SA-born Jacques Vos has started an electric-motorcycle company. Picture: CHARLEEN CLARKE
SA-born Jacques Vos has started an electric-motorcycle company. Picture: CHARLEEN CLARKE

The world launch of electric motorcycle manufacturer Vos Motorcycles took place at last week’s London Motor & Tech Show.

The company was founded by Klerksdorp-born mechanic Jacques Vos who is currently living in the UK, and he displayed his Model Z sports motorcycle which has a quoted range of 120km, a top speed of 140km/h and a starting UK pricetag of £5,840 (R107,000).

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Also on offer are the Model H naked motorcycle, Model SH scooter and the Model A minibike. The electric bikes are currently built in China but the manufacturing operation will move to the UK within the next 12 months.

Vos, who says there was plenty of interest shown in his bikes at the London show, also plans to assemble and sell his pollution-free motorcycles in SA within the next two years. To better suit local conditions they will be fitted with bigger batteries for a range of more than 300km.


Usain Bolt invests in electric vehicles

Former sprinter Usain Bolt rides an electric scooter during the international launching of Bolt Electric Scooters by Bolt Mobility in Paris. Picture: REUTERS
Former sprinter Usain Bolt rides an electric scooter during the international launching of Bolt Electric Scooters by Bolt Mobility in Paris. Picture: REUTERS

After hanging up his gold sprinting shoes in 2017, former Olympian great Usain Bolt has turned to investing in electric cars and scooters.

The 100m and 200m world record holder from Jamaica is co-founder of a US-based company called Bolt Mobility and last week launched his Bolt Electric scooters and the Bolt Nano prototype car at a Paris technology show.

It's a follow-up to an electric scooter sharing service already available in several US cities. Since its founding in 2018, the company has launched in cities across the US and plans to expand into 20 European cities in 2020.

The scooters are ideal for a single person travelling up to 3km, says the company, but the two-seater Nano will be suited for longer city journeys of up to 25km.

The battery-powered car, called the B-Nano for short, is designed for short city trips in a car-sharing scheme. The base model is priced at just $9,999 (R144,000) and will hit the roads next year.

No maximum range or top speed is specified by the company.

The tiny car has the passenger sitting behind the driver and four B-Nanos can fit into one regular parking space.


Pagani Zonda with 1 million on the Odo

This Pagani Zonda supercar has reached a rare milestone: over one million kilometres driven. Picture: SUPPLIED
This Pagani Zonda supercar has reached a rare milestone: over one million kilometres driven. Picture: SUPPLIED

Meet La Nonna (Italian for grandmother). The car pictured here is one of two very first Zonda examples built by Pagani.

La Nonna has reached a rare milestone: more than one million kilometres driven. Pagani built this and another unit to be used as a test mule and for crash testing purposes to earn type approval for the Zonda at the very start of its supercar building journey.

The number two car here has remained under the ownership of the factory since, used as a test-bed model for newer upgrades envisaged during the Zonda life cycle. Originally badged C12, it also received upgrades when the more powerful C12 S spec was introduced, its original engine making way for a 560kW 7.3l V12 and the firm’s automated transmission.

The original paintwork was pearlescent orange, but the car frequently featured panels of varying colours as the engineering team tried out various parts that would or wouldn’t make it onto upcoming versions of the Zonda.

Some styling cues were borrowed from the rare Cinque Zonda, of which just five exist. A few years ago Zonda number two was given a complete makeover as a 60th birthday present to company founder Horacio Pagani.

Other changes include a larger fixed wing, an air-intake on the roof and larger rear diffuser. The interior was re-upholstered in red leather and the steering was recovered in grippy Alcantara.

Since it’s now the era of the newer Hyuara, La Nonna has been retired and now lives in the Pagani Automobili museum in Modena.


Super-fast car insurance

Naked, an AI-driven car insurance provider in SA, has introduced a new feature that allows car buyers to generate a proof of insurance certificate for their car financing company in a matter of minutes.

Customers buying a vehicle on financing can get it insured in as little as five minutes, from getting a final online quote to presenting the certificate to the dealer so that they take possession of their car straight away.

Once the customer has accepted the quote, they can generate the proof of insurance by using Naked’s mobile app to scan the car’s licence disc.

The app validates the car’s registration, vehicle identification number and other details, and the client can generate a PDF file for the bank with a press of a button. Customers can also capture a picture of the vehicle from the app rather than driving it to an inspection centre.

Says Ernest North, co-founder at Naked: “In the past, getting insurance for the new car you purchased could take anything from two hours to a full day. You would also need to drive your car to an authorised inspection centre, so that someone could check the car on behalf of your insurer. We have turned this whole process into an exercise that can take as little as five minutes, removing much of the friction in insuring a newly purchased vehicle.” 

Customers can use the Naked mobile app, available for Apple iOS and Android, to manage their policies and claim after an accident.

The app gives customers the ability to pause their accident cover if the car won’t be used for a day or more, thereby reducing the premium for that time.

Cars must be less than 25 years old to qualify for cover.