The first of 100 electric mass transit buses hit the streets of Nairobi on Wednesday as part of a dual effort to address climate change concerns and develop a bus rapid transport system (BRT).
The Roam Company developed the bus for Nairobi and says the electric bus launch represents a shift toward better public transport.
“We can have people ride in comfort and enjoy the ride with a clear conscience because we’re talking about zero emissions”.
It is also hoped that the BRT, once fully employed, helps reduce some of the traffic on Nairobi highways and bring some order to the city’s unregulated public transportation structure.
Most public transport is privately owned with dozens of individuals and small companies operating in the capital. Roam said fares on the electric bus would rival those offered by its competitors.
The 77-seat bus has a top speed of 70 kilometers per hour and a battery pack allows it to travel 360 kilometers before requiring a 2-hour recharge.
It was also designed to be accessible and inclusive for all including people with disabilities.
Roam which also manufactures electric safari vehicles and motorbikes submits that it plans to roll out 100 electric buses within the next two years.
The transport sector accounts for 12 percent of Kenya’s emissions footprint though that figure rises to 45 percent in Nairobi, according to government figures.
Kenya sources most of its energy from renewable resources and is seeking to cut CO2 emissions by 32 percent by 2030.