After three years of extensive works, the Kayoola Electric Vehicle (EV) bus concept is ready for public scrutiny at its launch next month.
Paul Isaac Musasizi, the Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) chief executive officer, said they were putting final touches to the 30-seater solar-powered bus that will officially be unveiled on February 16 at Serena hotel in Kampala.
"The bus is purely electric and our idea is to test the strength of solar energy in enabling people to move. The batteries are fixed in the belly of the body, and a solar panel on the roof to supplement power," he said.
Kayoola is a product of research into vehicle systems started in 2007 at Makerere University, when Prof Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa headed the then Vehicle Design Project, in the former faculty of Engineering.
Musasizi added that the prototype, which is designed to serve as an executive city bus, covers a distance of 80km without a recharge of the panels.
But once the solar panels are fully-charged, it enables the bus a distance extension of 12km.
Doreen Orishaba, one of the engineers at KMC, said that once the concept is complete, KMC will work with established international companies to manufacture buses.
"As we continue with developing concepts, we are also studying the market. We want to see that we don't make vehicles for stocking but for production on orders," she said.
Musasizi maintains Kayoola will represent the next generation of public transport for cities within East and Central Africa.
"The electric bus offers a smoother and cleaner ride, experiencing less vibration and noise unlike the usual internal combustion diesel engines. The city will love this bus once we make it a product," he said.