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Makerere tries out its electric car today
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The Kiira EV model developed by Makerere University Students. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE

By FLAVIA LANYERO (email the author)
Posted Tuesday, November 1 2011 at 00:00
IN SUMMARY

Innovation. The car is designed to replace diesel and petrol engine cars.

Makerere University students will this afternoon test drive their first electric car after three years of making.
The Kiira EV made by the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology students, is the first electric vehicle to be made in Uganda.



The team leader, Mr Paul Musasizi, said the car is a clear demonstration of existence of innovation and skill at the university.

“When we started the project, we wanted to demonstrate that Uganda has as good talent as that in the US or Germany and now that this is over, we expect and want it to be taken up,” Mr Musasizi said.

Waiting on production
The vehicle is a two-seater with a theoretical speed of 200km/hr and 150km/hr practically because of its light weight. It can be charged after running 80km.

“We named it Kiira EV because we are fascinated about green energy and the first electricity generation in Uganda was at Kiira,” Mr Musasizi said of its naming.

It remains to be seen if the success of this vehicle can be translated into actual production.

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Mr Musasizi said in an interview that the innovation demonstrates the faculty’s commitment to green transportation and that work has already started on a 28-seater public electric transport vehicle.

The vehicle is designed to replace the current diesel and petrol engine cars. Similar innovations have been made by car makers in Japan, German, France and the US.

Inspiration
Although some components of the car like the steering wheel and other minor accessories were imported from manufacturers outside Uganda, most parts of the car including the core body and combustion system were designed and built locally with the assistance of local craftsmen in places such as Katwe, an innovation suburb in Kampala.

The Kiira project is a run-up to Vision 200, a car made by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which attracted the participation of Makerere University students in 2008.

Inspired by the first project, the students and university decided to launch their project in 2009.

It is one of the three science and technology projects at the faculty that were allocated Shs4.5 billion this financial year. The other projects include; the Laboratory Infrastructure and Industrial Training.

The vehicle will be publicly tested at the faculty tomorrow and officially launched by the President later in the month.
 

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Uganda third Africa country to launch electric car....after Ethiopia and South Africa

Ethiopia has launched an electric car, despite suffering from power shortages. It is only the second African country to do so, after South Africa.

Two versions of the Solaris Elettra will be manufactured in Addis Ababa, costing around $12,000 and $15,000.

The cars will be sold in Ethiopia and exported to Africa and Europe.

But some doubt if Africa, where erratic power supplies, low levels of personal wealth and poor infrastructure are common, is ready for electric cars.

Carlo Pironti, general manager of Freestyle PLC, the company producing the Solaris, told the BBC's Uduak Amimo in Addis Ababa that Ethiopia's electricity shortages were not a major obstacle to operating an electric car.

"Ethiopia in future will have lots of power supply," he said.

"In any case, the car can be recharged by generator and by solar power."
From a green country to a green world

Carlo Pironti

Rwanda's bio-diesel bus


Taxes on cars in Ethiopia can be more than 100% and many Ethiopians with low incomes will struggle to afford an electric car.

To overcome this problem, Mr Pironti says his company will develop a credit system for less affluent customers.

Six Solaris Elettras will be produced every week for the next three months, rising to 30 per week when Freestyle's factory in Addis Ababa is fully operational, he says.

Mr Pironti says he wants to take the Solaris "from a green country to a green world," referring to the company's plans to export the car from Ethiopia to Africa and beyond.

But Wayne Batty, senior writer at South Africa's Topcar magazine, believes only a small percentage of Africa has the necessary infrastructure to support an electric car.

Mr Batty told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that electric cars are fine for short trips of 40 to 50 km (25 to 31 miles), but African countries lack the recharging points for longer journeys.

Ethiopia's electric car comes after Rwanda launched its first bio-diesel bus last week.

It is currently building a huge hydro-electric dam on the Omo river and hopes to become a major exporter of energy when that is completed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Makerere University successfully tests electric car

The Kiira EV does not use fuel. Picture: Ronald Kabuubi
By Henry Mukasa


MAKERERE University has successfully tested the first electric car to be made in Uganda. The two seated car is a project by the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Tickodri –Togboa who heads the project said the University was now targeting a 36 seater which is a bus.

“We wanted to demonstrate we are capable. After, we shall scale up and produce a seven-seater. It is this version that will become commercial,” Togboa explained.

The Kiira EV does not use fuel. The front-wheel drive has 18 horse-power and can reach top speeds of 60km per hour.

