Agilitee Africa is an almost entirely female run Electric Vehicle company aimed at providing “whatever Africa needs to get from A to B” . Launching its first dealership in Portside Building in Cape Town at the end of June, it will be selling electric motorcycles at affordable prices.
Agilitee’s aim is to provide cheap transport to the likes of students and delivery services, as well as personal commuter bikes, whilst expanding their network into as many other industries as possible. With small purchase fees and no running costs, Agilitee hopes to tempt those on a tight budget, but that require personal transport. All their vehicles will come with a 3 year maintenance plan, and as of right now they have three options from which to choose, with a fourth to be revealed when doors open at their first dealership.
Apart from the almost entirely female team running the company, of which the CEO Mandla Lamba is the only man, the most interesting point made is that these vehicles cannot be charged, instead they have removable batteries which are to be recharged at the dealerships. This is different to any other electric vehicle company we have come cross, and is more akin to electrically assisted bicycles’ methods of re-juicing. Whether this is Agilitee’s way of getting around the cable crime problem in South Africa, or a lack of funding to build charging stations, we are not sure, but it is a curious choice to make. The swapping of batteries is said to be a quick process, and is entirely free of charge for the customer. It is done through an app, in which the process is registered, and access is granted to the new battery. The used battery is then placed into the same charging slot from which the fresh battery came, and the process is complete. How all of this works in practice is yet to be seen, but with only one known dealership opening in the city centre it limits the customer to a specific geographical area.
In terms of product, the first of the three bikes launching is the Wild Grace. A Café racer that has the potential of doing 360 km/h, but has been limited for obvious reasons. One of those reasons presumably being that one look at the wheels, tires and brakes will confirm they have no intention of any serious speed. Agilitee claims upwards of 300 km of range, and it will cost R 175 000 off the showroom floor.
Its next product is far more purpose built. A student-aimed scooter called the RTF. The idea with this scooter is that it will be a vehicle that will provide more to a student than it takes. The firm has looked into the monthly government grant given to students and made sure that their bike is within that budget. To rent, through Finance Africa, the RTF will cost R 1 300 per month, and to purchase once off will be R 48 000. Charging, like with the other bikes, is free, and it has a claimed range of 350 km.
The last in the line of three is the LoadEx. Another electric scooter however this one is aimed at the delivery sector, think Uber Eats delivery riders. Its party trick is that it is able to carry the weight of the rider, plus two fully grown adults, that was the statement given. It will cost R 30 000 brand new and, like the aforementioned, will have a range of 350 km.
Those were all the details we were given for now, presumably we will have to wait until these products go on sale to find out more. When that does happen there will be another product launched, an entry-level scooter that is said to cost R 15 000. Agilitee claims to have 500 pre-orders on these products, expecting more and we are intrigued to see how they sell when they actually hit the market, particularly with the fact that trips to the dealership will be regular. As for Agilitee’s plans elsewhere, they are looking to expand north, into more rural settings in the country, and even across the border. Agilitee representatives were confident when asked about power supply to those types of areas, however we reckon the focus should lie a little closer to home.