Uganda’s first large-scale solar car project, the Kayoola bus, was over the weekend inaugurated by the minister for state for Higher Education, Science and Technology Hon Prof Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa, representing one of the country’s first clear steps towards institutionalizing a sustainable Vehicle manufacturing industry.
“We started this project in 2007 as a means to make our engineering students busy at Makerere Universtity and now see how far we have come,” Prof Tickodri said during the bus’ test drive at Namboole Stadium on Sunday morning.
“We have buses all over but we thought why not find an alternative means of powering these vehicles and the best option was to make use of the 8 hours of sun energy that Uganda enjoys daily being situated along the equator,” he added.
The Kayoola is a mid-capacity, standard bus designed to carry 35 people including the driver. It is a Semi Deluxe Bus as it has been designed for higher comfort levels with provision for ergonomically designed seats.
It has one service door for use for the driver and passengers.
The prototype which is designed to serve as an Executive City bus, is easy for riders to spot, thanks to the pearl white color adorned by the colors of the national flag.
The Kayoola bus will be easier to maintain, in terms of not having to change oil as it is done in the diesel-powered buses and not having to repair hydraulic lines that run through a conventional bus.
The bus is expected to run 80km, or virtually a full operational day (for example Kampala – Entebbe – Kampala), between recharges.
“There are only 13 countries along the equator in the whole universe and this presented a very viable opportunity in moving closer to build Africa’s first home-grown family of vehicles. Kira Motors and Uganda have the equator which is not enjoyed by any of the big vehicle making countries like Japan, South Africa or China,” Kiira Motors CEO Pual Isaac Musasizi told this website.
The Kiira Motors Project is an industrial development intervention supported through the Presidential Initiative for Science and Technology Innovations.
The Project is aimed at establishing Vehicle Manufacturing Capabilities in Uganda for Pickups, SUVs, Sedans, Light and Medium Duty Trucks, and Buses.
The ultimate goal is to establish Kiira Motors Corporation as an Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in East and Central Africa.
The project is also working with local industries such as Specialized Welding Services in industrial area for chassis fabrication and support for Mechanical systems integration from the Makerere’s Regional Industrial Parks Projects (CRIPPs) garage in the College of Engineering and Design Art and Technology, under the leadership of Dr Joseph Byaruhanga and Engineer Peter Luyima, working with a team of mechanics, who include Moses Kalule and Bosco Ssali.
The development of the Kayoola Solar Electric Bus concept represents the commitment of
The bus shall be launched on Tuesday 16th February, 2016, 0800-1300, Serena Hotel, Kampala at a function to be officiated by His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the President of the Republic of Uganda.