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Kiira Motors has launched the Kayoola, claimed to be Africa’s first solar powered bus, in Kampala, Uganda
The bus is powered solely by electricity and solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop panels. It does not possess an engine and can accommodate up to 35 passengers, Kiira Motors said.
According to the company, Kayoola can achieve 80 km on a single charge. The bus is powered by two batteries. One is charged electrically for longer distances and journeys at night. The other battery is charged by solar panels on the roof which increases the vehicle’s range an additional 12 km.
According to the company CEO Paul Isaac Musasizi, it takes just one hour to fully charge each battery, making the vehicle suitable for “all sorts of duties in the cities”, such as school buses or longer-haul journeys across borders.
The electric public transport vehicle is currently marketed at US$140,000, however it is expected that this will drop to US$55,000 if mass produced.
The Ugandan government is in the process of approving the prototype for official inclusion in the public transport realm.
According to the company CEO Paul Isaac Musasizi, the idea of this design is to enable the downstream aspects of the automotive value chain to open doors for the youth.
Musasizi added that Uganda is committed to green mobility as the panacea to climate change, especially with the continent’s growing population and need for significant economic growth.
Kiira Motors hopes to attract partners to help manufacture the bus for the mass market.