FCA Corp’s African private equity fund Africap LLC, continues its leadership in African private equity through an investment in Sanguo Ventures Limited (SGV), a Malawi-based developer of electric motorcycles.
Incorporated in Malawi in 2017, SGV is the first electric motorcycle manufacturer on the African continent. Its first production model, the MM125 motorcycle, has provided African businesses with a greener, cheaper and more reliable transportation option that offers additional economic opportunities for Malawi communities.
The appeal for electric motorcycles to African consumers centers on the motorcycle’s simplified mechanical components. From tropical storms, to tenuous road conditions, to dusty, dry seasons, Malawi and much of southern Africa experiences some of the world’s harshest and most varied working conditions.
SGV’s new and converted motorcycles based on the MM125 drivetrain have traveled more than 500,000 kilometers since first units were launched in 2019, and all initial production units have completed one-year warranties with zero warranty claims. SGV’s operations can fulfill production capacity of 1,200 all-electric motorcycles per year, all built in Malawi. The FCA Corp investment allows SGV to offer payment-on-delivery terms and warranty services on an even footing with legacy manufacturers.
Reliability of electric motorbikes is essential in Africa’s diverse climates, however it also has a positive financial impact on consumers. The MM125 motorcycle, which requires no general maintenance due to the absence of a chain, gearbox, and engine oil, can create significant cost savings for African companies. The bikes save customers more than 50% when compared to lower-end Chinese bikes, and even more when compared to expensive Yamahas and other Japanese bikes.
U.S. Government agencies such as USAID also recognize a cost reduction correlation with electronic motorcycles, particularly in Africa, due to simplified mechanics, greater fuel efficiency, and fewer instances of required maintenance and general upkeep. Just one MM125 electric drivetrain avoids the emission of 8 tons of Co2 over five years compared with a standard 125cc gasoline powered motorcycle. The MM125 battery pack with its unique Battery Management System can be fully charged from empty in just four hours.
Beyond the immediate business operations, SGV has also established a first-of-its-kind electric vehicle (EV) technician certification program in coordination with Don Bosco Youth Technical Institute in Lilongwe, Malawi’s Capital city. Scholarships are available for students interested in making a career of electric vehicles. Every five drivetrain conversions or new motorcycles funds one certification scholarship, and 12 Malawian students who have already completed the program are now employed at SGV.
Electric motorbikes could be the transportation of the future for African companies looking to reduce operational and transportation costs, as well as their environmental footprint. FCA Corp’s investment in African innovation creates the economic foothold that could give these firms a leg up towards a more sustainable and profitable future.