Uganda’s solar bus

Dark plumes of smoke pouring from the tail pipe of conventional diesel buses could be a thing of the past in Uganda after Kiira Motors launched its prototype Kayoola solar bus concept.

Touted as a first in Africa, the bus relies on lithium-ion batteries to power an electric motor coupled to a two-speed pneumatic shift transmission. It has a range of 80km, and the solar panels on the roof harvest energy to charge the batteries, enabling a range extension of about 12km.

Kiira says the bus requires minimal maintenance because there are fewer moving parts relative to conventional engines, the battery and motor require minimal maintenance and there are fewer fluids to change.