Usain Bolt’s Mobility company unveiled a two-seater, all-electric and zero-emission vehicle, named the Bolt Nano at the VivaTech conference in Paris last Thursday. The Nano, which will begin deliveries next year, is expected to start at $9,999.
Mobility is currently taking refundable deposits of $999 to reserve a Nano, which has an interchangeable battery. The vehicle, which was launched the same week that the company announced its new e-scooter in Paris, can accommodate a driver in the front and a passenger in the back.
Bolt Mobility, a rideshare company, provides carbon-free e-scooters that users can locate via app and pay for through their account in cities around the world. In the US, it costs $1 to unlock a vehicle and then 15 cents per minute to drive it.
In an interview with CNBC, Bolt said that this new venture was inspired by his time traveling as a professional athlete. “Through my times as a track athlete, I’ve learned that the cities around the world need help with congestion.” The Olympic track star, who co-founded the company with Sarah Haynes, hopes to reduce traffic and reliance on “personal vehicles” by working with city governments to “weave transportation alternatives into the fabric of urban environments.”
“The cities that we have today are the same ones that have been there for centuries, and they’re not made for this many cars,” Haynes said, adding that sustainability is also integrated into the vehicles, which are customized from recycled parts.
The Bolt Nano responds to the way that people are currently moving around urban areas with ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, as well as bicycle sharing services. Aside from Bolt’s electric scooter, other companies such as Bird and Lime, allow users to locate and hire electric scooters through their smartphone.
Some countries have placed restrictions on e-scooters. In the UK, e-scooters are classified as “powered transporters,” which means they are considered “motor vehicles” and cannot be used public roads without adhering to requirements, which makes it difficult to rent them as a tourist. Also, using powered transporters on sidewalks and bike lanes is prohibited.
Last March, however, the government announced, “the biggest review into transport in a generation,” which will consider regulations concerning vehicles such as e-scooters and e-cargo bike trailers.
The Nano two-seater offers greater maneuverability in congested areas with limited parking. In fact, four Nano vehicles can fit into s standard parking space. The company’s first four-wheeler, it’s been in development for the last two years. Although it’s uncertain were the Bolt Nano will be first launched, the company, which is established in both the US and Europe, says we can expect to see Nanos in many more markets in the coming months.