Wanderformerly known as Opibus, signed a major supply contract with M-KOPA. M-KOPA is a fintech platform that provides credit and digital financial services to underbanked consumers in Africa. This is one of the very first large-scale supply agreements for electric motorcycles in Africa. The deal will allow electric motorcycles to be sold on credit, lowering the barrier to entry for customers through affordable payment plans. Roam will deliver the fleet by the end of 2022, in time for a mass rollout in early 2023. This step is part of Roam’s vision to make electric vehicles more accessible to a wider market.
Motorcycles are a key pillar of the transport landscape in Africa, with a significant market share in the logistics, taxi and personal transport sectors. 99% of motorcycles assembled in Africa or imported to the continent are still internal combustion engine motorcycles which contribute a significant share of emissions from the transport sector. Therefore, accelerating the adoption of electric motorcycles has become critical. Roam, one of the leaders in the electric mobility space in Africa, now has a next-generation electric motorcycle, the Roam Air. This next-generation motorcycle features advancements based on lessons learned from previous riders, including performance optimization, efficiency and a more rugged design. Roam Air motorcycles can be used for personal use, but are also suitable for transporting goods and taxi services. In addition, the Roam Air is equipped with a removable dual battery, which reduces downtime and increases pilot flexibility.
Here are the specifications of the new Roam Air:
- Battery capacity: 2 x 3.24 kWh
- Range (dual battery): 180 km
- Rated power: 3000W
- Maximum speed: 90 km/h
- Payload: 220 kg
- Weight (single battery): 135 kg
- Charging time: 4h
- Removable dual battery solution
- Drive Modes: Eco, Standard, Power, Sports, Reverse
- Increased load capacity on the subframe
- State-of-the-art software and on-board telemetry
- Storage compartment in the tank
- Improved on-screen user interface with better visibility
- USB charging port
The new partnership between Roam and M-KOPA is a game-changer for the electric mobility sector on the continent. By combining the power of digital micropayments with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, M-KOPA enables underbanked customers to access a wide range of products and services without collateral. M-KOPA will help roll out motorcycles through its innovative “Pay-As-You-Go” model, which gives customers instant access to products while growing ownership over time through flexible micro-payments.
Working with M-KOPA will streamline the distribution of electric motorcycles and, at the same time, provide the opportunity to expand Roam’s market reach in the regions of Africa where M-KOPA operates, starting with Kenya. This will allow customers to reduce their operating costs by more than 70%, which will translate into a 50% increase in their daily income, a boost that can fundamentally change the livelihoods of drivers.
By leveraging the proven and well-established “Pay-As-You-Go” model that allows customers to access financial goods and services through a small deposit and then a series of micropayments, the electric mobility landscape in Africa can become a key catalyst for mass adoption. We’ve seen it with other product offerings such as small off-grid solar home systems, refrigerators, and cell phones. In the “Pay-As-You-Go” model, these micropayments for small off-grid solar home systems have traditionally been 365 daily payments of around 50 cents USD for example, which can be made through the ubiquitous mobile payment service M -PESA. , for example. This type of model makes it possible to democratize access to key resources such as electricity and now extends to transport.
“This agreement is an incredible trigger for electric motorcycle adoption in emerging markets and validates our vision to launch a locally designed product that exceeds the experience of traditional fossil fuel motorcycles for a similar price. We want to provide a solution compelling environmental and economic impact for markets that have yet to be part of the electric vehicle transition.We believe the motorcycle taxi industry is one of the most impactful areas to start, given the size growing market and importance for low-income people not only in Africa but globally. Our partnership with M-KOPA will lead us both towards our shared vision of cleaner mobility. — Mikael Gånge, co -Founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Roam
“The partnership with Roam brings us closer to a major player also committed to the sustainable development of Africa and allows us to expand our product offering to electric motorcycles, which is a testament to the versatility of our fintech platform. At M-KOPA, we are committed to lowering barriers to entry and making necessities accessible, especially to underbanked customers, through flexible payment plans. This deployment will have a transformative effect on business people’s daily incomes and reduce the environmental footprint of commerce as it continues to grow in rapidly developing markets. — David Damberger, Managing Director of M-KOPA Mobility and M-KOPA Labs
Founded in 2011, M-KOPA is present in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana. M-KOPA’s platform has unlocked over $600 million in credit that has provided 2 million customers with access to smartphones, solar lighting, solar-powered appliances, electric motorcycles and digital financial services such as cash loans and health insurance. With partnerships like this between Roam and M-KOPA, the infrastructure to support the mass adoption of these electric motorcycles is now taking shape.
All images courtesy of Roam
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