KENYA: Roam launches production of electric buses in Nairobi

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KENYA: Roam launches production of electric buses in Nairobi© Roam

One month after the presentation of its new electric motorbike in Kenya, the start-up Roam Motors (formerly Opibus) has announced the start of production of an electric bus that will enter service in Nairobi by the end of 2023. The vehicle will contribute to the promotion of sustainable public transport in the East African country.

“An inclusive, modern and sustainable solution”. This is how the Swedish-Kenyan mobility start-up Roam Motors (formerly Opibus) describes its new electric bus called “Roam Rapid”. The vehicle, assembled in the city of Nairobi, will have a range of 360 kilometres and a top speed of 70 km/h thanks to a 384 kWh battery, according to the company co-founded by Filip Lövström and Mikael Gånge.

This investment will contribute to the improvement of people’s well-being in Kenya, especially through the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that contribute to pollution in Kenya. Dennis Wakaba, Roam Motors’ project coordinator, suggested that the manufacture of green buses will also create new jobs in the transport sector regionally. “Roam Rapid offers a solution for the growing number of cities implementing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems across Africa and is the first of its kind in Kenya. The bus is designed not only to increase comfort, reduce operating costs and improve air quality,” explains Dennis Wakaba.

 The electric vehicle market is booming

At the same time, the start-up founded in 2017 will put a new electric motorbike called “Roam Air” on the road by 2023. With a range of 200 kilometres and a maximum speed of 90 km/hour, the two-wheeled vehicle will be marketed in Kenya, but also in other African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Read also-KENYA: In Nairobi, Roam will put a new electric motorbike on the road in 2023

This expansion strategy comes at a time when BasiGo, another Nairobi-based start-up, is planning to bring about 100 electric buses to the African market. These public transport vehicles, which cost 20 Kenyan shillings (18 cents) a day, provide transport in Eastlands (Mbotela and Maringo) in the south-east of the capital, as well as in the city centre and at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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