Roam makes electric vehicles accessible in Africa
Written by Lynn Hamerlinck on 25 October 2022
Roam opens up a new sector to the Lendahand crowd: electric vehicles in Kenya. Kenyan/Swedish company Roam develops, designs, and deploys electric vehicles tailored for the African continent to support the transition to sustainable transport.
Founded in 2017, Roam (previously: Opibus) became the first company to deliver locally produced electric motorcycles and buses in Africa. Electrifying the African roads will lead to an immense carbon reduction while creating more liveable cities with less noise and no particle emissions.
Beyond fighting climate change
When you need to get around in an African city, the easiest and cheapest way is to hop on a motorcycle taxi. On the plus side, the ubiquitous boda bodas create many job opportunities, but unfortunately, they are also a major polluter.
Besides lowering the global carbon emissions to fight climate change, Roam’s activities touch the single largest employer in Kenya: the motorcycle industry. 1.2 million young workers are estimated to work as motorcycle delivery or taxi drivers. Still mainly limited to fossil-fueled vehicles, the sector contributes to 32% of the government’s emission reduction target by 2030, says Roam. Committed to offering low-carbon options, Roam is working hard on the transition to electric motorcycles.
Roam creates a cleaner transportation option with their locally produced electric motorcycles for taxi drivers. This transition also makes a huge difference to the driver’s income as it takes away the burden of rising fuel prices. Considering the reduced maintenance and operating cost, a Roam motorcycle leads to a 60% cost reduction compared to a traditional motorcycle. At the same time, Roam aims to offer their vehicles for the same prices as their fossil fuel equivalents.
Fun fact: Roam was recently listed on TIME Magazine’s top 100 most innovative companies. In a pilot program with Uber, Roam is rapidly scaling the use of electric motorcycle taxis in Kenya. The partnership allows more drivers to deliver their services using zero-carbon emission motorcycles.
Always being on the lookout for innovative ways to improve the accessibility of their electric vehicles, Roam also is partnering with M-KOPA. The African fintech platform provides digital financial services to consumers who have no access to traditional banking services, contributing to financial inclusion.
Electrifying the Kenyan roads
With their projects on Lendahand, Roam will be able to increase the delivery of the newly launched electric motorcycle Roam Air for taxi entrepreneurs in Kenya. Having access to a pay-as-you-go electric vehicle, a large group of low-income earners will be able to increase their daily savings by more than 50%. They will also have access to electricity outlets operated by the company to charge their swappable rental batteries.
Accelerate the sustainable transport options in Africa by investing in Roam’s crowdfunding projects on Lendahand. Happy crowdfunding!