He said the electric car will use a lithium iron specialised battery like the one used in hybrid cars like Toyota Prius. The battery can take the car for a distance of 80km. However, the planned 7-seater vehicle will use electric and solar power that is capable of travelling 200km before recharging.

Togboa declined to give the cost of the car saying most of the funds went to procurement of inputs and allowances for human resource. He said the design started in 2009 while the assembling commenced in April this year.

The car’s body was fabricated out of fiberglass which is said to be durable. The university procured most of the steel materials from the Uganda and used the standard wheel system.

The Vehicle Design Project is among the over 20 innovation projects funded under the Presidential Initiative at the university. Under the initiative, the Government earmarked sh25b to the college of engineering to fund technological research over five years.

This is the second time Makerere students and lecturers participate in building affordable cars. The first case was in 2008 when a group of students partly designed an energy-efficient prototype vehicle, Vision 200. The car was exhibited at the World Design Capital in Torino, Italy in 2009. From Italy it was taken to Belgium and its now at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US because Makerere could not repatriate it.



Photos of the "kirra ev"






 

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Discussion Starter #7
Uganda’s first electric car is plugged in, ready to go
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Kiira EV on road test in Makerere University campus as students cheer the new innovation. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE.

By Flavia Lanyero (email the author)
Posted Wednesday, November 2 2011 at 00:00
Kampala



“The car is ready,” exclaimed Mr Paul Isaac Musasizi, the Project Manager of the Vehicle Design Mission at Makerere University, which has produced Uganda’s first electric car.

The Kiira EV was yesterday tested for road and drive performance, ability to climb steep areas and ability to pick up speed, among other parameters. “The vehicle can pick speed very fast, the motor stands strong, the reverse is perfect, it properly climbed a 55 degrees incline, the performance is good,” Mr Musasizi said after driving the vehicle for 4km reaching a top speed of 65km/hr.

More adjustments, however, still need to be done when the car is gaining speed as it tends to jerk. More power also needs to be added to the steering wheel and a horn installed for the vehicle to be fit.

The making of Kiira EV started in August 2009 with a handful of students at the College of Engineering Art and Design, formerly the Faculty of Technology.

“It was not easy; all we had was faith and no money but luckily in December 2011, President Museveni gave us a grant and we immediately started the work. Getting people onto the project was not easy either,” said Mr Musasizi. They eventually had a team of 25. Bureaucracy to buy certain parts of the vehicle was another challenge the students faced and it delayed the making of the vehicle.

Support call
The success of the car draws a lot of lessons both for the University and country, according to principal investigator of the Project, Prof. Sandy Tickodri-Togboa.

“Because the entire staff of a faculty is not often involved in such projects, it would help if all academicians got involved. This will improve methods of training at the University so that we are able to produce high caliber graduates,” he said.

Kiira EV is a two-seater electric vehicle. Its battery system consists of lithium-ion batteries, its maximum speed is 200km/hr and needs a recharge after running 80km.

Although some components of the car like the steering wheel and other minor accessories were imported from manufacturers outside Uganda, most parts of the car including the core body and combustion system were designed and built locally.

A thrilled Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba said: “A breed of youngsters with a nerve for technological inventions and innovations has been assembled.” As the world targets reducing carbon emissions students and faculty at Makerere University are keen to show they are up to speed.


Eco-friendly electric car made in Uganda
The eco car branded Kiira EV was test driven at the university premises as students gathered to witness the landmark occasion. The Kiira EV car is the first environmentally friendly car to be designed in Uganda and it's the brainchild of Professor Stevens Tikocdri who says the car can run for eighty kilometers on a full battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Makerere University Students Launch First Car


It has taken Makerere College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology students thirty months to eventually put the car on road that was test driven at the University on 01.Nov.2011. The car uses a battery for 80kms before it is recharged implying that there is no need for petrol or diesel to run it.

On opening the bonnet, all you see is a mortar and not plugs like it is the case with other cars. Gone are the days when Uganda used to be branded as a country that cannot even make a needle, now a cost effective car Kiira Ev has been born out of it.

The two seater vehicle that can move from Kampala to Jinja before it can be recharged was made using metals from Roofings Ltd among others plus other local materials. The team behind the project were tight lipped on the cost of the vehicle.

More vehicles will be manufactured and will include a 7 seater and a 30 seater van that will be able to do at least 200kms with the help of a solar panel. The car project is part of the initiatives under the 4.5bn funding supported by the President.

Kiira Ev which is very similar to a 3door vitz will be launched by the President at the end of the month.


Kampala braces for first Electric car
Uganda's first Electric car hit the road this morning at Makerere University Campus!

