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HomeCars & Other VehiclesKiira Motors Corporation

Kiira Motors Corporation

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Kiira Motors Corporation or KMC is a State Enterprise in Uganda established to champion the Development of the Domestic Automotive Value Chain for job and wealth creation and commercialize the Kiira Electric Vehicle Project. The Equity Partners are the Government of the Republic of Uganda represented by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Office of the President holding 96% of the initial stock and Makerere University holding 4%.

The genesis of Kiira Motors Corporation dates back to 2007 when a team of students and staff (Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa and Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi) at Makerere University were invited to be part of an international consortium. This was part of a Vehicle Design Summit (VDS), a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) initiative with the goal of designing and producing the Vision 200 – a 5-passenger plug-in hybrid electric vehicle targeting the Indian market. Makerere University the only participant from Africa was responsible for the design and integration of the Low Power Electronics and Data Networking Systems. The team participated, if not for the advancement of scholarship, perhaps for such simple reasons as the associated international exposure and acquisition of exciting skills in Automotive Development.

The team’s selfless effort in carrying out the task at hand against all odds saw Vision 200 completed and displayed at the Dream Exposition in Torino, an event celebrating automotive history and future opportunities and the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile, Turin, from 22nd September until 24th November, 2008. Given the experience in building the Vision 200, other global experiences through collaborations, and best practices benchmarking, the Makerere team resolved to embark on a project aimed at designing and building a vehicle in Uganda.

Africa’s first electric vehicle was developed under the Kiira Electric Vehicle Project in 2011. KMC developed Africa’s first hybrid vehicle, the Kiira EVS, in 2014 and Africa’s first solar electric bus, the Kayoola Solar Bus in 2016.

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KMC’s market entry products are the Kayoola EVS a Fully Electric Low Floor City Bus with a range of 300 kilometers on a full charge and the Kayoola Coach, a premium highway coach available in both electric and diesel powertrains

History of Kiira Motors Corporation

The KMC journey dates back to 2007; evolving from an extra-curricular activity under the auspices of then Makerere University Faculty of Technology, to a university curricular activity and later a mainstream national initiative for automotive manufacturing. In 2007, a global consortium of over 31 universities and colleges across the world took part in a Vehicle Design Summit (VDS) to design and bring to market a 5-Seater plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Vision 200, targeting the Indian market. Under the United States-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology led three-year project, Uganda’s Makerere University was the only participant from Africa. The team from the Faculty of Technology now College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology was responsible for design and integration of the Low Power Electronics and Data Networking Systems. Given the experience in building the Vision 200, other global experiences through collaborations, and best practices benchmarking, the Makerere team resolved to embark on a project aimed at designing and building a vehicle in Uganda.

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Kiira Motors Corporation Commercial Production

Cabinet of Uganda sitting on Monday 9 April 2018 at Statehouse Entebbe approved the roadmap for the Commercialization of the Kiira Electric Vehicle Project. This is to be undertaken in a phased manner with the market-entry point being assembly of vehicles (including electric vehicles) in partnership with reputable vehicle manufacturers. Cabinet approved a Seed Fund of US$40 Million (USh 143.7 Billion) over a period of four years starting in the Financial Year 2018/19 with an allocation of USh 24 Billion under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The decision was facilitated by a comprehensive appraisal and approval of a Feasibility Study for Setting Up and Operating the Kiira Vehicle Plant by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. Cabinet also authorised the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation to put in place the necessary Institutional Framework for the Commercialization of the Kiira Electric Vehicle Project and mandated the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to establish and oversee the project governance and management structures.

Kiira Vehicle Plant

The government of Uganda, acting through the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), allocated 100 acres for the establishment of the Kiira Vehicle Plant, located at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park, Plot No. 701, Block 2 Kagogwa Village, Mawoito Parish, Kakira Town Council, Jinja District.

Kiira Motors Corporation and National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Construction of the Kiira Vehicle Plant Start-Up Facilities (Phase I) at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park based on the Force Account Mechanism provided for under Section 95(A) of the PPDA Act, 2003 (as amended). This was subsequent to clearance of the MOU by the Solicitor General.  The Kiira Vehicle Plant Site was handed over to NEC on 18 January 2019, who deployed security and commenced work on 11 February 2019. Construction is expected to take two and a half (2.5) Years with completion slated for June 2021.

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The Scope of Work for NEC includes: Site Clearance; Construction of a 3.6 kilometres (2 mi) perimeter fence and Two Gates; Excavation of a 1.4 km Open Channel along the Western Boundary; Construction of the Assembly Shop, Offices, R&D Space, Materials Storage Areas, Overhead Water Reservoir, Container Yards, Finished Vehicle Park Yard, and Plant Monument; Construction and Installation of Servicing Facilities including the Plant Campus Circulation Roads, Power Distribution, Water Distribution, I.T Network Backbone, Drainage and Waste (Water and Solid) Management Systems; and defects liability period shall be for 12 months commencing on the date of Practical Completion of the Project.

