today's Pick
Uganda to start producing cars in 2018
Publish Date: Jul 13, 2014
Uganda to start producing cars in 2018
Kiira EV car by Makerere University
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By John Agaba

Uganda will start commercial production of cars in 2018. Yes, you read it right. Uganda will start the commercial production of the Kiira EV SMACK, an improved version of the Kiira EV car, first unveiled by President Yoweri Museveni on Nov 24, 2011, in four years’ time.


This is according to Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa, the Kiira EV Project principal investigator.

And the automotives (read cars) will be a hybrid blend of the conventional internal combustion engine and the electric vehicle, which means they can run on fuel and/or electric energy.

“We shall start the production in 2018, with 300 pieces a month,” Tickodri-Togboa told New Vision.

“On May 15, the Kiira EV Project received 100 acres of land at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park. We received the land to set up The Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC), the first ever automotive original equipment manufacturer in Uganda and in the East African region. This has already happened. The Corporation is already registered. What is still a challenge is the funding,” Tickodri-Togboa said.

Paul Isaac Musasizi, the project’s chief engineer, said they need about $350m to set up the whole plant and start the actual manufacturing of cars.

“We need to develop at least 19 model vehicles between now and 2018 before we can finally release our first car, entirely built in Uganda,” Musasizi said.

“All these cars (19) will be crashed in the engineering validation. We make a model, we crash it. We make another; we crash it, from all sides, until we make that one which meets the internationally accepted standards,” Musasizi explained.

He said they are hiring a reputable car maker consortium to partner with them make internationally acceptable cars.

“This is more like a dream come true. We shall soon be building our own cars,” Jonathan Kasumba, an industrial designer and part of the 21-member team who designed the Kiira EV SMACK, said.

“We started with the Kiira EV from scratch. We would charge it and go for about 80 kilo-meters. We are building on this technology to make hybrid cars,” Kasumba added.

 Fred Ogene, the Ag. Chief Executive Officer Uganda Development Cooperation (UDC), said the registration of KMC was only a beginning.  “2018 is realistic. If you don’t dream, you will never do anything.”

Trade and industry minister Amelia Kyambadde said Uganda manufacturing cars was in line with the country’s national development plan.

“The commercialization of the project will motivate more youths to pursue science subjects. The project will also create jobs in the country.”

Regarding the funding, she promised to lobby the ministry of finance so they can have funding directly going to the Kiira Motors Corporation.

“Now that we have KMC as a registered government corporation and UDC, funding will be easy,” Kyambadde said.

The trade minister, however, asked the Corporation to attract other inverters into the project to grow it and it becomes big.

Away from building cars, the plant will also will also have an innovations centre for calibrating relevant technology in alternative fuels. It will also have vehicle testing tracks for speed, braking, climbing, handling and durability, and an administration block.

Asked about what particular car parts the Ugandans were manufacturing, Tickodri-Togboa said: “We do the designing, the shape, and the body. Other parts, we are still importing them. But there is no automotive maker in the whole world, even in the US, who manufactures all car parts. What they do is have the designs and ask other industries to make for them those designs.”

“As long as you design, produce and validate the car, you are the manufacturer,” Musasizi explained.

Tickodri-Togboa said Kiira Motors Corporation will provide a great opportunity for other entrepreneurs and investors to set up plants for the local manufacturer of car parts such as tires, lights, shock absorbers, brake pads and the like.

RELATED ARTICLES

Makerere launches electric car, set to embark on minibus

Guard Makerere's KIIRA EV from 'valley death'

Museveni pledges better pay for scientists

Makerere University successfully tests electric car
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Gates says progress made on new super-thin condom
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said Thursday progress is being made on developing a "next-generation" ultra-thin, skin-like condom that could offer better sexual pleasure, help population control and be financed by first-world investors....
Jobless and poor, Ghana
To Ghana''s legions of jobless young men, Eric Bimpong has a money-making proposition: sell your blood....
Child mortality rate around the world drops: UN
Child mortality rate around the world has dropped by nearly half since 1990, the United Nations said Tuesday in its latest report showing a new decrease in 2013....
Kenyatta summoned to ICC over claims of
THE International Criminal Court said Friday it had summoned Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to appear before the tribunal over charges his government has withheld documents...
Queen urges unity after Scotland votes
Queen Elizabeth II has called for "mutual respect" among Scots following a divisive campaign in a referendum that saw Scotland reject independence from the UK....
Ruhakana Rugunda new Prime Minister
Reports from State House indicate that health minister Ruhakana Rugunda has been appointed Prime Minister of Uganda. He will replace Amama Mbabazi who has been the premier since after the 2011 general election....
Should bride price be made optional?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter