DISCOVERY ~ Students build Uganda’s First Electric Car

Posted November 6, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Featured ~ 3,401 views


Analysis by Jesse Emspak, DISCOVERY NEWS ~ Electric vehicle manufacturing isn’t limited to big countries with huge auto industries. At Makerere University in Uganda, a group of engineering students and their professors showed they can do it too (and with fewer resources).

It’s called the Kiira EV, and it isn’t fast or flashy, although it has the impressive ability to climb a 55-degree slope. But it was built with most of its parts made in Uganda. The principal investigator of the project, electrical engineering professor Sandy Tickodri-Togboa, told local news outlets that the car can charge in about four hours on typical 13 amp house current. It can reach 200 kilometers per hour (about 124 mph) and run for 80 kilometers (about 50 miles). It seats two people. Tickodri-Togboa said the car will likely sell at about $10,000 to $15,000 — steep for Ugandans, but about a quarter to a third the price of an electric car in the United States.

The team has plans for more than a Ugandan version of a Smart Car; they’re working on an electric bus. Since buses are what most people use in Uganda, producing them would make a big dent in the country’s oil usage.

The car needs some work, however. It looks a bit jerky when it accelerates and it could use a few accessories (such as a horn) before it can function as road-ready. But this car was built by a group of 25 college students and professors in a research lab. That’s pretty impressive — and should give automakers in ther countries pause.

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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