The two-seater named KIIRA EV electric car, is a a project by the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology. It was tested around campus to amazement of onlookers and enthusiasts.


The first Ugandan Electric Car cruising.

The car is green in color, a characteristic of the designers feel for the environment and embraces the "Let's go Green" global campaign!

Details on the operation-ability of the car are still scanty but reliable sources intimate the car runs on a rechargeable battery and travels at 120 kmp, it's weight is below 2.5 tonnes and powered with GPRS system.

Congratulations to the innovative lads, to the university and Uganda as well but the real trouble is the unreliable power supply that has become a characteristic of our country, will it be cost-effective to own the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Eco Friendly Products and projects in Uganda

Makerere tries out its electric car today
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING

The Kiira EV model developed by Makerere University Students. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE

By FLAVIA LANYERO (email the author)
Posted Tuesday, November 1 2011 at 00:00
IN SUMMARY

Innovation. The car is designed to replace diesel and petrol engine cars.

Makerere University students will this afternoon test drive their first electric car after three years of making.
The Kiira EV made by the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology students, is the first electric vehicle to be made in Uganda.



The team leader, Mr Paul Musasizi, said the car is a clear demonstration of existence of innovation and skill at the university.

“When we started the project, we wanted to demonstrate that Uganda has as good talent as that in the US or Germany and now that this is over, we expect and want it to be taken up,” Mr Musasizi said.

Waiting on production
The vehicle is a two-seater with a theoretical speed of 200km/hr and 150km/hr practically because of its light weight. It can be charged after running 80km.

“We named it Kiira EV because we are fascinated about green energy and the first electricity generation in Uganda was at Kiira,” Mr Musasizi said of its naming.

It remains to be seen if the success of this vehicle can be translated into actual production.

Share This Story
5
Share

Mr Musasizi said in an interview that the innovation demonstrates the faculty’s commitment to green transportation and that work has already started on a 28-seater public electric transport vehicle.

The vehicle is designed to replace the current diesel and petrol engine cars. Similar innovations have been made by car makers in Japan, German, France and the US.

Inspiration
Although some components of the car like the steering wheel and other minor accessories were imported from manufacturers outside Uganda, most parts of the car including the core body and combustion system were designed and built locally with the assistance of local craftsmen in places such as Katwe, an innovation suburb in Kampala.

The Kiira project is a run-up to Vision 200, a car made by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which attracted the participation of Makerere University students in 2008.

Inspired by the first project, the students and university decided to launch their project in 2009.

It is one of the three science and technology projects at the faculty that were allocated Shs4.5 billion this financial year. The other projects include; the Laboratory Infrastructure and Industrial Training.

The vehicle will be publicly tested at the faculty tomorrow and officially launched by the President later in the month.

Makerere University successfully tests electric car

The Kiira EV does not use fuel. Picture: Ronald Kabuubi
By Henry Mukasa


MAKERERE University has successfully tested the first electric car to be made in Uganda. The two seated car is a project by the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Tickodri –Togboa who heads the project said the University was now targeting a 36 seater which is a bus.

“We wanted to demonstrate we are capable. After, we shall scale up and produce a seven-seater. It is this version that will become commercial,” Togboa explained.

The Kiira EV does not use fuel. The front-wheel drive has 18 horse-power and can reach top speeds of 60km per hour.

He said the electric car will use a lithium iron specialised battery like the one used in hybrid cars like Toyota Prius. The battery can take the car for a distance of 80km. However, the planned 7-seater vehicle will use electric and solar power that is capable of travelling 200km before recharging.

Togboa declined to give the cost of the car saying most of the funds went to procurement of inputs and allowances for human resource. He said the design started in 2009 while the assembling commenced in April this year.

The car’s body was fabricated out of fiberglass which is said to be durable. The university procured most of the steel materials from the Uganda and used the standard wheel system.

The Vehicle Design Project is among the over 20 innovation projects funded under the Presidential Initiative at the university. Under the initiative, the Government earmarked sh25b to the college of engineering to fund technological research over five years.

This is the second time Makerere students and lecturers participate in building affordable cars. The first case was in 2008 when a group of students partly designed an energy-efficient prototype vehicle, Vision 200. The car was exhibited at the World Design Capital in Torino, Italy in 2009. From Italy it was taken to Belgium and its now at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US because Makerere could not repatriate it.



Photos of the "kirra ev"










Uganda’s first electric car is plugged in, ready to go
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING

Kiira EV on road test in Makerere University campus as students cheer the new innovation. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE.

