MAX, Nigeria’s EV Startup Targets Eight New African Countries after Nigeria and Ghana

MAX, Nigeria’s EV Startup Targets Eight New African Countries after Nigeria and Ghana

Metro Africa Xpress (MAX), a Nigeria-based electric vehicle startup backed by a private-equity firm, Lightrock LLP will be embarking on an aggressive expansion into about eight African countries by next year after attaining a foothold in its base in Nigeria and neighboring Ghana, as demand for investment in the low-emission mode of transportation increases.

The electric vehicle startup received a $31 million Series B round last year to develop an EV market on the continent, a seemingly difficult task due to the region’s chronic power shortage. According to Adetayo Bamiduro, MAX Chief Executive Officer in an interview with Blumberg, the startup plans to expand into Uganda, Egypt, and Cameroon by 2023, indicating that it may use those markets as strategic points of entry into the various regions they represent.

The funds, the startup said at that time, will be used to increase its EV vehicle count from 8,000 to 100,000 by next year, with the percentage of electric vehicles increasing to 20% from 4%. Bamiduro says the EV startup’s goal is to have an all-electric fleet within the next 10 to 15 years.

“For African economies to be productive, people and goods must be able to move around efficiently and safely,” he said.

To connect cars and drivers, Max has partnered with vehicle manufacturers such as Yamaha Corp. and ride-hailing platform Bolt Technology, as well as financial services firms. Although only a small portion of the fleet is currently electric due to insufficient charging infrastructure and a power shortage on the continent, the business has the potential to expand as African governments encourage investment in renewables to reduce emissions.


Adetayo Bamiduro

According to Bamiduro, the startup is investing equally in charging stations in Nigeria and Ghana. Max previously raised more than $70 million in funding for its drivers from investors such as Lightrock and Global Ventures, an international venture capital firm based in the United.

Also read, Electric Vehicles: When will Africa be ripe for mass adoption?

In Nigeria, the government inaugurated the first domestically assembled electronic car from Stallion Motors last June, and Jet Motor Company followed suit the same month with the launch of a fleet of cars.

Getting enough power for EVs could be difficult in Nigeria, which has the world’s largest electricity access deficit, according to the World Bank.

According to its CEO, MAX, which has a limited number of vehicles due to charging constraints and the power crisis, is expanding its charging infrastructure in the two markets where it currently operates.

Mastercard, Techstars, Yamaha, Novastar Ventures, Alitheia Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Alitheia Capital are among its backers.