US-based Bolt Mobility – a start-up company co-founded by champion sprinter Usain Bolt – has unveiled a two-seater electric micro car called the Bolt B-Nano that will allow its owners to take part in a car-share model to earn revenue, and avoid the need to stop and recharge.
Instead, it has “swappable” battery technology, like the kind that bikemaker Yamaha has been considering adopting from Taiwanese scooter company Gogoro, and which Bolt already use in its range of electric scooters.
Backed by the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, the micro-sized 2-seater will cost from under $US10,000 ($A14,460 converted), and is already available online to preorder for a deposit of $US999 ($A1,444).
With a plan to begin deliveries in late 2020, Bolt unveiled the vehicle at Vivatech, a startup and innovation event which was held in Paris, France this weekend.
The tiny two-seater, which the company says has enhanced manoeuvrability in areas of congestion and limited parking, joins Bolt’s other electric offerings, which include two-wheeled scooters the Chariot, the Bolt Original and Bolt One which form a rental scooter network in certain cities in the US.
But it’s the first four-wheeler for the company, which it says it has been secretly developing for the past two years.
In addition to the vehicle itself, Bolt will be launching an app that will allow owners to car share the vehicle, as part of its “micro-mobility” mission to transform urban transport.
“Through its portfolio of micromobility products, Bolt Mobility fulfills the dream that many of us share to operate in a world where our vehicles will fit perfectly into the fabric of our urban environments while respecting the air we breathe,” said Bolt co-founder and global ambassador Usain Bolt (who late last year ended a trial playing soccer with NSW’s Central Coast Mariners) in a statement.
“Bolt Mobility’s mission is to provide innovative mobility solutions that have a concrete and real impact in reducing urban congestion and the environmental footprint of our travel,” said Sarah Haynes, fellow co-founder, co-CEO and president of Bolt Mobility in a statement.
“Bolt Nano is fully in line with this dynamic”.
It’s not entirely clear where the Bolt B-Nano (which may face some naming issues if Tata has anything to say about it) will be first be launched, but the company, which is already active in both the US and Europe, says it will be launching in “dozens more markets launching in the coming months”.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.