Kiira Motors Corporation is set to launch the first solar-powered bus ‘Kayoola’ in Africa in the corporation’s vision to spearhead the automotive industry in Uganda.

‘Kayoola’ can be loosely translated as ‘mass carrier’.

The Kayoola bus is uniquely designed to be powered by solar energy to make it environmental friendly.

It relies on 2 power banks (lithium-ion batteries) which power an electric motor that is coupled to a 2-speed pneumatic shift transmission.

The 2 power banks operate in automatic alternation to enable real time mobile battery recharging while the other is in use.

Mr Isaa Musasizi, the CEO Kiira Motors Corporation told journalists during the test drive at Namboole stadium on Sunday that Kayoola was built at an estimate of Shs 500m.

With a seating capacity of 35 passengers, the bus has a power capacity of 150KW (204HP) Peak and solar power of 1320W.

The solar panels on the roof harvest energy to run the bus on a range of 80kms (approximately 8 hours of nonstop movement).

“Uganda is privileged to be among the 13 countries in the whole world that are situated along the equator. We decided to take advantage of this strategic position to improve transport technology,” he said.

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The World’s Largest Electric Vehicle Maker Also Has a US Presence

Latest numbers show BYD topping Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, VW and even Tesla volumes by a landslide

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BYD was the first to deliver a truly zero-emissions ecosystem to the world in 2011 (as the only EV manufacturer that also builds low-cost solar panels and environmentally friendly energy storage to power fuel-efficientNew Energy Vehicles). But BYD is also now the World's No. 1 Battery-Electric Vehicle Manufacturer by sales volumes. In a just-released global EV ranking (Link: http://insideevs.com/octobers-top-10-best-selling-plug-electric-cars-worldwide/), BYD came in not only first in global, single-model, sales in October, with a total of 6,099 EV units sold, but October’s rankings also represented an even greater milestone as it was the first time BYD also ranked first in accumulated Global sales throughout an entire year – with a total of over 43,073 NEVs sold (a >220% surge compared to last year), exceeding all American, Japanese and European leaders to date.

 

Ranking

 

Manufacturer

 

October 2015

 

2015 YTD *

1

 

BYD

 

6,101

 

43,073

2

 

Nissan

 

3,115

 

42,012

3

 

Mitsubishi

 

4,144

 

36,623

4

 

Tesla

 

3,349

 

36,312

5

 

VW

 

3,774

 

27,755

6

 

BMW

 

2,937

 

25,470

7

 

Renault

 

2,568

 

20,136

8

 

Kendi

 

5,081

 

17,201

9

 

Ford

 

1,776

 

17,117

10

 

Gotye

 

2,609

 

15,384

* Notable manufacturers not making this year’s Oct top 10: GM with Volt US sales at ~11,399 units, Toyota with only around ~4100 Prius PHV sales, Fiat and Kia all below 5000 units.

BYD climbed from the 7th position in late 2014 to the 1st position in under 10 months as the result of a carefully executed strategy and product/feature-value placements in the China markets (with the QINTang and Song launches). BYD is also dominating in the Electric Bus markets where there is no close competition – globally, BYD will deliver nearly 6000 electric buses in 2016, with about 300 zero-emission electric buses scheduled to be built in 2016 from BYD’s North American factory – the Bus & Coach Factory in Lancaster, Calif. These numbers alone (6000 in one year) make BYD The Largest Manufacturer of Electric Buses worldwide and surpassed the entire US 2015 bus market volumes.

What is BYD’s next move? BYD revealed their go-to-world-markets strategy at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show with the “7+4 Strategy”. The 7+4 strategy is to change the world by replacing high-utility, fossil-fueled vehicles with clean, efficient, even more reliable EVs for seven on-road vehicle markets in this priority:

  • Battery Electric Buses (Shuttles and Rapid Transit)
  • Battery Electric Taxis (used in 2 and 3 shift operations daily)
  • Logistics Vehicles (operated over 18 hours daily)
  • Private Vehicles for the Consumer Market
  • Battery Electric Motor Coaches
  • Construction Vehicles
  • Waste Management Vehicles

As well as four off-road vehicles for specialized applications:

