Uganda’s nascent electric vehicle industry received yet another endorsement on Friday morning when the minister of (Works and) Transport Gen Katumba Wamala chose to board its product, the Kayoola EVS on his way to work.
General Katumba who joined about 60 other passengers aboard the Kayoola EVS, boarded the electric bus operated by Kalita bus company at Bweyogerere, along the Northern Bypass for the 14 kilometre stretch to Busega.
Earlier last month, the minister for Science Technology and Innovation who make the buses under Kiira Motors Corporation, joined the public on the electric bus on the same route and gave the a service a nod of approval.
After the maker minister, now the user minister has also given his endorsement of the product of Uganda’s young engineers, who design the electric buses and build them in collaboration with the industrial arm of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces, Luwero Industries in Nakasongola.
During the morning engagement with the public and other transport operators, General Katumba Katumba told taxi operators who are alarmed by the entry of the modern buses into the public transport sector, that mass transit is the way to go and there is no turning back .He advised them to prepare themselves to be able to fit in the changing transport landscape.
The general assured the taxi operators that the government is pushing ahead with mass transit projects including the urban service train system. In addition to the Namanve – City centre train which Katumba says carries the equivalent of passengers for 65 taxis, the government is in final stages of instituting another urban rail route connecting the city centre and Kyengera on the populous western flank of Kampala.
The transport revolution in Kampala has been triggered by Kiira Motors Corporation’s release of ultra modern buses that are a hundred percent electric powered and also clean low emission diesel buses.
So far, Kampala Capital City Authority has licensed two transport companies to operate the clean buses; Kalita which is on the 22 kilometre Busega – Bweyogerere high speed bypass and Tondeka on the circular City Square – Nakawa – Ntinda – Wangeya route.
Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) is 100% government owned between STI (96%) and Makerere University (4%). KMC has been building the buses it designs in the military workshop in Luwero Industries, but will later next year shift its works to its new plant being constructed in Jinja. KMC has orders for over 1,000 buses, both low emission diesel and fully electric ones.
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