Uganda has made strides in domestic vehicle manufacturing with the assembling of a 90-seater bus by Kiira Motors Corporation in Nakasongola.
Last week, the Kayoola Electric Vehicle also known as Kayoola Bus officials offered an inside look into the Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC)-made automobile.
At full charge, Kayoola Bus can move up to 300 kilometres, implying it could last a day on a full charge.
The bus is fitted with state-of-the-art safety and assistive technology to help those with special needs, for instance, provisions for boarding and alighting when in a wheelchair.
It costs Shs380 to run it per kilometer, way cheaper than Shs1,600 for a diesel-powered bus.
Inside the bus passengers can charge their phones and access Wi-Fi internet.
Charging the bus to full capacity takes about 2 hours.
Its floor is made of locally-designed bamboo wood.
Currently, the manufacturers have the capacity to make 8 buses per month at Luweero Industries (managed by National Enterprise Corporation of UPDF) as they await operationalization of Kiira Vehicle Plant in Jinja that is 50% complete.
The government injected Shs24 billion into the plant, which is being constructed by the UPDF engineering brigade, which started work in Jan. 2019 and is expected to finish in 2 and a half years.
Also, the government of Uganda, acting through the Uganda Investment Authority, allocated 100 acres for the establishment of the Kiira Vehicle Plant, located at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park, Plot No. 701, Block 2 Kagogwa Village, Mawoito Parish, Kakira Town Council, Jinja District.
When the company starts manufacturing from here, it is expected to supply to the highly-anticipated Tondeka Bus project, which is hoped to reshape public transport in Uganda.
About the bus
The Kayoola Solar Bus concept represents the next generation of public transport for cities within the region. The first of its kind on the African continent, the Kayoola Solar bus relies on lithium-ion batteries to power an electric motor that is coupled to a 2-speed pneumatic shift transmission. This technology serves to conserve the environment and public health. The telltale signatures of traditional diesel engine buses – plumes of dark smoke blowing out of the tailpipe and a grumbling engine sound — are replaced by a soft whine as soon as the electric bus accelerates.
According to the makers of the bus, 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. Its uncompromising beauty, elegant design and luxurious interior space bring to mind the rich heritage of the Pearl of Africa. The pearl white body, and wide sliding windows give the Kayoola a graceful exterior, with the proprietary design grille complementing the front.
The Kayoola Solar Bus will be easier to maintain, in terms of not having to change oil as 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.
The Kayoola offers a smoother and cleaner ride, experiencing less vibration and less noise as the result of replacement of the usual internal combustion diesel engine with an electric machine. The City will love the Kayoola as it quietly cruises past its noisy polluting competitors.
The Kayoola EVS™ full specification
|Bus Characteristic||Pure Electric Low Entry City Bus, No need for gas fuel|
|Overall Dimensions (mm)||12,190×2,550×3,200|
|Carrying Capacity||90 (49 Seated, 41 Standing)|
|Maximum Motor Power (kW)||
|Range on Single Charge (km)||
|Battery Bank Energy Capacity (AH)||560|
|Charging duration||2 hours|
|Cost of electricity per Kilometer||UGX 380|