Uganda and Rwanda are racing ahead of their East African neighbours in the global switch to electric motoring, even as infrastructure shortcomings limit investments in the emerging sector.
Both Kampala and Kigali have unveiled electric vehicle assembly plants in the past two months, blazing the regional trail with Kenya and Tanzania only making baby steps toward embracing the new technology.
Uganda’s state-owned Kiira Motors Corporation has so far shown the biggest ambition in the region by building two battery-powered cars and a solar electric bus.
The electric bus, called the Kayoola Electric Vehicle Series (EVS), has been built using Kiira Motors home-grown green mobility technologies while partnering with Chinese Equipment Manufacturer, Motor Co. Ltd.
The buses can cover a distance of 300km under a single charge and have a capacity of 90 passengers (49 sitting and 41 standing), compared with the diesel engine ones which have a capacity of 65 passengers.
Last year Uganda committed nearly Ush24 billion ($6.4 million) to put the first fully home-made car on the road. The amount is part of a planned Ush145 billion ($39 million) spending over four years, 2018 to 2022.