traits and characteristics of the people you look for when hiring?

We're looking for people who are smart, collaborative, genuine and open. The only way we are going to make number one is to have a team that works really well together to push the boundaries. We need people who are comfortable with and excited by change and progress.

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