In combat scenarios, similar to what's been going on for the past few months in Ukraine, mobility is essential in order to achieve strategic goals—in this case, defending your land from invasion. While the Ukrainian army continues to use traditional means of mobility—jeeps, pickup trucks, and other mid to heavy-duty vehicles, it has also begun incorporating lightweight electric vehicles, particularly electric enduro bikes, into its fleet.
Internal combustion engines, even the smallest ones we find in mopeds and scooters, are noisy, and can easily be detected from a distance. In combat situations where stealth is key, they're extremely detrimental, and can instantly give you away to your enemies. That's why electric bikes from ELEEK and Delfast are playing a role in helping Ukranian troops get around.
Earlier in May, Vadym Ignatov, Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian Association of Electric Vehicle Market Participants, wrote about the handover of ELEEK Atom electric motorcycles to the Armed Forces, noting that the military had previously evaluated them and provided feedback regarding their performance.
In an article published by Mezha Media, he was quoted stating, “We take into account all the wishes of our fighters, which were discovered during the combat use of the first units. And most importantly, added a very important feature that will allow you not to take additional power banks in the raid. The companies have added 220 V output, which will allow the use of any standard charger. After testing in real combat conditions, special forces fighters assessed the benefits of electric bikes and the need for them will increase.” Surely, once these e-bikes are fitted with more tech to help soldiers, more of them will be fielded to the frontlines.
Furthermore, Delfast, a brand you may be familiar with, is extensively associated with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Danylo Tonkopiy, the company's founder and CEO, also announced the delivery of numerous electric motorcycles to the military. “We transferred electric bikes to the forefront in the first weeks of the war, but we didn’t talk about it—we do some things quietly. Now we have received permission from the command and publish photos where and what for our bikes are used.” Tonkopiy stated in the same report.
The Ukrainian defenders have modified the motorcycles to carry NLAW rockets, or Next Generation Light Anti-Armour Weapons, to improve their fighting capability. The workings of these rockets are described in great depth in an article published by Electrek. These small yet potent weapons are meant to allow a single operator to kill an enemy tank. They're also designed to be human-portable and carried by infantry, making them much easier to transport on an electric bike.
Additionally, the fact that NLAW rockets are being used alongside electric bikes adds yet another benefit. Getting into position to launch an NLAW rocket in an open area is extremely dangerous, since it frequently exposes the operator to the opponent tank's cannons, as well as surrounding troops numerous artillery. The soldier's vulnerability can be considerably reduced by using a high-powered electric bike to rapidly and discreetly acquire a shooting position and then depart the area.