Roam opens large electric motorcycle plant in Kenya


Swedish-Kenyan company Roam will produce over 50,000 electric motorbikes a year at a new factory in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The company considers the 10,000 sqm facility, Roam Park, Africa’s largest such plant. It also forms Roam’s new HQ and battery lab.

++ This article has been updated; please continue reading below. ++

It is not the first time we hear of Roam. The company was formerly OpiBus and announced a deal over electric buses made in Africa in the summer of last year. Already at the time, Roam had big plans for electric motorcycles as well and secured a deal with the African financing platform M-Kopa.

So now the time has come to actually make (more) of the electric motorbikes called Roam Air.

The new Roam Park in Nairobi has an annual production capacity of upwards of 50,000 motorcycles that Roam says they will reach in a couple of years. Brett Mangel manages the plant as Chief Operations Officer and formerly worked at Tesla.

“Moving ahead with this new production facility represents a significant step forward in bringing sustainable mobility solutions to Kenya,” said Mangel. “With some of the brightest talent, key partners, and access to a good infrastructure and logistics network, Roam is confident that this new location is a step in the right direction.”

The new plant and HQ are off Mombasa Road overlooking the Nairobi National Park. The site houses production, distribution, and storage operations creating a “technology hub,” so Roam—over 150 staff work there in design, engineering and production.

Founded in 2017, Roam set out to become the first company to deliver locally-produced electric motorcycles and buses.

However, today’s statement makes no mention of the buses. When announced in 2022, Roam said the buses would be assembled in collaboration with local partners, while some manufacturing processes would be carried out elsewhere in the region.

At the time, the Roam Rapid bus was specified for up to 90 passengers. The 384-kWh battery pack should enable a range of 360 kilometres. The bus has a top speed of 70 km/h, and the battery can be fully charged in less than two hours via DC charging ports.

Electric motorcycle market in Africa

While waiting to hear what has come from the planned bus rollout in Nairobi, the market potential for e-motorcycles is enormous. With about 200,000 motorbikes registered on Kenyan roads each year, the “boda-boda” industry, as it is called, is big business for small-income earners. Motorbikes are used for taxi services and logistics and remain the main transport for many people.

And Roam is by no means the only company providing electric motorbikes in Kenya; these include Fika Mobility and Alternet Systems (ALYI) with ReVolt motorcycles.

Still, when explaining their focus, Mikael Gånge, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Roam, said they wanted to provide a “compelling environmental and economical solution” for markets untouched by e-mobility.

The starting price for the Roam Air is $1,500, and the electric motorbike can be reserved online.

While the pricing seems steep, Roam signed a large-scale supply agreement with African financing platform M-Kopa for its electric motorbikes last August. The fintech company provides loans and digital financial services to unbanked consumers in Africa. The deal with Roam will allow the company to sell electric motorbikes on credit, lowering customers’ barriers to entry through affordable payment plans.

Update Roam motorcycle charging hub, 31 May 2023

Roam has today put into operation Africa’s first Roam Hub, an electric motorcycle charging station at three key sites all over Nairobi county. The company plans to add more locations to its network over the coming months but did not get more specific.

The Roam Hub is based in a container with fast chargers capable of charging the Roam Air (the company’s electric motorcycle) in less than an hour. Energy comes partly from solar panels and offers swaps of already charged batteries.

There is staff on-site for support and after-sales services, and Roam even installed beds to cater to the country’s busy Boda-Boda riders better.

The Roam Hub charging stations are at Total Energies Lusaka Road, the flagship location, so Roam, Waiyaki Way, and Ngong Road.

“With these three initial service stations, we believe that the Roam Hub will play a key role in providing sustainable transportation solutions for the people of Kenya,” said Habib Lukaya, Energy & Charging Product Manager. “We are confident that this hassle-free charging experience is what will eventually turn the boda boda industry electric.”, (Roam Hub, update May 23)


about „Roam opens large electric motorcycle plant in Kenya“
Felix Jacob
18.05.2023 um 12:21
I love the bike, the energy is positive and great out here compared to my company. I hope to join the team in sales and service.
Francis juma
14.06.2023 um 16:54
I really like this electric motorcycle, I would like to join forces to create a business for my county and introduce a policy, so how can I get it?
David Endeheri
14.06.2023 um 16:57
Hello,I need one where I can pay in instalments I usually do deliveries,I find it difficult using petrol,kindly assist. Thank you
01.09.2023 um 20:25
Where are you based in Kenya
chrisphine opondo Aloo
17.09.2023 um 17:00
Where in kenya particular can we purchase e motorbikes and at what price
Petro Kiptarbei
17.09.2023 um 20:06
Hi my name is Pedro from eldoret I'm a motorbike Rider I want to ask you where do I find your dealers in eldoret please assist me so that I can purchase one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *