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Clean Transport

Roam Teams Up With Hitachi To Deliver Transport Electrification Across Africa

The Earthshot Prize is a global environmental prize which aims to discover and scale the best solutions to help repair our planet during this decisive decade. Every year, for the next 10 years, the Earthshot Prize will find and reward solutions to five “Earthshot” goals. These five environmental goals are to Protect and Restore Nature, Clean our Air, Revive Our Oceans, Build a Waste-Free World, and Fix our Climate. Five of the winners from the last edition were selected by the Earthshot Prize Council comprising of influential individuals committed to championing positive environmental action such as Jack Ma, Dr Ngozi Okonjo – Iweala, and Sir David Attenborough.

Roam, a technology company that develops, designs and deploys electric vehicles tailored for the African continent, was one of the Earthshot finalists in the ‘clean our air’ category in the second year of the awards in 2022. Founded in 2017, Roam became one of the first companies to deliver locally produced electric motorcycles and buses. With nearly 150 employees, Roam is today one of the leading providers of electric vehicles in Africa. Roam was also recently listed on TIME magazine’s top 100 most innovative companies.

As one of the shortlisted nominees of the Earthshot Prize, Roam will receive tailored support and opportunities to help scale its work from the Earthshot Prize Global Alliance, a network of organizations that share the ambition of the Prize to repair the planet. This one of the key outputs of platforms like the Earthshot Prize. Companies like Roam get an incredible opportunity to collaborate with global firms and this enables the exchange of international knowledge within the electric vehicle industry with mutual benefits on both sides.

Through this Earthshot program, Roam has now teamed up with global technology leader Hitachi to deliver transport electrification across Africa. Hitachi Europe Ltd. (Hitachi) is a technology leader that enables sustainable mobility in cities. The partnership will work to make electric transport accessible in Africa. The collaboration will focus on electrification in Kenya and will be geared towards increasing the number of electric motorcycles and buses.

“Transport accounts for around one-fifth of global emissions, which is why at Hitachi, we are working hard to develop solutions to decarbonise the sector from road to rail,” said Chris Saul, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Hitachi Europe Ltd, and Earthshot Prize Finalist Advisor for Roam. “Roam shares our vision of achieving a net-zero society and we are delighted to be providing support to help make electric vehicles more accessible and cost-efficient in Africa.”

Albin Wilson, Chief Strategy and Product Officer at Roam, said: “We are pleased to have a strong partner in Hitachi. We are innovating clean energy technologies to support our customers by purposefully collaborating with industry pioneers who share our mission to transform the way we move around our world.”

I really like these kinds of partnerships. There is an incredible opportunity for people in Africa to leapfrog into the age of electric mobility, especially in the electric motorcycle and bus sectors. Hitachi, with its vast experience in electrification and charging for large fleets, will provide valuable experience as Roam looks to accelerate its programs across Africa. For example, Hitachi is working in Scotland with First Bus to provide bus batteries for First Glasgow’s electric vehicle (EV) fleet, smart charging software to manage EV charging, and a decarbonization program that will explore low carbon energy opportunities, with a view to First Bus generating and using its own electricity in the near future.

Another thing I like about Hitachi’s services is that it provides its partners in Scotland with telematics for buses and electric charging points, providing live status data unlocking a variety of applications and use cases. At the same time, Roam will also bring its local insights and vast knowledge and experience in the African market to the partnership. I look forward to following the progress along this exciting journey.


Image courtesy of Roam

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.


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