  • Mining Operations
  • Marine Ports
  • Warehouse and Logistics
  • Airports

Several EV pilot fleets have been deployed in the United States. Stanford University runs a fleet of electric buses, Green Wheels is running BYD eTaxis in Chicago and another eTaxi fleet is launching in New York City and with the new expansion of the BYD factories planned for the US, a wide-range of EV product offerings will be forthcoming including trucks, forklifts and fleet vehicles. BYD has secured its place in the North America marketplace as a premier EV provider. This news couldn’t have come at a better time with the announcement by New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, “A cleaner, greener fleet is yet another step toward our ambitious but necessary sustainability goals, including an 80 percent reduction in all emissions by 2050. By building the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet in the country – and potentially the world – New York City is continuing to lead by example. Cities are setting the pace on climate action – and with our city and our planet's very future at stake, we need national leaders in Paris to take note and take action.” Outlined in the Mayor’s plan is to replace approximately 2,000 fossil fuel sedans with plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), which, combined with the over 300 EVs currently on the road in NYC, would mean EVs will make up half of the City’s non-emergency sedans and create the largest municipal electrical vehicle fleet in the United States and, potentially, the world.

“It’s the progressive thinking of cities like New York who understand their important stewardship and accountability towards its citizens to make an impactful change in reducing hazardous pollution in our city centers,” said Micheal Austin, Vice President at BYD. According to a recent Bloomberg report, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-02/tesla-s-chic-is-no-match-for-byd-s-china-profits-david-fickling, whereas Tesla makes an operating loss on every car it builds, BYD makes everything from conventional-fuel cars to mobile-phone batteries to utility-scale energy storage. “It will only be through profitability that a company will succeed in disrupting our global dependence on fossil fuel and unchain ourselves from the CO2 emissions we create each day,” said Austin. “An innovative company should not only be responsible for the environment, but also hold a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders.”

This multi-prong approach to reducing global emissions is revolutionary as no other company in the world has addressed these issues on such a mass scale. Building upon BYD’s success in manufacturing innovative Iron-Phosphate batteries, the Three Green Dreams approach is designed to eliminate most of the environmental problems we face today. These three dreams include zero-emission solar/wind energy generation, storing the energy in safe, reliable, non-toxic battery solutions, and delivering the renewable energy to an array of on-road and off-road vehicles for a measurable reduction in CO2 emissions. As of November 2015, BYD’s eBuses and eTaxis had traveled more than 327 million miles in revenue service with the total equivalent CO2 emissions saved comparable to planting a forest of 581,678 trees (Source:http://www.americanforests.org/assumptions-and-sources/).

Citing the discussions at this month’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, newly appointed Director of Eastern U.S. Business for BYD, Lerner-Lam, noted that fossil fuel vehicles will be steadily replaced by environmentally responsible solutions. “The time has come for electric vehicles, and BYD is ready to meet the growing demand,” Lerner-Lam said. “It’s a very exciting opportunity to take technology that was developed in China—and leveraged and matured in large scale there—and adapt them to American standards, lifestyles and infrastructures.”

ABOUT BYD

Founded in Shenzhen, China in 1995, BYD Company Ltd. is global enterprise with a mission to create safer and more environmentally friendly battery technologies. As the world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, BYD produces electric vehicles for conventional and specialized vehicle markets and has supplied more than 6,000 electric buses and 5,000 electric taxis globally. The company is a leader in several high-tech sectors including high-efficiency automobiles, electrified public transportation, affordable solar power and information technology, eco-friendly energy storage and original design manufacturing (ODM) services. For more information on the company’s products, please visit www.byd.com.

Mr Musasizi stressed the fact that most of the bus features are locally sourced and were assembled by a team of about 100 Ugandans.

These did the wielding, spraying, wiring among others.

“The body is typically our Roofings material and was worked on by hand. Also, the battery banks which are stainless steel were also fabricated from here. Uganda possesses polished skills to deliver automotives today.”

Transport challenges

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri who officiated at Sunday’s test drive said ‘Kayoola’ will go a long way in addressing Uganda’s mass transportation problem.

“We have buses all over the world but Ugandans must be proud to be championing a technology that represents clean energy,” said the Minister who birthed the idea of manufacturing Uganda’s first electronic car Kiira EV while still a Professor at Makerere University.

He said the innovation has raised the regional standard, adding; “The Kayoola sets a green precedence and inspiration trend for technological future in urban mobility for East and Central Africa.”

President Museveni is set to officially launch the Kayoola solar bus on February 16 at Kampala Serena Hotel.

Kiira Motors project is an industrial development intervention fully funded by Government of Uganda. It is aimed at establishing vehicle manufacturing capabilities in Uganda for Pickups, SUVs, Sedans, Light and Medium duty trucks and Buses.