A month or so ago, electric vehicle firm Roam, formerly Opibus announced the availability of its electric motorbike the Roam Air. The bike is available for purchase for KES 180K, and will soon be offered on credit following a partnership between the company and financial services firm M-KOPA.
Today, Roam has launched an electric mass transit bus named Roam Rapid. The bus reportedly is best suited for Nairobi and its urban transport issues, but Roam says it plans to expand this availability to the rest of its markets, largely in Africa.
This is the second type of an electric bus that has been put on the road by Roam. Earlier models were announced a couple of months ago, and the company had promised a total of ten electric buses before the mid of 2022. This, it appears, did not come to fruition.
Nonetheless, Roam reiterates that this is the first electric bus in Kenya that has been designed for mass transit.
It has a capacity of 90 passengers, who can both sit and stand. The bus is also equipped with priority seats for the elderly and people with limited mobility. There is also extended legroom and areas designated for wheelchairs.
Roam aspires to create a new perception of public transport vehicles by providing a mobility solution that is inclusive, modern, efficient, and sustainable. Roam Rapid also has zero tailpipe emissions and low noise pollution, paving the way for the next generation public transport system in Africa – Roam in a statement.
Equipped with a 384-kWh battery pack, the bus can do 360 km. For normal trips, operators have been assured that they can run all day without recharging.
For charging times, the battery can be filled up in under two hours.
Roam further adds that operators can lower their running costs up to 50 percent.
The buses will be assembled locally. Part of the manufacturing process will also be done in Kenya.
“The solution Roam brings to the Kenyan market enables us to move people safely, comfortably, and timely in both a sustainable and affordable way. The bus is designed not only to increase comforts and lower cost but more importantly focuses on the wellbeing of the population through reduced noise pollution and eliminating local emissions, improving air quality for the cities across Africa.” Dennis Wakaba, Project Coordinator, Roam.
Battery capacity: 384 kWh
Range: 360 km
Dimensions: 12500 by 3300 by 2550 mm
Top speed: 70 km/hr
Seat capacity: Up to 90 passengers
Weight: 18,000 kg
Charging time: under 2 hrs
Extra legroom space
Four priority seats for the elderly
Three large double doors
D fast charging