KENYA – Kenyan-Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer Roam has launched the first mass transit electric bus to ply various routes in Nairobi.

The bus, which comes with a 77-passengers sitting capacity, can cover up to 360 kilometers before recharging.

It targets public transport providers, schools, and private and Government institutions, providing them with an environmentally sustainable solution that is cheaper to maintain than fuel-run buses.

Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) Managing Director Geoffrey Muli said that the firm is capable of supporting Kenya’s e-mobility eco-system with an installed capacity of 3077 megawatts (MW) and an off-peak load of 1100 MW.

“On its part, Kenya Power has set up an e-mobility liaison office to provide customers with a seamless experience,” Muli said.

“Through this office, we work with other stakeholders such as ROAM to support the development of the e-mobility ecosystem, which includes the identification of sites for potential charging stations, facilitation of connectivity and the testing of e-vehicles for potential investors.”

Deployment of buses will initially be done within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, which will later be scaled up to include other parts.

Along with the bus deployment, several charging points will be installed from Opibus’ already existing range of products.

ROAM’s Transit Board Member and Project Coordinator, Denis Wakaba said the company will put up its own charging infrastructure to support the buses.

It will feature an online as well as cash payment system besides enhanced security features such as telematics, which is an integration of communication and information technology, enabling storage and transmission of information.

“At Roam, we aim to guarantee access to comfortable, equitable and reliable public transport to shift the masses to electric public transport in Nairobi,” Dennis stated.

“We provided priority sitting for women, the elderly and children. We also have a wheelchair access ramp and its locking area,” Wakaba added.

Fare charges for those routes and specific commuting points will conform with other Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).

Roam is working alongside pilot partner Kenya Mpya in the one-year project. The company hopes to address the unique challenges of public transport in Nairobi through reliable, sustainable, efficient, and modern mass transit solutions.

Roam Electric Vehicle Manufacturers was established in 2017 as an electric mobility Company. The company focuses on all-electric conversion kits for fleet vehicles such as light trucks, public transport and buses, as well as electric motorcycles and energy systems.

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