Uganda can be said to have reached a great milestone in technology following the recent realization of a solar bus in the country. It has been a talk of the town as the Kayoola bus has been seen in public in Uganda’s capital city.
The solar powered bus which is described by its Ugandan manufactures, Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) as the first in Africa, is said to have one of its two batteries charged by solar panels on the roof, hence increasing the vehicle’s 80km (50 mile) range. At this speed, the 35 seater solar bus can operate 8 hours of non-stop movement.
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”The Kayoola bus will be easier to maintain, in terms of not having to change oil as is done in the diesel-powered buses and not having to repair hydraulic lines that run through a conventional bus” a statement from KMC reads
Kiira Motors is said to be excited by their latest achievement and are equally hoping that the bus attracts partners across the world to help manufacture the bus for the mass market.
The Chief executive of Kiira Motors, Paul Isaac Musasizi expressed his excitement towards the feedback the company has gotten since the exposition of the solar bus. He positively foresees that the bus manufacturing would be a huge source of employment for Ugandans predicting that by 2018, more than 7,000 people could be involved in the manufacturing of Kayoola, thus, gaining employment in the company.
Musazi also says he is ready to incorporate the services of international companies which make vehicle parts because that is exactly what the company needs for their project to take off.
Ugandans are really excited and impressed by the fact that such master piece could come from their country. Mr Musazi said that part of the motive behind the manufacturing of Kayoola was to help the country “champion the automotive, engineering and manufacturing industries” in the region.
As facts would have it, Kiira Motors started out as a project in Makerere University in Uganda. The minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, who was the then head of the Vehicle Design Project, in the former faculty of Engineering noted that the idea of the solar bus was introduced when Makerere University students and staff participated in a Vehicle Design Summit in the United States, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in 2007. Makerere University is now a shareholder in the company, and it has also benefited from government funding.