In Uganda Kiira Motors unveils 'Africa's first solar-powered bus'

Ugandan automaker Kiira Motors' Kayoola prototype electric bus was shown off at a stadium in Uganda's capital, Kampala

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Uganda's Kiira Motors' Kayoola solar-powered bus play

Uganda's Kiira Motors' Kayoola solar-powered bus

(bbc)
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According to media reports, a solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the 'first in Africa' has been driven in public.

The BBC reports that Ugandan automaker Kiira Motors' Kayoola prototype electric bus was shown off at a stadium in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

One of the bus’s two batteries can be charged by solar panels placed on the roof which increases the vehicle's 80km (50 mile) range. The company behind the bus now hopes to attract partners to help manufacture the bus for the mass market.

Kiira Motor’s CEO, Paul Isaac Musasizi hopes that mass production of the bus will generate employment, predicting that by 2018, more than 7,000 people could be directly and indirectly employed in the making of the Kayoola.

Kiira Motors' Kayoola solar-powered bus showing the solar panels on the roof play

Kiira Motors' Kayoola solar-powered bus showing the solar panels on the roof

(bbc)

 

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However, the company still needs backing from international companies, which make vehicle parts that are essential for the project to take off.

According to the BBC report, the vision is that by 2039 the company will be able to manufacture all the parts and assemble the vehicle in its entirety in Uganda.

The 35-seat bus is aimed at urban areas rather than inter-city travel due to the restrictions on how far it can travel.

If it does get to the mass production stage, each bus would cost up to $58,000 (£40,000), which Musasizi says is a competitive price.

Kiira Motors was borne out of a project at Uganda's Makerere University, which is now a shareholder in the company. The company has also benefitted from government funding.

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