Electric motorcycles aren’t just for wealthy urbanites — they’re ideal for developing markets, and the $1500 Roam Air hopes Africa is ready!
The African market for motorcycles is huge. In 2016, African residents bought 3.5 million new motorcycles, and that figure is expected to hit 10 million a year in the early 2030s. Motorcycles fill an important role in developing areas that don’t have adequate public transport, from acting as commuter transport to being used as delivery vehicles and moto taxis.
Roam Motors, based in Nairobi, Kenya, has stepped into this niche with the Roam Air, an inexpensive and lightweight electric motorcycle that was built for African riders’ needs in rural and urban areas … and it’s much more than a concept. There’s a lot of ’em!
$1500 Roam Air is Set to Conquer Africa
The Roam Air is capable of going up to 180 km (111 miles) on a pair of removable 3.24 kWh batteries. The motor has a peak output of 185 Nm (136 lb-ft), and the bike has a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph) that riders can reach in 5 seconds. The bike has five power modes: Eco, Standard, Power, Sports, and Reverse.
This little motorcycle is built to haul, though. It has a bench seat that can fit two people, and it can carry up to 220 kg (485 lbs) of combined passengers and cargo. But it weighs only 135 kg (298 lbs), making it nimble enough to skirt through traffic and not get bogged down on soft roads. It also has a storage compartment where the fuel tank would normally sit.
On the company’s website, where interested buyers can reserve their own Air moto, Roam is pushing the Air model as a cost-saving transportation option. The company highlights how an electric motorcycle is nearly maintenance-free, saying that a fossil-fueled motorcycle would cost $0.05 per 10 km for service and maintenance (that’s less than a penny per mile), while the Roam Air would save riders 33% with service and maintenance costing only $0.035 per 10 km. It’s also just an overall inexpensive purchase as well, costing $1,500 for a single-battery bike and $2,050 for the dual-battery version.
The first limited production series of the Roam Air will start delivering later this year, with high-volume production of the bikes set to start getting delivered in early 2023.
Roam Air Studio Gallery
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