As you drive around Nairobi, Kenya, you will not miss the bright yellow school buses transporting learners to and from school as well as around town for sporting and other engagements. These school buses are still essentially all diesel buses. Whilst the Matatu (minibus) sector has been getting a lot of attention in the drive to electrify Kenya’s public transport sector, the shuttling of school children is another area where there could be large market in Kenya, and it looks ripe for electrification. A case study around this needs to be built to evaluate how viable this sector can be.
Roam is one of the companies active in the Kenyan electric bus space. Roam has been piloting a high capacity electric bus called the Roam Rapid in Kenya for some time now with several bus operators. The Roam Rapid has a carrying capacity of 77 passengers. The company recently announced the addition of another model to its portfolio, the Roam Move. The Roam Move is a smaller bus, with a carrying capacity of 51 passengers.
Roam says the Roam Move is a zero-emissions shuttle bus fashioned for high performance through unmatched design, with each detail developed to provide an exceptional passenger experience. Equipped with a 170 kWh battery pack, the electric shuttle bus can travel 200 km on a single charge. This extended range ensures uninterrupted service throughout the day, catering to the demands of urban commuters. Utilizing fast plug-in battery charging that ensures the bus is fully charged in less than two hours, the Roam Move builds on electric mobility’s legacy of being reliable. Moreover, the Roam Move boasts operating costs that are 50% lower, attributed to its exemption from expensive maintenance and its streamlined construction with fewer moving parts, thereby minimizing downtimes. These combined factors lead to substantial savings, amounting to as much as KES 35 per kilometer journeyed.
Earlier this week, Roam announced the official start of the Roam Move electric shuttle bus operation. Since this is a locally assembled electric shuttle bus, this pilot program marks a significant milestone in Roam’s commitment to providing clean and efficient urban mobility solutions. Roam says the Roam Move is not just a product; it’s a commitment to a cleaner future. I was excited to see that some of the big schools in Nairobi are part of the launch partners for this pilot phase. Roam says by picking the Roam Move, partners such as Riara Schools, KBS Sacco, Virginia Coach, ZamZam Sacco, and Good Testimony Schools are all choosing to be part of a sustainable urban transportation solution that benefits the environment and our community.
Dennis Wakaba, Country Sales Executive at Roam, says, “We are thrilled to officially launch the Roam Move bus operation and introduce an innovative, sustainable transportation solution to the city of Nairobi. Our mission is to enhance urban mobility while minimizing environmental impact, and the Roam Move is a prime example of that commitment. We believe this will revolutionize the way people travel within the city, making it more convenient and eco-friendly.”
We get excited here at CleanTechnica when we see developments in the electric bus space that zones in on schools. It is a critical constituency around the world, and I am glad we are starting to see some activity around this in Kenya as well.
Images courtesy of Roam
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