The prevalence of gas-engine motorcycles has created a major pollution problem in Kenya. Africa News reported, “In 2019 alone, air pollution was responsible for around 5,000 premature deaths in Kenya.”
Roam seeks to be a part of the solution with its new charging hubs for electric motorcycles. Roam has begun installing hubs where electric motorcycle drivers can recharge their batteries, get battery rentals, and even receive maintenance from trained technicians.
The hope is that these new hubs will encourage more motorcycle drivers — particularly the highly common motorcycle taxis called boda-bodas — to switch to an EV model. The hubs are partially solar-powered, further contributing to their environmentally friendly benefits.
Electric motorcycles have been around since 1967 — and possibly earlier (reports say that’s debatable). But Roam is the first company dedicated to creating an electric motorcycle that’s ideal for urban environments in Africa.
Roam has been helping Kenya transition to more electric vehicles since its inception in 2017. It aided them in the shift to EVs for the vehicles used for mining and developed all-electric public buses for the country. However, it wasn’t until this May that Roam began introducing its electric motorcycle hubs. The company has plans to introduce three hubs in busy areas of Nairobi this year.
Ideally, other countries will want to adopt Roam’s hubs because motorcycles create a pollution issue the world over. While many drivers think of motorcycles as more fuel-efficient options compared to cars, they actually release as much as 16 times the emissions that cars do, including toxic gases responsible for the planet’s rising temperatures.
“At Roam, we believe that simplifying the charging experience is essential to electric motorcycle adoption and customer satisfaction. We are confident that this hassle-free charging experience is what will eventually turn the boda-boda industry electric,” said Habib Lukaya, Roam’s energy and charging product manager, according to Electrek.
Roam will be keeping its hubs busy, too, since it has plans to produce 50,000 new electric motorcycles per year at a Kenya factory. It also has plans to have 15 more hubs up and running by the end of 2023 and will be expanding to more locations.
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