Thika-based Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM) has been awarded the contract to assemble Roam’s first fully electric shuttle bus dubbed Roam Move as the transport firm seeks to benefit from tax incentives.
Those assembling electric vehicles in the country enjoy a raft of tax incentives including zero percent excise duty, 10 percent import duty and zero-rated value-added tax (VAT).
The Roam bus is equipped with a 170 kilowatts per hour (kWh) battery pack and a 51-passenger capacity.
“Assembled entirely in Kenya, the bus exemplifies Roam's commitment to supporting local manufacturing while advancing the nation's sustainability goals,” said Roam in a statement.
“We are thrilled to introduce 'The Roam Move,' Kenya's very own electric shuttle bus. This achievement aligns perfectly with our vision of fostering sustainable transportation solutions that make a positive impact on our environment and our communities,” said Dennis Wakaba, Roam’s country sales executive.
KVM’s shareholders are the National Treasury with a 35 percent stake, CMC (32.5 per cent) and DT Dobie (32.5 per cent).
It puts together multiple vehicle brands including those from Urysia (Peugeot) and CFAO Motors (Volkswagen).
The 13.5 tonnes shuttle bus charges for one and a half hours. It is aimed at the matatu (public service vehicle) market. The company also assembles motorcycles and a mass transit bus dubbed Roam Rapid.
Roam, a Swedish-Kenyan electric vehicle firm, opened a plant along Nairobi’s Mombasa Road that it expects to assemble up to 50,000 motorcycles per year in the medium term.
Roam’s competitor BasiGo partnered with Associated Vehicle Assemblers (AVA) to assemble its buses in Mombasa.