UCAA staff give the thumbs up to Kayoola EV shuttle
Kayoola EV, the all electric propulsion bus developed by Kiira Motors Corporation KMC, is earning rave reviews a fortnight after Uganda Civil Aviation Staff started using it between Entebbe and Kampala.
The shuttle which operates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday has been departing from Namboole Stadium, tracking the Northern bypass and Entebbe Expressway before terminating its journey at Entebbe International Airport. The limited shuttles are being operated as part of KMC’s market validation campaign that seeks to establish customer perception of the vehicle operations under real market conditions.
Vianney Luggya, the manager for public relations at the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, says feedback has so far been positive with staff impressed by the quiet ambiance, comfort and on-board amenities such as WiFi, air-conditioning, electronic device charging ports and entertainment.
Luggya says the shuttle which will run through August, will change routing starting next Monday with departures from Uganda House in Kampala, tracking the ordinary route to Entebbe through Kajjansi.
KMC has so far put two electric buses and has ordered component for another two plus two Euro-IV, conventional diesel engine buses. All the four units will be assembled at the temporary facilities in Nakasongola, where one of the two units on the road was built by a combined teal of technicians from Kiira Motors and the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces.
Construction of KMC’s own expansive start-up facility and final assembly facility is ongoing in Jinja with contractor NEC Engineering reporting a 55pc completion rate mid-June. The completed civil works are due to be handed over to the owner at the end of June 2021.
KMC chief executive Paul Isaac Musasizi says both units of the Kayoola EV have already covered more than 2000 kilometres on Ugandan roads and combined with earlier tests in China, the technical validation of the design is complete. What remains is operational testing which will take the buses to their load-limit of 90 passengers in the challenging environment on the Kampala- Entebbe route.
The tests which will commence as soon as the current restrictions on social distance are lifted, will also pilot an electronic payment system, a first for public transport in Uganda.