Uganda Debuts First Electric Bus
On February 16th, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni climbed aboard Africa's first solar-power passenger bus, the Kayoola, designed, engineered and fabricated entirely in his country by Kiira Motors. The project began in 2011, around the time, the Kampala-based company unveiled its first hybrid-electric prototype automobile.
Developed for a relatively modest cost of $145,000US (500m UXG), the bus is powered by a 150KW (204HP) electric drive motor and twin lithium-ion battery packs. 1320W of solar panels are mounted on the roof. The bus is said to have a range up to 80 km (50 miles) and seating for at least 30.
Kiira Motors CEO, Paul Isaac Musasizi noted in his remarks at the unveiling of the bus at Serena Hotel in Kampala, that there are only 13 nations in the world that straddle the equator, including Uganda. With ample sun year-round, it makes sense, he argues, to use it to provide some of the power to propel the bus, adding that the Kayoola solar-bus "represents the commitment of the Kiira Motors Project to championing the progressive development of local capacity for vehicle technology innovation."
As with the SMACK hybrid electric car project revealed in 2014, no immediate plans for commercialization have been announced as yet.
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