By Moses Sserwanga

Uganda ‘s first  Indigenous car manufacturer  , Kiira Motors corporation Ltd (KMC) , is now ready to produce electric  buses on   a commercial scale for public transportation  offering  green mobility solutions for urban centers after it successfully tested its validation production electric Kayoola EVS bus at Nakansongola.

The electric bus called the Kayoola Electric Vehicle Series (EVS) , has  been built using Kiira Motors home grown  and developed green mobility technologies while partnering with Chinese ‘s leading Original Equipment Manufacturer ,  CHTC Motor. Co. Ltd,  the Kiira Chief Executive Officer , CEO, Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi, told a  selected team of Ugandan senior personnel and other stakeholders at the weekend .

Kiira Motors , Uganda ‘s flag bearer in the development of the country ‘s automotive industry and champions of the green mobility technologies , has been at the forefront  to realize  mission vehicles made in Uganda since 2007 -when they started as a co-curricular activity at Makerere University under the stewardship of   Professor  Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa.

According to , Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi, the new Kiira Motors  electric buses can cover a distance of 300 kilometers under a single charge.  They have a speed governor that allows a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour but can pick up to a speed of 140 Kilometers per hour .

The Economics of the new KMC Kayoola EVS buses

According to Eng. Fred Matovu ,  the Kayoola EVS buses use 200 units of electricity for a full range charge covering 300 kilometers .  This in simple terms means that a Kiira Motors Kayoola EVS buses can cover a distance of 300 kilometers using 200 units of electricity which is four (4) times lower than the price of diesel and petrol even when the  electricity unit is purchase at the current  market price without subsidy .

“ This is the best deal one can perhaps get anywhere in the world even before we negotiate with the electricity companies to supply Kiira motors with subsided power for the mass scale realization of this  project which is of strategic national importance ,” stated Prof Tickodri.

To build the overall public  confidence in the mission vehicles made in Uganda , Eng Richard Madanda , the Director of Product Development at KMC and  one of the pioneer engineers since the vision was hatched in 2007 said  that Uganda could actually match any other country in the world to produce electric cars for commercial purposes. Eng. Madanda said that a team of 20 personnel , 10 from Kiira Motors and others from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces , (UPDF) Luwero Industries Ltd , can now build and produce an electric bus in under two months .

“This a big milestone . A lifetime achievement I must state. We are now ready to produce buses with the latest technology developed by Kiira Motors here in Uganda for urban public transportation ,” said a jovial Musasizi who together with Prof . Tickodri  have  led a  dedicated  team of young Ugandan engineers for over 12 years to realize the country’s  dream to produce cars .   Prof. Tickodri was full of praises from President Yoweri Museveni who believed in the mission and has given Kiira Motors enormous support over the years . “ Without General Yoweri Museveni’s support, Kiira Motors wouldn’t be where we are right now –at the world stage to showcase Uganda’s electric car production capabilities ,” he stated .

The Kiira Motors Product mix

According to ,Mr. Allan Muhumuza, the Business Development Manager , four more buses will be built by the company in the new year and these will include clean diesel combustion engine buses along side the electric ones and the company is now ready to take orders from both government and the private sector .

The Kayoola EVS buses have a capacity of 90 passengers (49 sitting and 41 standing) while the diesel engine ones will seat 65 passengers . These buses  will be built locally by KMC engineers using technologies developed by the company and in partnership with the UPDF’s Luwero Industries Limited led by Brig. Gen Octavius  Butuuro.   Luwero Industries is  a subsidiary of the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) the business arm of the army headed by the amiable Gen. James Mugira.

“ We will source the vehicles components locally to ensure the development of local content for the country’s nascent automotive industry .We will get steel, plastics , chairs, bolts , batteries , steering wheel among others sourced locally and import only that we don’t have ,” Musasizi stressed.

Brig. Gen Butuuro noted that at Luwero Industries ltd , arrangements are underway to obtain international certification to produce internationally acceptable car parts including those that will be deployed on  the KMC electric vehicles .

Kiira Motors is constructing a vehicle plant at the Jinja Industrial and business park where the company is expected to produce 5,000 vehicles annually and growing its production capacity to 150,000 cars over the years. The plant is expected to create an estimated 2,000 direct and another 12,000 indirect jobs.

KMC is gender sensitive:

The Kiira Motors historic journey has not been a males affair only- there are fine lady engineers and professionals who are working in senior positions at the company  and these include among other Engineers, Doreen Orishaba, Pauline Korukundo, Vanessa Nakalanzi, Thatcher Mpanga,  Brenda Nagginda  and Susan Najjulu .

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