NEW YORK | KAMPALA - The Ugandan manufacturers of a solar-powered bus are showing off their creation at a stadium in Kampala. A 35-seater, it uses two batteries and the direct rays of an equatorial sun.
Solar panels attached to the roof power the 35-seater. Hopefully, partners will be found to help manufacture the bus for the mass market.
The brainchild of Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) of Uganda, the bus was dubbed ‘Kayoola’ – loosely translated as ‘mass carrier’.
Isaa Musasizi, the chief executive officer of KMC, told journalists during the test drive at Namboole stadium end of January that Kayoola was built at a cost of 500 million Ugandan shillings.
The solar panels yield energy to run the bus on a range of 80kms about 8 hours of uninterrupted drive.
“Uganda is privileged to be among the 13 countries in the whole world that are situated along the equator. We decided to take advantage of this strategic position to improve transport technology,” Musasizi said.
Most features on the bus are locally sourced and were brought together by a team of about 100 Ugandans who did the wielding, spraying, and wiring, among others.
Prof Sandy Stevens Tickodri, the Minister of Higher Education Science and Technology, said Kayoola could go a long way in addressing Uganda’s mass conveyance problem.
“We have buses all over the world but Ugandans must be proud to be championing a technology that represents clean energy,” said Prof Tickdori who launched the idea of manufacturing Uganda’s first electronic car Kiira EV while still a don at Makerere University.
The Kayoola bus will be officially launched at the Kampala Serena Hotel on February 16, with President Yoweri Museveni in attendance. [International Press Syndicate – 2 February 2016]
Photo credit: Kiira Motors Corporation