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See Electric Buses Made By Ugandan Students From Makerere University

Ugandan students from Makerere University have road-tested their electric buses. Details reveal that it comes with improved health guidelines to keep people safe during the pandemic. Read on to find out more details about these buses.


The buses are a product of the Vehicle Design Project; a research innovative that aims to use technology to create transportation solutions in Uganda and also in Africa as a whole. According to Kiira EV’s page, the official name of this project, it had been inspired by Vehicle Design Summit (VDS) held in 2008.


Among the 35 Research Universities that partook in the 2008 VDS project, Makerere University had been the only African team. This team had also designed the Power Train and in-Vehicle Communication Network for the project.


Thus, armed with this experience, the university students completed their own set of electric-powered buses; which they unveiled on Friday, 22nd May 2020.


The Corporation under which they build these vehicles is known as Kiira Motors. It is a local company that the Government of the Republic of Uganda owns 96% of. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation represents the government’s interest; and Makerere University owns the remaining 4%.


See Electric Buses Made By Ugandan Students From Makerere University
Road testing Ugandan-made electric bus, the Kayoola Electric Bus. Photo: Twitter.


They will officially be called Kayoola Electric Bus. And they come enabled with the following: Wifi, USB sockets, Air Conditioner, TV, Automatic Sanitiser and PWDs seats (seats for persons with disabilities). Besides using a rechargeable battery, they also use 90% locally sourced raw materials.

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The bus floors are made from emmuli, which is the local name for bamboo trees. Its batteries can also take the buses up to a distance of 900,000 km per charge cycle.


See Electric Buses Made By Ugandan Students From Makerere University
Inside Ugandan-made electric bus, the Kayoola Electric Bus. Photo: Twitter.


According to a Ugandan tech blog, Soft Power, this is the fourth electric vehicle prototype from Kiira Motors Corporation. It had built three other prototypes in the past and they include: an (unspecified) vehicle called Kiira EV; a Sedan hybrid vehicle called Kiira EV SMACK; and Kayoola a solar-powered bus.


Two of the new buses drove around the country’s capital city, Kampala on that Friday. People obeying social distancing guidelines also came out to watch the performance.


Reports confirm that it is also cheaper to maintain than diesel-powered buses. In a statement the company said:


“These provide an unprecedented opportunity for participation of a wide range of local manufacturers making components to feed the production line at the Kiira Vehicle Plant addressing the key aspects of Supply Chain Localization and engendering Import Substitution.”


It adds that it has started getting orders and with partnerships from other car making industries; they could produce eight buses every month. In addition, the corporation encouraged people to start purchasing these electric buses.


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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.

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