The construction and installation of a 3.7 km long 33kV medium voltage electricity line connecting the Kiira Vehicle Plant Site to the national electricity grid was completed, tested and commissioned by Umeme. The construction and installation of a 5.4 km long 6-inch water pipeline connecting the plant site to the municipal water supply system was completed, tested and commissioned by National Water and Sewerage Corporation.[24]

Establishment of the Kiira Vehicle Plant is expected to catalyse investment by small and medium enterprises in the manufacture of vehicle parts, components and autonomy systems (Brake pads, seats, bolts and nuts, bumpers, vehicle electronics, navigation system, among others). Kiira Motors Corporation has developed a roadmap for the Domestic Manufacture of Auto-Parts in Uganda and secured accreditation from PPDA for an alternative system for procurement of Auto-Parts Suppliers providing for sample parts development and accreditation of the production part manufacturing system.

Establishment of the Kiira Vehicle Plant is projected to increase demand for the utilization of Uganda’s natural resources such as steel from iron ore deposits; plastics from oil and gas, lithium ion batteries from graphite, lithium and cobalt deposits, vehicle upholstery and interior padding from cotton and leather, glass from silica and sand among others.

The Kiira Vehicle Plant’s contribution to employment in Uganda is estimated at 940 jobs from the Start-Up Investment. The full-scale plant operation is estimated to create over 2,000 direct jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs.

The Kiira Vehicle Plant start-up Facilities will have an installed capacity of 5,000 vehicles annually.

In January 2020, the Daily Monitor newspaper reported that the Kayoola electric buses were as of then, available for sale to the public. KMC plans to manufacture 5,000 electric vehicles annually, beginning in July 2021. The manufacturer plans to procure up to 90 percent of the components in Uganda. It is being assisted by CHTC Motor Company, a subsidiary of the state-owned Sinomach Automobile Company. The long-term plan is to reduce air pollution in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

In August 2021, the progress of construction of the manufacturing plant was reported at 85 percent, with completion expected in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2021. At that time, production of motor vehicles was expected to start during the first half of 2022.

His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the President of the Republic of Uganda laid the Foundation Stone for the Kiira Vehicle Plant on Saturday 14th August 2021. The President at the event directed that there will no longer be any importation of fully built buses into Uganda.

The Center for Research in Transport Technologies (CRTT) was then conceived under Makerere University in December 2008 and approved as part of the University Structures effective 1 January 2011. The strategic goal of CRTT was to advance research and innovation in transportation technologies on land, air and sea with specific emphasis on green mobility solutions for Africa. The Kiira EV Project was the first project implemented under CRTT. The Kiira EV, Africa’s first electric vehicle, was completed by the team and launched by H.E Yoweri Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, on 24 November 2011. The successful execution of the Kiira EV Project led to the establishment of the Kiira Motors Project as a government initiative for Automotive Industry Development aimed at Establishing a Vehicle Plant in Uganda. The Kiira Motors Project started the Kiira Vehicle Technology Innovation Program through which the Kiira EV SMACK, the first Electric Hybrid Vehicle designed and built in Africa, was developed and unveiled at a very high-profile event at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya in November 2014. The team then designed and built the Kayoola Solar Bus, the first Electric Solar Bus designed and built in Africa. The Kayoola Solar Bus was launched by H.E Yoweri Museveni on 16 February 2016 at the Kampala Serena Hotel.

Kiira Motors conducted a Pre-Investment Analysis (The KMC Business Case) to affirm the viability of vision Vehicles Made in Uganda. This informed the development of the Kiira Motors Corporation Business Strategy and subsequently Business Plan. The KMC Pre-Investment Analysis (Business Case) was launched by the Uganda Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda on 7 December 2015 at the President’s Office Conference Hall.

Kiira Motors Corporation Products

Kayoola EVS

The Kayoola EVS is the market-entry product of Kiira Motors Corporation. The Kayoola EVS is a Fully Electric, Low Floor City Bus specifically designed for Urban Mass Transportation. At full charge, the Kayoola EVS has a range of up to 300 kilometers making it capable of handling the daily duty cycle. With a sitting capacity of up to 90 passengers.

The Kayoola EVS™ is a Fully Electric Low Floor Bus specifically designed for Urban Mass Transportation. At full charge, the Kayoola EVS™ has a range of up to 300 kilometers making it capable of seamlessly handling the daily duty cycle. With a sitting capacity of up to 90 passengers, the Kayoola EVS™ is positioned to offer great returns for the bus operator while enabling the reduction in congestion on the city roads.

