In the automotive industry, African automobile manufacturers are refusing to be left out. After years of purchasing cars outside the continent, the trend has changed as some local engineers have taken advantage of technological advancements to venture into the car manufacturing business and Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) in Uganda is a testimony to that.
The company was founded by a group of students and staff of Makerere University after they partook in the Vehicle Design Summit (VDS 2.0) organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2007. At the end of the summit, they successfully helped design and build the Vision 200; an environmentally friendly 5-seater plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which was unveiled in 2008.
Being a part of a team that achieved such an incredible feat propelled and motivated the Makerere University team to aim at revolutionizing the automotive industry in Uganda by developing eco-friendly vehicles.
The team then went ahead to successfully develop and unveil Uganda’s first car, the Kiira EV, in 2011 with support from the Government of Uganda for Innovation Projects at the university.
In 2014, KMC officially became a company owned by the Ugandan government alongside Makerere University. Looking at expanding and producing eco-friendly vehicles for the market, the government also granted them 100 acres of land for the establishment of a vehicle plant, according to their website.
So far, KMC has designed and built three concept vehicles which are the first of their kinds in Africa.
Scroll through to take a look at them:
This is Africa’s first electric vehicle.
Kiira EV Smack
The first Electric Hybrid Vehicle designed and built in Africa.
Kayoola Solar Bus
The first of its kind in Africa, the bus runs on lithium-ion batteries that power an electric motor that is “coupled to a 2-speed pneumatic shift transmission”, according to their website.