ROAM announces electric transit bus for Nairobi with 320KM Range

ROAM has announced the ROAM Rapid – a commercial transit bus they say can carry up to 90 passengers (36 seated and 54 standing) and can offer up to 320km of range. They say the bus is best suited for Nairobi. This is their second bus after ROAM Move which was announced a while back.

ROAM has been having a really active period in Kenya in the past few months. They’ve recently introduced their ROAM Air electric bikes and partnered with different companies to sell them across parts of Kenya. They’ve also partnered with M-Kopa to offer financing.

On the ROAM website, you can place orders for the buses, depending on whether you’re a commercial or private operator. It’s not clear when the buses will be available on the roads for actual use given this is an upstart company, meaning production might take a while.

ROAM says their ownership model allows the initial investment for the electric bus to be equivalent to that of a diesel bus investment. A vehicle owner will then be able to use, ROAM envisions, the operational savings to pay off the remaining of the cost in less than four years without extracting money from current profits.

Kenya still doesn’t have a robust charging infrastructure. Which is a huge challenge for anyone looking to acquire and electric vehicle. Which begs the question: how will people charge these buses?

The ROAM brochure alludes to the options for charging using solar, ROAM supplied chargers, and publicly available chargers. ROAM hasn’t detailed where their chargers will be.

ROAM Rapid Mass Transit Bus Specifications:

Battery and Range384 kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate
>320 km fully loaded on a single charge
Charging Plug-in DC Charger
Up to 250 kW
CCS2 Charging Protocol
1.5hr charging time
Speed and Transmission70 km/h maximum
Single speed direct drive. No clutch.
Hydraulic power steering
Dual-circuit air system + ABS + Regenerative braking
General Specs36 seating passengers, 41-54 standing passengers
Standard design with 1 door front left, 2 doors mid-right 
70R22.5 tubeless tire
Air suspension
Warranty 2 year / 100 000 km – Body
5 years / 200 000 km – Powertrain
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Dickson Otieno

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