Africa’s EV revolution will roll in on two wheels, not four

Adetayo Bamiduro didn’t set out to fight climate change in Africa’s mobility sector. His goal was to help professional drivers access and earn more from delivery and passenger gigs by owning their own vehicles. The core product of his Lagos-based startup, Metro Africa Xpress (MAX), was lease-to-own vehicle financing, especially for motorcycles. There was just one problem: His customers hated the bikes, mostly imported from China.

“We bought vehicles off the shelf, and we got pretty terrible feedback from the drivers,” he says. “The vehicles are not designed for use cases in Africa. They didn’t have range, couldn’t manage heavy loads. But when we tried to engage with manufacturers, they weren’t willing to make design and production changes.”

Bamiduro’s solution: Build his own bikes. As it turned out, the easiest kind to build was electric, using locally-sourced parts and imported batteries. The M3, MAX’s newest motorcycle model, has reinforced suspension, a battery range of up to 100 miles, and built-in USB ports for phone charging. It costs about $2,000, more upfront than a comparable gas-fueled motorcycle. But Bamiduro says that monthly gas and maintenance are 25% below conventional bikes, and that the price difference can be offset in two to three years.

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Originally published on Quartz : Original article

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