Roam has teamed up with Hitachi Europe Ltd., a global technology leader, to deliver affordable electric transportation across Africa. The partnership will focus on electrification in Kenya and aims to increase the number of electric motorcycles and buses in the region. Roam unveiled its first electric busses in Kenya back in August 2022 and plans to add more this year.
This collaboration was made possible by The Earthshot Prize, a global environmental prize founded by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in 2020. Roam was a finalist in the “clean our air” category in the second year of the awards in 2022, and Hitachi is proud to support the prize as a Global Alliance Member.
The partnership with Hitachi will enable Roam to leverage the company’s expertise in electric vehicles and fleet electrification to make electric transport accessible in Africa. Hitachi has been working hard to develop solutions to decarbonize the transport sector, from road to rail, to achieve a net-zero society. Hitachi’s Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Chris Saul, said, “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.”
As part of the partnership, Hitachi will also participate in The Earthshot Prize’s Fellowship Program, enabling the exchange of international knowledge within the electric vehicle industry. The Fellowship Program will bring together innovators, researchers, and thought leaders from around the world to work collaboratively on finding sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
Roam’s Chief Strategy and Product Officer, Albin Wilson, 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.”
Roam’s flagship electric motorcycle, the Roam Air, has already been seen on Kenyan roads. The partnership with Hitachi will now focus on electrifying mass transit by introducing Kenya’s first-ever electric mass transit bus, the Roam Rapid.
The partnership between Roam and Hitachi is a significant step towards decarbonizing the transport sector in Africa. The initiative will not only bring affordable electric transportation to Africa, but it will also create new job opportunities and help improve air quality in the region.
The partnership between Roam and Hitachi is an excellent example of how collaboration and innovation can accelerate the transition towards a sustainable future. By working together and leveraging each other’s strengths, the two companies are helping to create a cleaner, more sustainable future for all.
Electric Mobility in Kenya
Kenya is on the right track regarding electric mobility but we still have a long way to go. Just recently, Kenya Power took the lead in ensuring the country’s transition to electric mobility is a smooth one. The company has been actively investing in grid expansion and automation to accommodate the rising demand for electricity. Kenya Power has established a liaison office that acts as a one-stop shop to champion the company’s e-mobility business. The company is working with investors and stakeholders to support the development of the e-mobility ecosystem, which includes identifying potential charging station sites and developing geo-mapping software to locate the nearest charging station.