Based on its recent analysis of the sustainable mobility market, Frost & Sullivan recognises Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) with the 2016 Uganda Frost & Sullivan Award for Visionary Innovation Leadership. The company's vision extends far beyond that of standard vehicle manufacturing processes.
Its sustainable mobility solutions provide massive opportunity for vehicle development and commercialisation in a country that is lagging behind in African and global automotive indices.
"The focus on developing sustainable electric, hybrid, and solar vehicles will allow KMC to capture the leadership position in an uncontested market space," - Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst, Ziyaad Hanware.
"Furthermore, the establishment of a local manufacturing plant gives it the added benefit of economies of scale, a first-mover advantage, and import cost avoidance, which, in turn, will raise entry barriers in the industry."
From an environmental perspective, KMC's vehicles are proving to be game changers in the Ugandan market. The fleet of 9,000 14-seater buses operating daily in Uganda's capital city of Kampala produces 96,715 tons of carbon emissions annually.
The Kayoola Solar Bus will greatly lower these emissions and help the country move toward cost-effective, sustainable mobility with zero tail pipe emissions.
The Kayoola Solar Bus is a 35-seater electric bus with a real-time on-board solar charging system. The bus is fitted with two autonomous battery banks installed on either side enabling usage of one battery bank to power the propulsion motor while the other is charged.
The bus has a mileage of approximately 50 miles per charge and 7.5 miles range extension harnessed from solar power in transit, with the batteries requiring only an hour to recharge. This makes the Kayoola Solar Bus a green, clean, and noise free transport solution for Urban Mass Mobility representing Kiira Motor's commitment to transportation technologies that are enhancing environmental stewardship.
The Kiira Vehicle Technology Innovation Program has also produced three locally manufactured concept vehicles:
- The Kiira EV (2011), a 2-seater electric car
- The Kiira EV SMACK (2014), a 5-seater hybrid electric sedan
- The Kayoola Solar Bus (2016), a battery electric vehicle with a real-time solar charging system for range extension
These vehicles are important in a market that has been dominated by used imports and beset by a consequent lack of spare parts and service centres.
"The rapid urbanisation in Uganda has created a vast market for urban mobility solutions, and the KMC product range makes optimal use of these opportunities," noted Ziyaad.
"KMC's larger goal is to position Uganda as an economic force by using the automotive industry as a catalyst for industrial development."
The availability of funding for renewable energy projects, rapid project construction timelines, and suitability for remote electrification have fostered an environment conducive to environment-friendly vehicles in Uganda.
KMC's solar-powered buses are an example of the way in which the renewable energy Mega Trend can be leveraged to resolve the needs of today by using the infrastructure of tomorrow.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated the ability to understand and leverage global Mega Trends, integrating this vision into processes to achieve strategic excellence. The award recognizes the efficacy of the recipient's innovative process and the impact it has on business and society at large.
About Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC)
Established in 2014, Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC), a brain child of Makerere University, is a Presidential Initiative for Automotive Manufacturing in Uganda. KMC is owned by Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) - the public investment arm of the Uganda Government and Makerere University.
The Kiira Vehicle Technology Innovation Program has produced three concept vehicles, the "Kiira EV, 2011", a two seater electric vehicle, the "Kiira EV SMACK, 2014", a five-seater hybrid electric vehicle sedan and the "Kayoola Solar Bus, 2016" a Battery Electric Vehicle with a Real-Time Solar Charging System for range extension.
The Kiira Motors plant shall sit on 100 acres of land situated at the Uganda Investment Authority Jinja Industrial and Business Park on Plot 113, Block 2 Kagogwa village, Mawaito Parish, Kakira Town Council, Jinja district, Uganda. The Kiira Motors Plant shall be equipped to support the manufacture of up to 60,000 vehicles per year employing over 2,000 people.
KMC is slated to start production of vehicles in 2018 with a portfolio including Pick Ups, SUVs, Sedans, Trucks and Buses.