Bolt Agrees Deal to Fund Low-Emission Cars For Nigerian Drivers
(Bloomberg) -- Bolt Technology OU, a rival to Uber Technologies Inc. in Africa and Eastern Europe, has signed a deal to enable Nigerian drivers to take part in a lease-to-own plan for 10,000 energy-efficient vehicles.
The agreement with Yamaha Corp.-backed Metro Africa Express allows drivers from the ride-hailing firm to make down payments of as low as 5% depending on their credit score, and pay the balance over five years, according to a statement on Tuesday.
A deployment of energy-efficient vehicles -- valued at about $20,000 each -- “will deliver significant reductions in carbon emissions,” Guy-Bertrand Njoya, chief executive officer of Metro Africa Express, said in an interview. Both electricity or gas-powered cars will be available, he said.
The deal comes as Nigeria looks at cutting gasoline subsidies by the second half of next year, a move that could see prices at the pump more than double. Africa’s largest economy has one of the lowest fuel prices in the world at about 40 cents a liter, kept artificially low by the government.
Metro Africa Express, also known as MAX, has set set up charging stations in the cities of Lagos, Ibadan and Akure, all in the south of Nigeria. Drivers of its vehicles are achieving “savings of 15% compared to existing alternatives,” Njoya said.
MAX raised $7 million in 2020 from investors including Yamaha and plans to seek additional cash to meet increasing demand.
Estonia-based Bolt is the dominant ride-hailing firm in Nigeria, with about 35,000 drivers. The MAX deal could potentially add another 10,000 drivers over the next five years, Femi Akin-Laguda, country manager, said.
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