The Kayoola EVS™ is fitted with state-of-the-art safety and assistive technology for people with special needs including special seats and a ramp for easy boarding and off boarding of people in wheelchairs.

The Kayoola EVS™ is premised to facilitate a total sustainable mass mobility solution for Urban Centers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Kiira Motors Corporation is taking orders for the Kayoola EVS and its variants. Call us on +256 393 517888 to place your order.

The Kayoola EVS

The Kayoola EVS buses were used to offer Airport Transfer Services between Entebbe International Airport and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort for delegates during the EU-Uganda Business Forum in March 2020. The buses have also undertaken the following exhibition drills and select shuttle services in Uganda:

  1. Transportation of Uganda Government Communication Officers from Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Offices in Kampala to the Kiira Vehicle Plant Site in Jinja covering a distance of over 230 kilometers;
  2. Transportation of the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament of Uganda from the Source of the Nile Bridge to the Kiira Vehicle Plant Site in Jinja covering a distance of over 20 kilometers;
  3. Transportation of Delegates for the Uganda Europe Business Forum between Entebbe International Airport and Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo in March 2020;
  4. Transportation of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Staff between Kampala and Entebbe International Airport.
The Kayoola EVS  Specifications
Bus CharacteristicPure Electric Low Entry City Bus
Overall Dimensions (mm)12,190×2,550×3,200
Carrying Capacity90 (49 Seated, 41 Standing)
Maximum Motor Power (kW)245
Torque (Nm)3,300
Range on Single Charge (km)300
Battery Bank Energy Capacity (AH)560

Kayoola Coach

The Kayoola Diesel Coach™ is a premium intercity bus aimed at addressing the need for a novel and innovative transportation solution that meets the demand for comfortable, long-distance mass transportation in Africa.

The Kayoola Diesel Coach™ is powered by a 6-cylinder turbocharged inter-cooled Cummins engine, providing over 375 horsepower, and able to achieve a top speed of 140km/hr. Passenger comfort is guaranteed through the 47 reclining leather seats, each fitted with magazine holders, swivel armrests, footrests, foldable tables, and cup holders. The passenger experience is further enhanced through the availability of overhead & leg ventilation, LED saloon & reading lights, USB Charging Points, and connectivity ensured through the onboard Wi-Fi service.

The Kayoola Diesel Coach™ is further fitted with an onboard toilet, a refrigerator that has a capacity of fifty-three 300ml bottles, and kneeling capabilities enabled by the Air Suspension with Electronically Controlled Air Suspension System (ECAS) to maximize comfort.

For inquiries, call us on +256 393 517888.

The Kayoola Diesel Coach™ Specifications
EngineCummins EngineISLe375
6 Cylinder Turbo Charged Inter Cooled Euro III Diesel
8.9 Liter Displacement
375 HP@2100 rpm
1550 Nm @1100 – 14000 rpm
Top Speed: 140km/hr
Fuel Consumption (Highway Equivalent)22 Litres/100km
Gearbox6 Speed Manual with a Retarder
6 Speed Manual with a RetarderRHD
Seats (Extra Leg Room Executive Configuration)47 Reclining Leather Seats fitted with Magazine Holder, Swivel Armrest, Footrest, Foldable Table, Cup Holders, LED Saloon & Reading Lights, USB Charging Points, Overhead Luggage Bins: 43 Executive + 2VIP + 1Guide + 1 Driver
Fuel Tank Capacity500 Litres with 70 Litre Reserve
Infotainment System24V Radio
Two 19” LCD monitors
Interior Video Surveillance Cameras (Front and Rear Cameras)
Flexible microphone with AUX Output to the Speakers
Internet Connectivity4G/LTE Wi-Fi Router
Dimensions | Wheelbase | Dry Weight | GVW12,500 x 2,550 x 3,850 mm | 6,250 mm | 12,800kg | 18,000 kg
Onboard Bus ToiletBuilt-In Wash Water Bathroom with Dressing Mirror and Wash Basin
Refrigerator53, 300ml Bottles of Drinks
Suspension TypeAir Suspension with Electronically Controlled Air Suspension System (ECAS)
Heating, Ventilation and AC (HVAC)Overhead and Leg Ventilation
Safety and HygieneTwo-Point Seatbelts per Seat; Fire Extinguishers; Breakout Hammers; Automatic Sanitizer Dispenser

Kiira EVS

The Kiira EVS, a vehicle designed and Built by Kiira Motors Corporation, is a four-seater executive vehicle built off the Kiira EV SMACK platform. The Kiira EVS has undertaken a nationwide tour in excess of 3,650 kilometers in Eastern, Northern and Western Uganda with exhibitions in Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kisoro, Kibaale, Bushenyi, Jinja, Kampala, Pakwach, Nebbi, Arua, Koboko, Oraba, Gulu, Kitgum, Lira, Soroti, Katakwi, Moroto, Mbale, Iganga along with a grand expo at the Africa Now Summit 2019.

