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Nairobi City Adopts Electric Buses

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Kenyan capital Nairobi has debuted electrict powered buses as the country pushes for environmentally friendly commuting.

Roam, the Kenyan-Swedish company is behind the 77-seat bus, which sees its debut as something of a milestone for Nairobi.

“This represents a shift towards better transport where we can have people ride in comfort and enjoy the ride with a clear conscience, because we are talking about zero emissions,” Roam’s project coordinator Dennis Wakaba said on Wednesday.

The electric bus has a top speed of 70 kilometres per hour (43 miles per hour) and a battery pack allowing it to travel 360 kilometres before requiring a recharge.

Roam company says its flagship model is the first equipped to ply Nairobi’s rapid transport system, which provides priority lanes for busses to get around the city.

It takes just two hours to fully charge the battery. Now the city only has one charging station.

Nairobi has notorious morning traffic in the city of nearly five million, which lacks a state-run transport network.

Roam — which also manufactures electric safari vehicles and motorbikes — says it plans to roll out 100 electric buses over the next year.

Earlier this year another electric mobility startup, BasiGo, unveiled a 25-seater bus with a 250-kilometre range for Nairobi’s roads.

Kenya sources most of its energy from renewable resources and is seeking to cut CO2 emissions by 32 percent by 2030.

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.