Roam, a finalist for the Earthshot Prize and a leading designer and developer of electric vehicles has formed a strategic partnership with Hitachi Europe Ltd. (Hitachi), a technology leader that enables sustainable mobility in cities, to make electric transportation available in Africa. The partnership will focus on electrification in Kenya, to increase the country’s number of electric motorcycles and buses.
The Earthshot Prize, a global environmental prize designed to discover, accelerate, and scale ground-breaking solutions to repair and regenerate the planet, facilitated the partnership. In 2020, Prince William and The Royal Foundation established it. Roam was an Earthshot finalist in the ‘clean our air’ category in the awards’ second year, 2022. As a Global Alliance Member, Hitachi is pleased to support the prize.
Furthermore, the Earthshot Prize is a global environmental prize aimed at discovering and scaling the best solutions to aid in the repair of our planet during this critical decade. Also, the Earthshot Prize seeks and reward solutions to five “Earthshot” goals every year for the next ten years. Protecting and restoring nature, clean cleaning our air, revitalizing our oceansrevitalizing, creating a waste-free world, and fixing our climate are the five environmental goals. The Earthshot Prize Council, comprised of influential individuals committed to championing positive environmental action such as Jack Ma, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Sir David Attenborough, chose five of the previous edition’s winners.
What Hitach and Roam are Saying
Speaking on the development, Chris Saul, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Hitachi Europe Ltd, and Earthshot Prize Finalist Advisor for Roam said, “Transport accounts for around one-fifth of global emissions, which is why at Hitachi, we are working hard to develop solutions to decarbonizes the sector from road to rail. “Roam shares our vision of achieving a net-zero society and we are delighted to be providing support to help make electric vehicles more accessible and cost-efficient in Africa.”
While, Albin Wilson, Chief Strategy and Product Officer at Roam on his part said “We are pleased to have a strong partner in Hitachi. We are innovating clean energy technologies to support our customers by purposefully collaborating with industry pioneers who share our mission to transform the way we move around our world.”
Roam, founded in 2017, was one of the first companies to deliver locally-produced electric motorcycles and buses. With nearly 150 employees, Roam is now one of Africa’s leading providers of electric vehicles. Roam was also recently named one of the top 100 most innovative companies by TIME magazine. In the second year of the awards, in 2022, Roam, a technology company that develops, designs, and deploys electric vehicles tailored for the African continent, was one of the Earthshot finalists in the ‘clean our air’ category.
Also, Roam, as one of the Earthshot Prize’s shortlisted nominees, will receive tailored support and opportunities to help scale its work from the Earthshot Prize Global Alliance, a network of organizations that share the Prize’s ambition to repair the planet. This is one of the primary outcomes of platforms such as the Earthshot Prize. Companies like Roam have a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with global firms, allowing for the exchange of international knowledge in the electric vehicle industry with mutual benefits on both sides.
What this means for the African EV Sector
The partnership presents a tremendous opportunity for Africans to leapfrog into the age of electric mobility, particularly in the electric motorcycle and bus sectors. Hitachi’s vast experience in electrification and charging for large fleets will be invaluable as Roam looks to accelerate its programs throughout Africa. For example, Hitachi is collaborating with First Bus in Scotland to provide bus batteries for First Glasgow’s electric vehicle (EV) fleet, smart charging software to manage EV charging and a decarbonization program that will investigate low-carbon energy options, with the goal of First Bus generating and using its electricity shortly.
Additionally, Hitachi’s services provides telematics for buses and electric charging points to its Scottish partners, enabling a wide range of applications and use cases. At the same time, Roam will bring to the partnership its local insights as well as extensive knowledge and experience in the African market.