Usain Bolt’s electric scooter brand rolls out in Japan…with some hiccups

Jamaica’s very own Usain Bolt posed beside his electric scooter brand, Bolt Mobility (Photo:

“This is the future.”

— Usain Bolt, co-founder of Bolt Mobility, his year-old electric scooter start-up, speaking in Tokyo on Friday.

Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s king of sprint, is hoping to gain some traction as he unveiled his electric scooter brand in Tokyo, Japan earlier on Friday (Nov. 15).

Bolt Mobility, which is co-founded by the nine-time Olympic champion, is trying to convince Japanese regulators that the product’s environmental benefits are worth more consideration as the start-up seeks to get some laws relaxed before targeting the Asian market.

Under current Japanese laws, scooters can only be driven on roads; owners are required to carry license plates, and riders need a motorcycle license.

Benefitting from Bolt’s celebrity status, the electric scooter company plans on initially limiting rentals to private lands, which would be exempt from Japan’s traffic regulations, as well as rolling out services across 40 universities across the archipelago.

“Beyond that, representatives of the year-old American start-up are talking with regulators about easing restrictions, arguing its scooters can reduce traffic congestion and thereby reduce emissions. Bolt hopes his celebrity can help deliver that message,” a report from Reuters explained.

“We’re still talking and trying to figure out how to push forward and do better things for the environment because that’s where it started,” Bolt told Reuters after the launch.

Having launched in New York, Paris and Washington D.C. earlier this year, Bolt Mobility is aiming to expand its operations in 20 cities globally by the end of 2019 and is aggressively targeting 50 across eight countries in 2020.