By Flavia Lanyero (email the author)
Posted Wednesday, November 2 2011 at 00:00
Kampala



“The car is ready,” exclaimed Mr Paul Isaac Musasizi, the Project Manager of the Vehicle Design Mission at Makerere University, which has produced Uganda’s first electric car.

The Kiira EV was yesterday tested for road and drive performance, ability to climb steep areas and ability to pick up speed, among other parameters. “The vehicle can pick speed very fast, the motor stands strong, the reverse is perfect, it properly climbed a 55 degrees incline, the performance is good,” Mr Musasizi said after driving the vehicle for 4km reaching a top speed of 65km/hr.

More adjustments, however, still need to be done when the car is gaining speed as it tends to jerk. More power also needs to be added to the steering wheel and a horn installed for the vehicle to be fit.

The making of Kiira EV started in August 2009 with a handful of students at the College of Engineering Art and Design, formerly the Faculty of Technology.

“It was not easy; all we had was faith and no money but luckily in December 2011, President Museveni gave us a grant and we immediately started the work. Getting people onto the project was not easy either,” said Mr Musasizi. They eventually had a team of 25. Bureaucracy to buy certain parts of the vehicle was another challenge the students faced and it delayed the making of the vehicle.

Support call
The success of the car draws a lot of lessons both for the University and country, according to principal investigator of the Project, Prof. Sandy Tickodri-Togboa.

“Because the entire staff of a faculty is not often involved in such projects, it would help if all academicians got involved. This will improve methods of training at the University so that we are able to produce high caliber graduates,” he said.

Kiira EV is a two-seater electric vehicle. Its battery system consists of lithium-ion batteries, its maximum speed is 200km/hr and needs a recharge after running 80km.

Although some components of the car like the steering wheel and other minor accessories were imported from manufacturers outside Uganda, most parts of the car including the core body and combustion system were designed and built locally.

A thrilled Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba said: “A breed of youngsters with a nerve for technological inventions and innovations has been assembled.” As the world targets reducing carbon emissions students and faculty at Makerere University are keen to show they are up to speed.


Eco-friendly electric car made in Uganda
The eco car branded Kiira EV was test driven at the university premises as students gathered to witness the landmark occasion. The Kiira EV car is the first environmentally friendly car to be designed in Uganda and it's the brainchild of Professor Stevens Tikocdri who says the car can run for eighty kilometers on a full battery.


Makerere University Students Launch First Car


It has taken Makerere College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology students thirty months to eventually put the car on road that was test driven at the University on 01.Nov.2011. The car uses a battery for 80kms before it is recharged implying that there is no need for petrol or diesel to run it.

On opening the bonnet, all you see is a mortar and not plugs like it is the case with other cars. Gone are the days when Uganda used to be branded as a country that cannot even make a needle, now a cost effective car Kiira Ev has been born out of it.

The two seater vehicle that can move from Kampala to Jinja before it can be recharged was made using metals from Roofings Ltd among others plus other local materials. The team behind the project were tight lipped on the cost of the vehicle.

More vehicles will be manufactured and will include a 7 seater and a 30 seater van that will be able to do at least 200kms with the help of a solar panel. The car project is part of the initiatives under the 4.5bn funding supported by the President.

Kiira Ev which is very similar to a 3door vitz will be launched by the President at the end of the month.


Kampala braces for first Electric car
Uganda's first Electric car hit the road this morning at Makerere University Campus!

The two-seater named KIIRA EV electric car, is a a project by the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology. It was tested around campus to amazement of onlookers and enthusiasts.


The first Ugandan Electric Car cruising.

The car is green in color, a characteristic of the designers feel for the environment and embraces the "Let's go Green" global campaign!

Details on the operation-ability of the car are still scanty but reliable sources intimate the car runs on a rechargeable battery and travels at 120 kmp, it's weight is below 2.5 tonnes and powered with GPRS system.

Congratulations to the innovative lads, to the university and Uganda as well but the real trouble is the unreliable power supply that has become a characteristic of our country, will it be cost-effective to own the car?







