UGANDAN CABINET MINISTERS SPEAKOUT ON
THE NEW STELLAR KAYOOLA ELECTRIC BUS
By Observer Reporter
Senior cabinet ministers have noted that Uganda is now ready to offer viable green mobility transport solutions to solve the growing problem of congestion in Kampala city and other urban centers following the successful market validation of Kiira Motors’s new stellar Kayoola electric bus.
Speaking at the 6th Engineers forum at hotel African on December 5th, 2019, the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye , said that Kiira Motors Corporation, Ltd has gained the requisite capabilities and technological know how to produce at least two electric buses a month . “Government ministries, departments and agencies should consider buying these buses from Kiira Motors because they have the capacity to supply,” Dr. Tumwesigye who was flanked by the Minister of Works and Transport, Engineer Monica Azuba Ntege and Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Mr. Matia Kasaija , stated .
The new glamorous Kayoola electric bus which can carry 90 passengers was showcased at the two day Engineers forum held under the theme ;” The Engineer in the 4th Industrial Revolution”. The bus among the first of its kind in Africa was built using Kiira Motors developed green mobility technology and made a successful maiden trip from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, (UPDF) ‘s Luwero Industries in Nakasongola to Kampala city in just under two hours covering a distance of 150 kilometers .
The Works and Transport Minister , Engineer Monica Azuba Ntege was at hand to take a test drive in the Kayoola electric bus -one of many innovations that have been unveiled by Uganda’s flagship for the nascent automotive Industry –Kiira Motors . Eng. Monica Azuba stated ,”
Kayoola EVS is very comfortable and drives smoothly and the finishes are good and up to standard. We now need the necessary infrastructure including bus lanes . Kampala Capital City Authority should put in place the BRT infrastructure to decongest Kampala, now that we have the capacity to make buses here in Uganda, which can also be utilized at the airport.”
Finance Minister Kasaija implored the engineers at Kiira Motors to innovate more and called on Ugandans to embrace home grown technologies and support the commercialization of Ugandan innovations with KMC taking the lead.
What the experts say
Automotive Industry experts have since noted that there is no need to import buses from India when the country has demonstrable capabilities to deploy home grown transport solutions for urban centers .
Eng. Dr. Sagala Paul Neil Sekikubo, while delivering a paper titled the 4th Industrial Revolution : Transport Sector Implications For Uganda ,deplored the pathetic transport conditions in Kampala city where people drive single occupancy vehicles to their workplace thus congesting and polluting the city with obsolete technology . In a lively session chaired by Engineer Dr. Isaac Mutenyo , Dr. Sagala urged the Ministry of Transport , KCCA and all other sector players to consider and apply the green mobility model that is being championed by Kiira Motors. “Kiira Motors have the technology , they have demonstrated capabilities to deliver buses both electric and combustion engines .Government and the private sector can come in to buy and deploy these buses with green mobile technologies. Let all the stakeholders support this initiative to have home grown solutions for our domestic challenges ,”
he stated .
The Kayoola EVS has a range of 300km on a single charge. The bus is also fitted with state-of-the art infortainment as well other features like USB Ports and onboard Wifi.
Kiira Motors Corpration is a domestic automotive industry value chain initiative to enhance automotive local content participation and technology transfer. The CEO of Kiira Motors Corporation, Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi said the company has plans to facilitate multi-sectoral and lateral linkages in the automotive industry with adjacent industries including; Energy (Solar) for Mobility, interior upholstery from locally available cotton and leather, Silica used to manufacture sheet glass and iron ore for automotive steel.
Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye emphasized government role in providing policy guidance and oversight during the establishment of a sustainable domestic automotive industry value chain.
“The Ministry has embarked on a process of developing a comprehensive Automotive Industry Policy that will stimulate and promote automotive engineering, auto parts and components manufacturing and vehicle production in Uganda. Through technology transfer with strategic global automotive industry players an enabling environment to attract investment in the automotive value chain, we envision the establishment of an internationally competitive automotive industry through standardization and regulation,” he emphasized .
What is being done
In conformity with global green mobility solutions standards, Kiira Motors Corporation is further undertaking a 12 months study on rolling out electric buses in urban centers in Sub-Saharan Africa with the Kayoola EVS. The study is aimed at the validation of market requirements and the development of strategic value chain partners for the Kiira Vehicle Plant which is under construction at the Jinja Industrial and business Park .