Kiira EV

The Kiira EV is Africa’s first electric vehicle launched on 24th November 2011. It employs a simple battery electric vehicle powertrain consisting of an Energy storage bank, energy converter and an electric motor.  It is powered by electricity which is stored in the battery bank through repetitive charging.  The battery system of the Kiira EV consists of 4 battery banks of 64 lithium ion cells connected in series. The banking ensures energy system modularity for effective battery monitoring, safety, increased reliability and maintenance. The battery bank capacity of 40AH and 207V is engineered to achieve an inter-charge distance 80km. The Kiira EVS is a 4-Seater Executive Vehicle built off the Kiira EV SMACK Platform fitted with a 2.0 Litre Petrol Engine, 5 Speed Automatic Transmission, and an exquisite Beige Interior Trim.


The KIIRA EV SMACK is a 5-seater front-wheel drive sedan with a traction motor powered by a rechargeable battery bank and an internal combustion engine-based generator. It is the first Electric Hybrid Vehicle designed and built in Africa. This configuration of two power sources ensures an unlimited range and increases the efficiency of the powertrain, hence enhancing fuel economy. This innovative and iterative development programme was envisaged to realize KMC’s systems and requisite competences for the relevant and beneficial institutionalization of an automotive industry in Uganda. The vision of KMC represents the commitment of Uganda to develop indigenous solutions to her essential needs as well as being a fountain of the heritage of the Pearl of Africa.

Kayoola Solar Bus

The Kayoola Solar Bus concept represents the next generation of public transport for cities within the region. The first of its kind on the African continent, the Kayoola Solar bus relies on lithium-ion batteries to power an electric motor that is coupled to a 2-speed pneumatic shift transmission. This technology serves to conserve the environment and public health. The telltale signatures of traditional diesel engine buses – plumes of dark smoke blowing out of the tailpipe and a grumbling engine sound — are replaced by a soft whine as soon as the electric bus accelerates.

The prototype which is designed to serve as an Executive City bus, is easy for riders to spot, thanks to the pearl white color adorned by the colors of the national flag. Its uncompromising beauty, elegant design and luxurious interior space bring to mind the rich heritage of the Pearl of Africa. The pearl white body, and wide sliding windows give the Kayoola a graceful exterior, with the proprietary design grille complementing the front.

The Kayoola Solar Bus will be easier to maintain, in terms of not having to change oil as is done in the diesel-powered buses and not having to repair hydraulic lines that run through a conventional bus. The bus is expected to run 80km, or virtually a full operational day (for example Kampala – Entebbe – Kampala), between recharges.

The Kayoola offers a smoother and cleaner ride, experiencing less vibration and less noise as the result of replacement of the usual internal combustion diesel engine with an electric machine. The City will love the Kayoola as it quietly cruises past its noisy polluting competitors.


Kayoola Solar Bus Brochure

Kiira Motors Corporation Awards

KMC was recognized for the initiatives in Green Mobility by Frost & Sullivan with the 2016 Frost & Sullivan Visionary Innovation Leadership Award in Sustainable Mobility.

KMC was awarded as the African Company of the Year in the 2021 African Business Leadership Awards. 

Bulamu Ventilator

In April 2020, Makerere University, in close collaboration with KMC, ResilientAfrica Network, and in partnership with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation started the development of an open design low-cost medical ventilator, called the Bulamu Ventilator, to fill the critical need for ventilators for Uganda and the region, in response to COVID-19. Once the ventilator is developed, tested and optimally operational, the consortium will develop capacity for its mass production. The ventilator will be applied beyond COVID-19 to other severe conditions that require assisted breathing. This technology will substantially improve the capacity for critical care in Uganda.

As of 30 June 2020, the consortium had undertaken Phase I of the development of the Bulamu Ventilator which included Technology Assessment & Open Design Adaptation, Systems Design and Specification, Development of Initial Engineering Prototype for Proof of Functionality and Development of Three (3) Engineering and Validation Prototypes.

The raw materials for the machine are majorly sourced within Uganda. It is expected to retail at about US$3,000, compared to US$25,000 for an imported medical ventilator

Bulamu Ventilator Specifications Data Sheet


Bulamu Ventilator Component Diagram

bulamu component diagram

Kiira Motors Corporation Contact Details

Kiira Motors Corporation Phone

+256 393 517888
Monday – Friday
0800 – 1700 EAT

Kiira Motors Corporation Email


Kiira Motors Corporation Address

Plot 13, Kimera Road, Ntinda
Kampala, Uganda

Home – Kiira Motors Corporation 2021, Kiira Motors Corporation, viewed 26 October 2021, <https://www.kiiramotors.com/>.

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