Bambo bicycle commissioned in Kampala
A day after a group of Makerere students test run an environmentally friendly car they assembled locally, a bicycle with a frame is made out of Bamboo has been commissioned here in Kampala. The bicycle that was assembled by youth in Lubaga Division was the innovation of Craig Calffee, an American Citizen who once lived in Uganda.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Makerere tests electric car
Makerere University College of Engineering and Technology has successfully tested the first electric car to be made in Uganda. The Kiira EV does not use fuel and can be driven for up to 80km when the battery is fully charged. It does not use the internal combustion system used by usual vehicles but rather the wheels are powered by electric motor driven batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
President launches Mak Eco Friendly car
President Yoweri Museveni has today launched Makerere University's electric car - The KIIRA EV at a colourful ceremony at the university premises. The President in his address pledged to increase governments funding to the humanities section of the university in order to enhance academic performance across the Country.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Uganda engineered plane built in Kampala Suburb

Not exactly Nasa! Ugandan space chief builds test craft in his mother's muddy back yard (and you'll never believe his plans for zero gravity training)
African Skyhawk will soar to 80,000ft sometime in 2012
Plans for space shuttle launch in next four years
By LEE MORAN

Last updated at 5:37 PM on 2nd December 2011
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This is the Ugandan aircraft that Africa hopes will thrust it right into the space race.Constructed amidst the rubble of his mother's backyard, ambitious Chris NSamba believes the African Skyhawk will lead to his continent launching its first astronaut into orbit.

The African Space Research Programme founder has been helped by 600 volunteers in partially achieving the first stage of his dream - the creation of the plane that will penetrate the edge of space by flying at 80,000ft.
Scroll down for video...

Ambitious: This is the Ugandan aircraft, the Africa Skyhawk, that Chris NSamba hopes will thrust the country right into the space race


The African Space Research Programme founder has been helped by 600 volunteers

And once the African Skyhawk has had a successful test flight sometime next year, the 28-year-old plans to turn his hand to building the continent's first space shuttle.He firmly believes it will launch in the next 'four to six years'. But given the condition of his project at the moment, he might be advised to buy a gigantic rubber band to help it on its way.
The former astronomy student said: 'It isn't about money, it isn't about competition or pride.


'The mission is about advancement in space technology as a continent and what we can contribute towards that growth.
'We are trying to have Africa participate in the contribution of knowledge into mankind's destiny.'
The cynical may question how NSamba can launch his own space programme without any money, and be entirely reliant on donations.

Is he mad? Chris NSamba's mother, Sarah Lugwama, watches as the African Skyhawk is constructed in her backyard


The former astronomy student said: 'We are trying to have Africa participate in the contribution of knowledge into mankind's destiny.'



Chris Nsamba leans against the wing of the Skyhawk. He is confident the Skyhawk's test flight will take place next year, and he will have a fully fledged space shuttle in operation in 'four to six years'.

They may also ask how it can be achieved, seeing as Uganda has no history of space exploration and he is teaching the aspiring astronauts himself.
But he said he was confident the Skyhawk's test flight would take place next year, and he would have a fully fledged space shuttle in operation in 'four to six years'.

'I've got a jet engine on order so I'm planning to build a tunnel, put the engine at one end and when I throw a guy in he'll float in a similar way to how he would in space.'

- Chris NSamba
He added: 'This is not a one-man mission. We work jointly to achieve goals.
'I have trained my crew (in) advanced astronomy. They are very good at astronomy in regards to calculations and identifications of various space objects.'

And when asked how he plans to simulate zero gravity for training, he said it would be 'easy'.

He added: 'I've got a jet engine on order so I'm planning to build a tunnel, put the engine at one end and when I throw a guy in he'll float in a similar way to how he would in space.'

NSamba, who admits that 'one time or another every succesful scientists has been called a madman' has been toiling away in his mother's backyard, in the Kampala suburb of Ntinda, for three years.

But despite the challenges he faces, he said was confident his space shuttle, dubbed The Dynacraft, would be ready sooner rather than later.
And he cited funding from foreigners, and the promise of cash from the Ugandan government, as markers to their ongoing succes.He said: 'It will first operate in Earth's lower orbit then advance with time. We might not have money in our system but we do get our homework done.'

Building an African space program from the ground up

Michelle Sibiloni / AFP - Getty Images

Chris Nsamba, the founder of the African Space Research Program, leans against the African Skyhawk, an aircraft built to test the skills of the program's engineers, in Kampala, Uganda, on Nov. 11.
David R Arnott writes


Standing in the yard of his mother's home in a suburb of the Ugandan capital, Chris Nsamba maps out his dream -- within the next ten years, the space enthusiast wants to launch one of his countrymen into orbit.

Nsamba, founder of the African Space Research Program, outlined his plans to Agence France-Presse as he showed off the African Skyhawk, an aircraft built by his team of volunteer engineers to test their skills before they begin work on a shuttle.Nsamba is well aware of the skepticism with which many will greet his plans, but it does not seem to affect him. At one time or another, he says, every successful scientist has been called a madman.




 
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