By Busayo Onijala
British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, on Tuesday commended Nigeria-based start-up, Metro Africa Xpress’s (MAX.ng) Electric Vehicle(EV) mobility innovation over its partnership to produce electric motorcycles and tricycles in Nigeria.
Cleverly gave the commendation in Lagos after inspecting and testing two and three-wheeler (Motorcycles and Tricycles) electric vehicles produced by MAX.ng.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Cleverly, who is currently in Nigeria, is on a three-country, four-day African tour of three African countries, Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia.
“This is Nigerian innovation and ideas but has been unlocked through finance and initial investment through British International Investment (BII).
“This financing is catalysing Nigerian ideas and unlocking business opportunities for Nigerian drivers and business people,” Cleverly said.
According to him, it is fantastic that organisations are bringing together their respective expertise to reduce emissions, reduce cost to drivers, improve air quality in cities and help hand over to the next generation hopefully in a better state than inherited.
Speaking with newsmen, Mr Tayo Bamiduro, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-founder, MAX.ng, said the economic benefits of shifting from petrol to electric were overwhelming.
Bamiduro noted that users would save as much as 40 per cent in operating costs every month by simply shifting from gas-powered two-wheelers to electric-powered ones.
“There is a compelling argument beyond the environmental impact, but, also the economic impact. So, there’s absolutely no reason not to do the transition to EV right now.
“We have been doing this for the past five years, supported and powered extensively by close partners including the UK government and Uk government funded institutions
“These organisations have worked closely with Max to introduce electric-powered two and three-wheeled vehicles into the Nigerian market – all the way from design to manufacturing, production and deployment,” he said.
Bamiduro noted that to make sure people could make the transition to electric vehicles, his company was building and investing in charging infrastructure.
He said MAX.ng was working with leading energy companies, and the government at the state and federal levels to scale up access to charging stations and infrastructure to enable people to make the shift from petrol to electric.
“A switch to electric will lead to a reduction in energy cost by at least 50 per cent, and in some cases, up to 70 per cent.
“The change is now, it’s no longer in the future,” he said.
Speaking on BII’s partnership with MAX.ng, Mr Benson Adenuga, Country Director, BII, said the electric vehicles was one of the indirect investments the organisation had made in Nigeria to support development in the country.
NAN reports that BII, owned by the UK government through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), carries out development investment in Nigeria to assist the growth of the private sector.
“MAX.ng is trying to do more by way of electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and our role is the provision of financing to one of our venture capital companies called Novastar.
“Novastar invested in MAX.ng, enabling them to grow their operation and there is still room for growth,” Adenuga said. (NAN)