The Swedish-Kenyan company Roam Motors has announced the local production of a new electric motorbike called "Roam Air". The two-wheeled vehicle will be used in Nairobi from 2023 as the Kenyan government increasingly relies on renewable energy to combat global warming.
In Kenya, some 1.6 million registered motorbikes still run on petrol, causing pollution. To reverse this trend, the start-up Roam Motors (formerly Opibus) is preparing to market a new electric motorbike called “Roam Air” with a range of 200 kilometres. With a speed of 90 km per hour, the two-wheeled vehicle will be on the streets of the capital Nairobi by 2023.
“Roam Air is capable of carrying a load of 220 kg and contains its own USB charging port for mobile phone and an on-board telemetry mechanism. Thanks to its dual battery system, the driver can remove and charge the battery in four hours at home using a household socket or at exchange stations,” explains Filip Lövström, CEO and co-founder of Roam Motors.
According to the start-up founded in 2017, its electric motorbike, manufactured locally in Kenya, will also be marketed in other African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This continent-wide distribution will be implemented through a January 2022 agreement with US mobility giant Uber.
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Under the partnership, the Swedish-Kenyan company will supply 3,000 of its electric motorbikes to Uber, which will put them on the road through its apps in more than 310 cities around the world. According to a 2014 study by the Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources, burning a litre of petrol produces an average of 2.3 kg of CO2. In this context, electric mobility solutions are gradually contributing to the decarbonisation of the transport system in Africa.